Two. Fifteen.

 

image1Several weeks ago, I was at National Bookstore with a friend. I saw the piles of Straight from the Heart books. I pointed to the books and told my friend, ‘Mama contributed to that book.’

 

In silence, I recalled the many phone conversations I had with Mama where she told me how much time she was spending writing prayers, editing, etc. In fact, when the Filipino Edition was being written, she asked me to help. I told her I didn’t have time but I said I will try to write one prayer. But I never got the chance to do it. I was in London during that time and I never really showed much interest about the book.

 

image4Anyways, I proudly showed my friend Mama’s name written at the back of the book. I also told my friend that I don’t particularly remember which prayers Mama wrote but I remember her telling me about one prayer – the Widow’s Prayer. A prayer that reflects the daily beatings of her heart. She must have truly suffered in silence when we lost Papa.

 

image2I searched for the ‘Prayer of a Widow’ and my whole body shivered when I saw that the prayer can be found on Page 215. Two-Fifteen –February 15 – the day Mama joined her Creator – the day when Papa welcomed her in the gates of heaven, the day when she is a Widow no more.

 

Must be coincidence, it doesn’t matter. Those little details, those little surprises keep my Mama’s presence always alive. Her witnessing continues, her being a mother to us continues and though the pain doesn’t go away, though I miss her everyday, though life will never be the same again, I find comfort that now she is no longer writing prayers, she is chatting with Jesus about the beatings of her heart and I know she is telling Him, ‘Look after my children because I love them very much especially Adnelle as she can be masungit and stubborn at times.’

image3

 

I miss you very much, Mama. I still talk about you with my friends even those you have not met, even those you have not known. I want people to know how wonderful you are.

Mang Arthur

arthurGreenbelt, 8 AM.

Me: Pasay po?
Driver: OK. (He wasn’t looking at me, instead his eyes were fixed at a police officer having an intense conversation with a foreigner). Ano kaya nangyari – kanina pa yan eh.

Me: (Deadma, I am not in the zone for gossips too early in the morning).
Meanwhile, our cab was on full stop next to a delivery van.

Driver: Anong basa diyan (pointing to the delivery van of Tous les Jours Bakery)?
Me: Naku Manong, day off ko ngayon, naka shutdown ako, di ko yan kaya basahin.

Driver: Alam mo ba na ang basa sa Cafe’ (see – ey – ef – ee apostrophe) ay ‘kaf’, hindi ka- fey? Kaya ang basa siguro diyan ay Tuu – le – Juu
Me: (Deadma pa rin pero in-affirm ko naman si Manong). Galing galing niyo naman pala eh.

Driver: Naku, di ko pala nababa ang meter.
Me: (Ayan kasi kung anu ano ang pinapansin).

Driver: Mahirap kumita pero hindi mahirap ang buhay, maganda ang buhay. Taga-Pasay ka ba?
Me: (Hmmm.. sige na nga kakausapin na kita). Hindi po. May pupuntahan lang ako. May recollection po ako.

Driver: Recollection ano yun? Parang sa simbahan yan ha. Sa simbahan lang ba puedeng gamitin ang salitang recollection? Anong kino-collect?
Me: (Bakit kasi nagsalita pa ako! Pano ba ito…). Recollection po yung i-ko-collect mo yung mga nangyari and naging experience mo ng mga nakaraang araw o linggo or buwan tapos…. (then he interrupted me…)

Driver: Ah parang ganito… alam mo ang mga anak ko at asawa ko iba ang relihiyon. Ako Katoliko pero wala lang, wala naman ako ginagawa, di ako nagsisimba. Pero alam mo may kwento ako sa yo. Nung Lunes na paalis na si Pope, nasa may Baclaran ako non eh, pauwi ako ng Imus. Tapos, wala akong masakyan kasi nakasara mga daan. Nakita ko ang mga tao naghihintay so nakihintay na rin ako. Tapos nakita ko si Pope, ang guwapo, malaking tao and mamula mula pa ang mukha. Alam mo ang naramdaman ko, para akong kinurot sa puso. Para akong bata na iiwan ng tatay niya. Di ko nga alam bakit ganon ang naramdaman ko. Yun siguro recollection ko. Yung kurot sa puso na naramdaman ko ng makita ko si Pope.

Me: (Si Manong pinapa reflect na ako wala pa ako sa recollection ko). Manong, malapit na po ako bumaba.

Bumaba ako at nagpasalamat kay Manong. Tiningnan ko ang ID card niya – Arthur ang pangalan niya.

During my recollection, I tried to recall and reflect on recent experiences na ‘kumurot sa puso ko’. These experiences are not necessarily painful or absolutely joyful, these are the experiences that either bring us to certain level of awareness or experiences that awakens something in us – that leaves us searching for more, or simply leaves us in awe …
Salamat, Mang Arthur. Today, kinurot mo ang puso at diwa ko.