Almost A Year

November 16th marks a year since we've said goodbye to a woman who meant so much to our family. So much has happened in this year. Yet, I remember every single aspect of that day. I remember that I was at work and wished I could have been home. I remember grumbling because it was a rough day at work. I was at Sakura Noodle house with the two men in my life who have seen me through so much and I remember feeling lost.

Standing outside the emergency room of that hospital, knowing that this would be the last time I would see her, was the most excruciating experience. This woman who I had loved so much without having to say so. This woman whom I took for granted. There was so much to say and yet, I couldn't find the words or the courage - doing so would have meant admitting that I had done wrong. Seeking the advice of a dear friend, a member of the clergy, I was able to swallow my pride and say goodbye.

It was the strangest feeling - standing there and saying my silent goodbye, listening to her labored breath, hearing what people refer to as 'the death rattle', and feeling her body tense and then go limp as she took her last breath. I would be lying if I said I was strong and could just let her go. The truth is, while I knew she was going to her eternal home and I should be happy, I was selfish. I wanted to keep her for one more minute. To tell her how sorry I was. To tell her, one last time, that I love her.

Today, I know that she is praying for us. I know that she is looking at us and seeing the fruits of her life. I know that she cried tears of joy with us when my sister's dream of becoming a mother was realized. I know that she was happy to see that my mother, her daughter, was finally the grandmother she wished she could be.

We miss her so much, these days. Every time an event occurs, we run to the phone to call her - picking up the receiver and realizing that she's no longer here and sadly hanging the phone back in its cradle.

Much more important are the memories she left us with. The smile that she always had for us. The birthday calls, the birthday kisses and pinches. The faith that she instilled on us since childhood. Yes, even the sweets that she would make us during the typhoon days that we spent with her.

Grandma Taijeron will forever be in our hearts. The pain will fade, eventually. But, her face will always be in our minds when we think of her. When we drive up to her old house, we will always see her, sitting at he kitchen table, peeking out the window with her gleaming head of white hair. She was a strong and beautiful person and I thank her for all that she did for our family, as a whole.

Nana-hu biha, hu tunggu na gaige hao gi langet ya kada diha uma'tan hao papa giya hita. Put fabot, manaitai ham sa an taigue hao, gof mappot para hita. Inguiaya hao para todo i tiempo. Siempre, un dia, ta a'sotda hit ta'lo go langet.

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