Wednesday, May 24, 2006

matriarch ['mA-trE-"ärk]
a woman who rules a family, clan, or tribe; a highly respected woman who is a mother
Synonyms include: dame, dignified woman, dowager, matron, mother

I talked to Mamang (my mom’s mom who lives in the Philippines) a couple days ago to greet her a “Happy 76thbirthday!” I get really sad when I talk to her. She had a stroke a long time ago and her speech is a bit slurred and, though I understand everything she says, I just feel so bad for her sometimes. I feel guilty that we’re not there to take care of her and I have to keep myself from crying every time I hear her voice. I left the Philippines when I was 4 years old and didn’t return until 19 years later. Mamang and I kind of missed out on each other’s lives for almost 2 decades, minus the occasional long distance phonecalls and cards. Sometimes I think that if she and Papang (God rest his soul) lived here, they might’ve had a healthier time in life. My mom went home to the Philippines last year to help throw Mamang a 75th birthday party and she was so happy in the pictures! It really helped me feel better (though I realize that was not the intention. Way to be self-centered, Anna!) Anyhow, I just miss her so much right now.

And then there’s Nanay (my dad’s mom). She was admitted to Temple Community Hospital on Tuesday because her right leg swelled up and she could hardly walk. I visited her last night and she looks good! Maybe this is the Lord’s way of telling her to rest for once. Nanay can’t ever just loaf around. She always needs to be doing laundry, cooking, washing dishes, dusting, etc. I guess it’s her way of staying active. She takes walks around the neighborhood sometimes, having made friends with this elderly Armenian lady two houses down. With both their limited English, I can’t imagine the unspoken bond they’ve somehow developed, but it’s there.

Both my grandmothers were/are wives of outspoken men, the mothers of 6 and 7 children respectively, and between them have 16 grandchildren. They’re women of so very few words, but whose demeanor commands the greatest amount of love and respect from everyone who meets them. Becoming half the wonderful women that they are would be my greatest inheritance.

1 comment:

Cristina said...

I love the way the write Anna!! I miss my grandma now. =/