The Twelfth of April 2020

Easter Sunday, yes. But it’s also my mom’s second death anniversary.

I still regret that I wasn’t able to bring her to Batanes. She’d always say, “Kapag gumaling ako,” and I firmly believed that she would. She was strong, unlike me. But even strong people pass away.

I still blame myself for that one time when I asked my father to drive me to our subdivision’s gate, leaving her alone to water the plants. If I didn’t, she wouldn’t slip, would she? I wonder if her body could endure chemotherapy better if it weren’t for the huge hematoma caused by her fall.

Unlike everyone in this house, I didn’t post anything about her. My relatives might have thought I didn’t care, haha, and I couldn’t blame them. It was true that I try to avoid seeing pictures of her as much as possible; it forces me to remember her—her voice, the time she slept beside me and hugged me, her last moments.

I miss her, but I don’t like missing her because it triggers the black hole. Now I think I’ll wake up with swollen eyes and a heavy heart.


Am Anxious and Can’t Breathe Properly and Angered by My Father

So you see, I’m at home, trying to continue my novel. Pero nakaramdam ako na hirap ako mag-swallow. Tiningnan ko ‘yong salamin and found that my tonsil is leaning to one side. Tapos parang may bumps sa tongue ko.

And I have been coughing since Tuesday.

Last na labas ko was Monday to have coffee at Starbucks at Sierra Valley, Cainta. After that, inubo ako. Dry cough. Then I felt light-headed a day after. And chills, but not to the point of high fever. And all of these were symptoms of COVID.

I have asthma, you see. And I’m living in a COVID-infected town. My anxiety isn’t helping me, and I can only hope that I don’t have it. I just want to get antibiotics or something. I immediately gargled warm water with salt and tried to convince my younger brother to bring me to thr ER because, kung wala akong virus, this may be a sign of allergy and I am afraid of losing oxygen. Pero wala naman akong kinakain na hipon.

Again, my anxiety isn’t helping.

But then my father kept shouting, “Uminom ka kasi ng apple cider!” Minsan napapa-what the fuck na lang ako. Saan na naman niya ‘to nakuha? Here’s a credible source debunking that myth:

And you know what he’s doing now? He’s checking up on somebody else’s health. Napaka-ironic.

These are the times I wish my mom were still alive. I know she will prioritze me. I know she will take immediate action. Oh my god, Ma, kunin mo na ako.

But then again di ko pa natatapos ‘yong nobela ko so baka ‘wag muna. Joke lang, Ma.

I just have to let this out. It’s just hard to breathe.

Randomly Missing My Mom

My younger brother dreamed about my mother the other day. He said he was seated on her lap in a cradle position when my mother asked me to call Papa and announce she was there. While I was on the phone, she told my brother, “Hindi ko kaya na wala kayo.”

She has entered my dreams several times, one where I was so happy that I saw her alive, only to sob upon waking up after realizing it was a dream.

Today the mother of someone I know celebrated her birthday, and the latter told me they were taking a trip to the mall. She was able to treat her mother, a thing I wasn’t able to do with Mama alone (since we go out as a family). “Ang sarap sa pakiramdam,” she said, to which I replied, “Do that more often dahil tumatanda na si Tita.” And then I added, “Di ko ‘yan nagawa kay Mama.”

My mother and I disagreed a lot of times, but when both of us were already mature enough to accept our flaws and forgive our mistakes, the universe only gave us four years. I thought I had more, even planned on treating her to Batanes, but death took her away.

Ewan, I know I have written several blogs about missing her. Same content, same longing. But writing is the only way I know to release the agony so I could focus on things I could still change. Madalas nga, sa sobrang nami-miss ko siya, along with other factors, naiisip ko na ring sumunod. But what else could I do besides tapping myself on the back while convincing myself to “stay strong”?