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13 April 2012 @ 01:10 am

On January 29, 2012, I wrote about my grandparents who live overseas.
On February 11, 2012, I found out that my grandfather (my Papa's papa) died.
Yesterday - April 11, 2012 - was his 2nd death monthsary.
Because I'm so proud of my grandparents, I'm making this entry public.
I miss you, Kong-Kong. I really do.

My Angkong (fondly called Kong-Kong) is dying.

His mind is still sharp, but his body is deteriorating. He is dependent on dialysis three times a week. His left arm is mutilated due to the never-ending needles that have punctured it in an attempt to clean his blood. He loves music, loves it when people sing the Chinese version of Jesus Loves Me to him, and he smiles a lot. He cannot stand or walk on his own. He cannot do a lot of things on his own, not anymore.

My lola, 10 years his junior, is beautiful. Not the beautiful that’s commonplace, mind you. My lola‘s beauty is glamorous, movie-star kind of beauty. (That is how she caught my Kong-kong‘s eye.) Not only that, she is strong; her mind incredibly complex. She’s the type of woman who knows what she likes, knows what she tolerates, and knows what she can’t stand. She is, I am thrilled to report, a reader. When I first arrived at Tito Noel‘s place, I noticed all the books lying around the house.

Lola,” I ask, motioning towards the books in the bathroom, “Are these yours?”

She looks at me and I notice how smooth her skin is.

“Yes,” she answers me. “I have more.”

She disappears for a while, and then comes back to the room with a bundle of books and lays them all out for me to behold.

Nabasa ko na lahat ‘yan,” she tells me, “Sayo na, Najee.” (I’ve read them all. They’re yours.)

The books she gave me are books for the ministry, which she receives for free because she regularly gives support to various Christian organizations in Richmond. I have donated some of these books in GCF Youth LIVE‘s make-shift library in the 3rd floor. I have kept some for myself.

Thank you, Lola.

My grandparents have been married for 56 years.
While we were in their room, just the three of us, I watched as Lola proceeded to brush and floss Kong-Kong‘s teeth.

Ba,” my Kong-Kong says (a shortened term of endearment in a Filipino dialect for ‘love’), “Salamat at nandito ka pa, ah? Salamat at inaalagan mo ako.”
(Thank you for being here. Thank you for taking care of me.)

Oo naman, ano,” says my lola, smiling, “Diba sabi natin, ‘sa hirap at ginhawa’?”
(Of course. Didn’t we say, ‘in sickness and in health’?)

I will remember my grandparents just like this.
(I believe in love.)

Thank You, Lord, for the legacy they are leaving with me.
I am so proud, and at the same time so humbled, that I can call them my grandparents.
Thank You for Your faithfulness and goodness.

January 29, 2012.

Current Mood: calmcalm
(Anonymous) on June 4th, 2012 12:03 pm (UTC)
This post has gotten me all choked up and stuff. Huhu. I have a lot of feelings...!

Your lola is beautiful, and your kong-kong, I bet, is having the best time worshiping and being with God.

Thanks for this, Naj. :)
Alyssabuta_chan on June 4th, 2012 12:05 pm (UTC)
the previous anonymous comment came from me btw. I forgot to sign in. ahe.

narinessnariness on June 8th, 2012 05:58 am (UTC)
Alyssa, thank you.
Your comment lifted my spirits. =)

I hug you! (Your latest entry made me clutch at my heart and want to just hug you and rejoice with you and just thank God because Jesus is so evident in your life.)