Birthday week

It is Tita Baby's birthday. She would have turned 60 today.

I spent the weekend with my mom and dad, sharing memories about Tita Baby. It was our first time to talk together about Tita Baby after her death. I found out some pleasantly surprising things. Like how Tita Baby had been planning to take me, JP, Brian, and my mom on a trip to Hong Kong. Tita Baby had been planning on giving me her car. I also found out some painful things. Like how Tita Baby knew she had cancer and did not tell anyone and did not seek treatment. My mom also has regrets about not talking with Tita Baby more often. My dad still cannot sleep at night. Brian was the last person to see Tita Baby (last month). We were asking him how she looked and were all horrified to find out that the cancer growth in her throat had grown so big that he could no longer distinguish between her throat and her shoulder. She was bedridden at the time. But see how kind Tita Baby was? Even in that state she drove to meet Brian and gave him money so he could pay his rent.

My dad told me how much my Tita Baby loved me. How she had very high standards and that I had passed those standards with flying colors (Dad's words) and how she would talk about me with Tita Cecile. I am glad, but I am also sad because I do not know if she realized how much I loved her. I am ashamed of myself because I know I could have expressed my love more!

It's still painful. I am learning more and more about Tita Baby through my mom and dad. All the new knowledge about her is making me love her more and miss her more. Dad is also learning new things about Tita Baby from me. He didn't know that she had been so generous with us. Tita Baby did not brag about her generousity. She never told my dad about all the help and all the gifts she gave me, Mom, and my brothers.

It is my birthday on Friday (Sept. 21). I think in a future post I will share some random things about myself. Over the past year, especially over the past month, I have learned just how much my family means to me. How much I love them. And I realized that as long as you truly mean it every time you say it, there is no such thing as saying "I love you" too often.

Thank you so much to all who are checking in on me, listening to me, praying for me and my family, and sending support!!! I love you all!


Kerrie said…
It's good to see a post. :-)
The birthdays, the holidays are always so hard. I'm glad you were able to spend it with your family, it's wonderful how lost loved ones can live on in memories.
I am really enjoying getting to know your Tita through your writings, she left such a beautiful legacy!
Tarie said…
Kerrie, she did! She's also left a big hole. For example: She was the one living with my grandmother, taking care of her and handling her finances. My dad lives in the US and whenever he visits the Philippines it would be Tita Baby who made sure he had everything he needed for his visit: a place to stay, clothes, toilet paper, etc. *sigh*
Cyam said…
Good to have you back, Tarie. =)

Talking about our Lolo the weeks and months after he passed helped us out in more ways than one - we felt that we were keeping his spirit alive by sharing both funny and sad memories about his life. It was during that time I learned more about him than ever before, and the knowledge was both painful and comforting.

We still talk about him, and whenever we do, it's always with that affectionate, warm air. The pain's not really gone - I doubt it ever will be - but at least it has taken a backseat to all the other positive, endearing memories we have of him.

I wish you and your family all the best, Tarie. I believe your Tita Baby's last - and perhaps greatest - gift to you was bringing you and the rest of your family together. =)
Tarie said…
CY, I agree! Tita Baby's main gift when she was alive, and even through her death, was making the family a better family and more united. Thank you for helping me see that. :)