Memories of a Scar

12 May 2008 literatura, memories

Hindi po kayo naligaw. Tagalog blog pa rin po ito. Nais ko lang pong ihandog sa inyo ang aking Mother’s Day Special. Sabi nga nila, better late than never.

Ito po ay isa sa aking mga lathala ilang taon na ang nakakaraan. Written in 2004 as a tribute to my grandmother who passed away unexpectedly and this article was featured and published at sometime in July 2005. Pwede niyo pong bisitahin ang link na ito upang basahin ang orihinal (pero wala naman po talaga akong binago dito).

Gusto kong batiin ang lahat ng mga nanay at soon-to-be-nanay ng Happy Mother’s Day. Sorry po at late na. Ayoko po kasi ang nakikiuso. Sa aking mother dearest, I love you ma! (Kahit madalas kang HB. ) Sana po ay magustuhan ninyo ang munti kong lathalang ito. Read on.

I was never called “scar-face” as a kid. I had never been rebuked for this noticeable slash across my cheek, but I grew up hating my scar. I’ve lost count on how many sebo de macho or how many packs of scar remover I had bought just to hide this. According to hearsays, my lola was to blame for my misery. My mother told me how I hated to drink my medicines when I was a child. Once, in an attempt to make me drink my syrup, my lola forced my mouth open, but I struggled – thus, the scar was born.

My lola’s not the type you’d hate. She was never the stern-looking grandmother with a dos por dos in hand awaiting you by the doorstep when you come home way past 6 pm. She was never the type who’d knit tabletops and sweaters in her rocking chair by the window. Nay. My lola was different.

When I was younger and still lived with my grannies, I remember her routine starts with washing our clothes. She’d lovingly wash each article by hand and clamp them neatly on the nearby clothesline. Oftentimes, you’d hear her complain about how tiring it was but she never stopped from hand washing even if my parents had bought a new washing machine to ease her load out. At an hour ‘till noon, she’d open the television and tunes in to channels 2 and 7, depending on her drama schedule, all the while trying to make us eat our lunch. She always wanted to make me sleep in the afternoon, even threatening to call Aling Maria, the neighborhood terror, if I ever refuse to take a nap. Most of the time though, I’d pretend to be sleeping while actually peeping at the wall clock to strike 3 pm. But then there were times when I’d get bored waiting and actually fall asleep. In the afternoon, she’d then clean our small abode, sweeping ‘till the floor was squeaky clean and the shelves, sparkling.

At age 10, we had to move into our new home, leaving my grannies and my tita behind. Even so, my lola never missed seeing us every weekend. For the past nine years, my grannies spend the weekend with us, leaving only on Sunday night. All those years, I share my room with my lola, play Bingo during those lazy weekend afternoons and argue over which channel between 2 and 7 was better. Lola was never boring. She loves doing crosswords at night and enjoys chatting with our equally talkative neighbor. She was so full of life… until of course that unforgettable day.

In a supposedly happy seventh birthday of my cousin, lola, all of a sudden lost consciousness, prompting my parents, my lolo and my titos and titas to rush her to the hospital. A few grueling minutes later, we received news that lola had recovered. Little did we know that it won’t be for long. An hour later, my tita informed us that lola had a stroke. It was unbelievable. Just a few hours before, my lola was still laughing, happily cuddling one of my twin cousins on a couch at the party. The next thing I realized, she was 50/50.

It wasn’t long before my lola fell into a coma. The doctors did try their best to make her conscious but everything seemed hopeless. Nothing, not even a head surgery could make my lola wake up. I could only cry when I saw her lying in the hospital bed, with all the tubes inserted in her body. She seemed helpless, a far cry to the once alive and kicking grandmother a few days back. Three days later and a few minutes before taking a crucial zoology exam, the news came in – my lola had just passed away.

In the next few days, I felt empty, unable to gather up my feelings and wail. I kept staring at her lifeless body inside the coffin, still unable to reconcile the fact that my once active and jolly grandma has reached the end of her life. I kept staring at her, as years of happy moments with her rushed back to my memory. I kept staring at her, unable to believe that nobody would share my room with me anymore. I just kept staring at her, all the while asking why God had chosen to take her at such a supposedly happy moment in our life. My seven-year old cousin had asked me: “Why didn’t God listen to my bday wish, ate?” I couldn’t say anything to appease him. No words could ever explain God’s plan for our grandmother.

It’s been 58 days since she left us. I still haven’t resigned to the fact that my lola’s gone to heaven where she’s better off. I still haven’t embraced her death – maybe not now, not tomorrow, nor even next month. Nobody knows when but for sure, it will take long.

I look at myself again in the mirror and curse all the sebo de macho and the countless packs of scar remover I used on my now disappearing scar. I curse myself for trying to hide it back then. If only I knew what would happen, I wouldn’t have tried making this disappear. No… Maybe not this scar… the only memento of my lola’s labors of love.


In memory of my grandmother, Emilia Babali-Gabriel who passed away Sept. 14, 2004 at age 69. May she rest in peace.

I miss you lola. Happy Mother’s Day!

