Family Life

Goodbye Nanay Ering

After spending the night doing Calculus homework and reading about Lenin and the Russian Revolution, I woke up this morning with a heaviness I couldn’t put words to. The City has been cold and rainy since yesterday, and this morning in particular was disjointed a clumsy. After being dropped off home, I curled on my bed and scrolled through my newsfeed, where I stumbled across a post my ate had posted a handful of hours ago. My nanay Ering had passed away and a sense of shock and numbness overtook my body.

She was my only lola in my family, known as the mother of mothers. I called my mother right afterwards, crying and trying to piece together the situation. Nanay had developed infections from her smoking, and althought we knew her time was coming, none of us expected it to happen this morning. After enduring immense pain, her body finally gave out and shutdown.

I’ve only met her once, a decade ago, when my manang Jing was getting married. I was 10 at the time, naive to the rarity of the situation. My mother and I can’t afford to visit the Philippines as frequently as we’d like, leaving us with only webcam videos and the occasional phone calls. What is only oceans away has felt like entire solar systems, always so close yet so far from my family back home, the only true family I know.

Nanay, I miss you. I miss your laugh, I miss your warmth. I miss your food, I miss your jokes. The smell of cigarettes cling to your memory now whenever I smoke. The way you loved filled our family with such warmth and joy because you were the glue. You were on of the strongest women of our family, never married and always supporting all of us instead of yourself. I hope to be as selfless and kind as you were, with the wit and charm of a brilliant pinay. I’m grateful you’re relieved of the pain that wrecked havoc on your body, and that you’re reunited with the rest of our lolos and lolas. I love you nanay, and I hoped you knew that too.