Friday, April 04, 2008
One Month Later

There's a box of brownie mix across the kitchen that's begging to baked for the sheer boredom of it. But then, I can't eat what I won't bake right? Right. I'm already at 170 lbs, and when I came back to Manila I was at a nice 160. Now that I'm in the land of plenty, it's easy to waste all the hard work I inadvertently put in for the last 6 months I spent in Japan (back when I was firmly at 200). My cousin Ben is coming over in less than an hour to pick me up for a long overdue visit to In N' Out, which is going to derail my weight maintenance plans for sure.

I should go back a few weeks though. So we came back from Japan on March 3rd because the company decided to shut down their Manila branch, thereby prematurely ending our training contract. All's well that ends well I say because I wouldn't have wanted to pursue a long-term career with them anyway. What happened was a good excuse for us to go home and I don't mind that at all. There are times when I miss being in Japan, taking in the culture through simple things like biking along the city's sidewalks and interacting with the locals. I certainly don't miss working for the company under the guise of training, but all in all I did enjoy myself in spite of the difficulties that Lyn and I went through. I'm making an effort towards emotional maturity and part of that involves me not looking back in anger.

I then spent the next three weeks catching up on lost time with our dear Dan and did a bit of job hunting as well. Boy, Dan was really happy to see us - he was talkative and excited to see us on the way to the airport to pick us up, but when I carried him in my arms he was quiet for a good half hour or so. He said nothing and just clung to me with his head resting on my shoulder. I suppose there are moments that are so good that they're beyond words.

For the meantime, I'm back to my work-from-home job but doing that from my deceased aunt's (God rest her soul) home in California. My other aunt lives here now with my sick grandma whom I came to visit. My grandmother is not doing too well because she refuses to eat, although her vitals are pretty good for someone who's 92. Her condition is much like a yo-yo; she has good days (as good as it gets anyway) and then there are bad days where she doesn't eat the whole day. I noticed that when she's properly nourished, she's alert and interacts with us. When she doesn't want to eat, she's obviously weak and withdrawn from us. It even came to a point when we thought she was going to go soon. Although she is mostly bedridden, technically she doesn't have any life-threatening illnesses. She did have a case of pneumonia and had to be confined at the hospital for a few days last week, but she's back home and resting. Lately she's been eating three times daily and I even baked a batch of brownies recently, two of which she ate.

From my personal observation, Mama Osang (how we address her) is simply tired, mentally and spiritually. Physically, she could probably live several more years, maybe well into her hundreds even. But she has been through a lot. Early in my dad and his sibling's lives, Mama raised her ten children as a widow (three of which have passed on). My grandfather died when Dad was just nine and Mama had to manage a business on her own, not to mention having to hide her beloved children from the Japanese troops during the war. So now, everyone here is playing it by ear and taking it one day at a time.

We are happy that Mama is doing better these recent days, but cautiously happy as my cousin PJ advises. To quote my other cousin Diana, she is the rock of our family, the glue that has held us together over the challenging decades our family has gone through. Mama's modest, prim and proper demeanor has taught her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren the importance of good manners and playing fair with our neighbors. I am preparing for the event of her passing, but I have on one occasion felt a great deal of sadness to the point of tears. When I was younger, I said and did a lot of things that I'm not proud of but despite that Mama has told me before, "mabait ka, dito ka na lang tumira". And it is those words that strike me the most, because she can see good in others even when they can't see it in themselves.

I'm pretty much figuring out things out for now, but I'm not going to spend too much time away from Dan. Like Lyn says, he'll only be young once so we have to make the most of his childhood and enjoy his company during his formative years. Who knows where we'll be by the year's end? Only time can tell. I only pray for the prosperity that will allow me to provide the good life that my wife and son deserves.