July 2, 2011 (I found this letter among my email drafts. I just don’t know where to send it.)
From Earth to Heaven
To my Lolo Felipe and my Lola Fely,
Years passed and I am still missing you. I often look up at the sky at night, search for the brightest stars and whisper I love you. Somewhere there I know you can see and hear me.
“Lolo, I want that guava on the right!”
“Lolo, I want the bigger one!”
That was how we sounded when we were little, your hungry little mobs. Our voices delighted you. Without thinking about your bones and the pain from arthritis, you climbed the guava tree and the masaprola at your backyard for us. Once we were full, you gathered us and told stories of the war, the life of a police man and how you meet Lola. I didn’t understand then or was too busy playing to listen to your stories but being beside you made me safe.
I was in Grade 2 when you were gone. I was devastated but not more than Lola. I saw her crumble. She aged in days, I didn’t see that when you were still alive. She loved you so much.
I miss you.
Lola, I was 10 when you left. I can still remember how you said goodbye to me through my dreams.
We were riding a bus on our way to Olongapo then suddenly you asked the bus to stop. You wanted us to go down even if we haven’t reached our destination. You took my hand, kissed it, whispered I love you and we walked. I turned right to the door of the bus but you walked straight to the front and faded like a mist. I stood there looking.
My brother woke me up because I was crying in my sleep. Then, Mama came. She told me you passed away last night. I didn’t speak up. I was trembling.
I will forever miss your bed time stories, how you kissed me good night, I will miss everything about you. I was your little red riding hood, I can still remember my pictures sporting that red hoodie. I’ve spent 10 years of my life beside you, I literally grew up with you. You have taught me compassion, love and patience.
Lola and Lolo, I am smiling now as I recall how you made us study well.
“Get a perfect score on your quiz and you’ll get PHP 5 each paper you present and lesser if you have a mistake”.
That was a huge amount then. All of us mobsters formed a queue to show you our quizzes. We were sneaky, when we didn’t have a paper, we recycled the old ones and showed it to you. You knew but you did not get mad at us. Instead, you taught us a valuable lesson – “Never cheat.”
From time to time, I think of you. And I am wondering what would my life be if you are still here? Are you happy with what I have achieved? I will never know the answers. All I know is that I grew up to be a good person because I had you. Those 10 short years are valuable to me.
I love you both and I will always be missing you.
(I am still wondering though where our photos went after you left. We never found it. All my childhood pics with you were gone.)