Sunday, January 23, 2011

Closing Out Sale, Instant Pancit Shanghai and my Lioness Mother

Dear insansapinas,

One of the side effects of the "procedure" for my cancer is fatigue aside from nausea. I did not feel nauseous a bit. Good news, hindi ako buntis. mwehehehe.

I tire easily. If I can do three tasks one after another before, now I have to take a little rest after I have done one task. Hindi ko na tuloy mabuhat yong couch with my one hand pag ako nagvavacuum. toinkk. I lied. Meron kaming robot na nagvavacuum habang nanood ka ng TV. Babanggain ka pa paghahara-hara ka.

But it was the birth anniversary of my mom. I usually serve her something. Our Bicol culture. I know Chinese also do this ritual for the departed ones.

I have not been out since my hospital discharge except going to the bank with my brother. So the other day, I decided to go out despite the strong and chilly wind alone.

Whoa, kita ko closing out sale sign in the grocery store where I used to buy food items. It is walking distance and although it is small, I can get fish, meat and some vegetables aside from the junk foods that I eat during my " I do not have appetite moods".

I know the biggest retail store Walmart opened its nth branch across the highway and it now carries groceries aside from its usual dry goods. Nakain na naman ang maliit na business. Arghhh.

So I started picking up items that were still available. No more fish section. Only limited poultry and meat and no more FLOWERS. arghhh. Its' the end of the world. Call the Mayans. (hyperventilate).

Ten to fifty per cent discounts were offered except for soda. Tssk tssk. I noticed that the price was also jacked up. Mga Hudas, hestas, barabas. How do I know? May built-in abacus ang aking utak. The canned coconut water which I prefer than Gatorade for my anti-dehydration ek ek was no longer 99 cents. It increased to more than a dollar. Bawasan mo ng 10 per cent, ganoon din di ba. Sus.

My Lioness Mother

So I went home without a pie or a small cake. I was so tired when I arrived home that I could not cook leche flan. (Leechzee).

I remember, I still have those Instant Pancit Shanghai which I brought from the Philippines a year ago. Wala namang expiry date. So after offering a short prayer, sabi ko pasensiya na siya, pancit lang ang nai-ooffer ko. For long life baga. Toinkkk.

Kung buhay yon, tatawa na naman. When she was confined in the hospital, dying of cancer, I made her laugh. She was in and out of the coma. Something I said to the nurse and she laughed. If she could talk, she would have told the nurse that I was a frustrated comedienne.

My mother was more of a lioness than a tiger. She was very protective of her cubs (that's us). I found it stifling when I was a teener thus my rebellious nature.

You can't blame her. She was widowed when she was hardly 40. Unlike the tiger mother, she did not force us to get high grades. She was a consistent valedictorian in her school days and it was like an unwritten code that we should follow her footsteps. Indeed, my siblings were graduating valedictorians and salutatorians. 
I got a pasang-awa grade when I was in grade 2 that the teachers asked if I were the daughter of my mother. hehehe.

Kasi naman boring yong klase. (palusot pa). While my classmates were drawing stick people. I was drawing anime-like characters. I had that story where I drew my teacher in a bikini. I was brought to the guidance counsellor. They thought I was kind of pervert. The guidance counsellor thought, I was gifted. hehehe. (See my self-portrait in my sidebar) Siyempre drawing ko, kaya maganda ako. Toinkk.

Except for providing us  lots of "sitserya" food mostly peanuts, my mom did not do anything to make us burn the candles especially during the examination periods.

We knew then that if we were not going to study, the future will be bleak for us. 
She was very supportive in our extracurricular activities though. Para siyang stage mother. When we joined contests, she was there to applaud. She did not praise us for job well done but behind our back I knew she was proud. I wrote an article when I was still a teener which was published in a newspaper. She seemed not impressed but later I spied that she cut the article and showed it to our neighbors. AHA.

Two of my brothers made it to Philippine Science High School. My eldest brother did not enrol because she was afraid of the long trip he was going to make just to be in school. The younger sibling finished his high school in Pisay.

Four made it to UP. The eldest did not finish. He was one of the bread winners. Later, he applied for a job abroad. He is still in Australia, now with his family. The other brother joined the US Navy. He obtained his college degree in the US when he retired after twenty years of service. 

Another brother joined the US Navy, one semester to go. He finished his MBA in the US.  I married at a young age and I preferred the scholarship given to me with stipend. Greedy ako eh. yum yum yum. But I enrolled in the Doctorate in Public Adm. in UP. I did not finish. I migrated. 

One sister graduated with nursing degree from UP and interned in PGH. She is now in Massachussets. 

One sister finished in Ateneo with scholarship. One sister graduated with a nursing degree after several children. 

An elder brother who quitted  college to support the younger ones is still a bachelor and working with the Federal government. 

When she was buried, her casket was with a military escort courtesy of my brother. It was very solemn. Except for the two siblings who were not given visa to come to the US and another who was sick at that time, we came from different states of the US to give one last look to the lioness mother. She did not want to die yet because she would like to travel more. She had been to London to visit the queen, to France, to visit Lourdes and she wished to visit the Holy Land. 


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