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Reader's Comments

  1. Ayiene | May 12th, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Naantig ako. Yes.

    May sugat din ako sa may eyebrow ko dahil din sa lola ko. Kalong-kalong niya ako noon nung bata pa ako tapos hinabol daw kami ng aso at sa sobrang takot ng lola ko, tumakbo siya ng mabilis at nadapa kami, tumama ako sa bato at poof, tinahi yung sugat ko at ngayon may slash rin ako sa mukha.

    at naaalala ko rin na madalas din kami magbingo,yan kasi hilig ng lola ko. Ang lola kong di mo aakalaing lola ko pala dahil sobrang vain! haha! 😀

    Yung lola ko, sabi ng nanay ko eh kikay din daw. Haha. Kaya pala ganito ako. May pinagmanahan.

    Reply to this comment
  2. xG | May 12th, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    si mama naman ang may kasalanan
    kung bakit ako may peklat sa noo

    pinutok kasi niya
    yung bulutong ko
    ampanget ko na

    i never grew up
    having a grandmother
    swerte ka

    Haha. Bulutong. Ang alam ko may naputok din ata akong mother bulutong pero hindi sa mukha.

    Masaya magkaroon ng grandparents. Sadly, pareho na silang wala. Hihintayin ko yung archive ng dati kong blog sa webarchive. Baka sakaling masalvage ko pa yung first entries talaga ng docmnel. Namimiss ko naman ang lolo ko ngayon. :(

    Reply to this comment
  3. kulot | May 13th, 2008 at 7:36 am

    i dont remember a lot about my childhood with my mom, pero i love her so much

    Awwww. That’s sad. :( Sayang naman.

    kulot’s last blog post…Protected: Part Two: Hard Gay

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  4. Richard | May 13th, 2008 at 11:22 am

    hi.. just stumbled here for a consultation. hehe. just kidding.

    btw, happy mother’s day to your mom.. :-)

    Hehe. Willing ka maging guinea pig? 😉

    Richard’s last blog post…A Tremendous Eco Problem

    Reply to this comment
  5. jeniffer | May 13th, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    happy mother’s day sa mama mo.. MNEL.. naku namiz ko ang blog mo.. haha.. :)

    Uy, salamat sa pagdaan. Balik ka ha? 😉

    Reply to this comment
  6. UTAKgago | May 13th, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    This is. Drama.

    Happy Mother’s Day to all the mother-figures in your life. :)


    Haha. Alam mo bang emo blog ang mga previous blogs ko? Hehe. Yeah. 2002 pa ata yung peyups account ko. Sarado na nga pala sila for new sign ups. Bleh. 😛

    UTAKgago’s last blog post…Bored, in every sense of the word.

    Reply to this comment
  7. vera | May 13th, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    hmmpf!!!i hate drama posts! EMO ka minel!! T_T

    lol 😀

    Emo. Ganyan talaga. Hehehe.

    vera’s last blog post…hmmpf

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  8. lunes | May 14th, 2008 at 9:27 am

    ako naman ang may kasalanan kung bkt fractured ang kamay ng lola ko.wehehe. uber pilya ata kasi ako nun.nailaglag ko siya sa kama.

    pero namatay na rin un.naghirap rin ako makarecover kasi un ang nagpalaki sakin.and ako ang unang apo nya.

    happy mom’s day to your mom doc..

    Awww… Ganyan talaga Lunes. Cycle of life lang talaga. 😉

    Reply to this comment
  9. mia | May 14th, 2008 at 10:26 am

    naalala ko tuloy si lola.. nalungkot tuloy ako.. naconfine din siya last year sa makati med, ayun, nakita ko kung pano siya unti unting humihina. :(

    isang taon na din na wala na siya. hay. namimiss ko ang lola ko :(

    happy mothers day doc

    Reply to this comment
  10. Yvie | May 14th, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    This is very touching Mnel. I remember Nanay, she’s very accomodating and at ease kami ni Kuya Caloy mo sa kanya. She truly is not your typical lola.

    I am saddened by the news before, but I know wherever she is, she and lolo is having a blast—partying in heaven. Don’t you think? :P!

    Belated happy mothers’ day din. :)

    Yeah. Sumunod na rin kasi si Lolo sa kanya. And may alaga na rin silang apo doon, si Brent. Sama-sama na sila. 😛

    Oo nga pala cuz, Happy Mother’s Day! Eeeek! Mom ka na nga pala! Haha. I always forget na MATANDA NA KAYONG MGA PINSAN KO. Hehehe.

    Yvie’s last blog post…Bzzzzz.

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  11. dana | May 16th, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    naalala ko tuloy ang nanay kong namatay lang last feb. 15 Haay. sakanya ko sinabi na preggy ako at hanggang sa delivery room binantayan niya ko :( happy moms day sa mother dear mo :)

    Awww… for sure, she’s looking down from heaven and natutuwa siyang makita si Dani. Ang cute naman kasi ng baby girl mo.

    Happy Mother’s Day Dana!

    dana’s last blog post…ang Inay. bow.

    Reply to this comment
  12. igno | January 24th, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    grabe namang timing… dito pa ko mag isspam.. favor doc.. kailangan lang

    japanese dating

    Reply to this comment
  13. Ria | December 31st, 2010 at 4:05 am

    ako naman ang may kasalanan kung bkt fractured ang kamay ng lola ko.wehehe. uber pilya ata kasi ako nun.nailaglag ko siya sa kama

    Reply to this comment

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