My nanay turned 65 years old today. She, along with 2 of her older sisters, usually celebrate at the same time, for the simple reason that they are all born on the same date. A wonder, no? If I remember it right, nanay have 9 siblings all in all.
I didnt know what to expect, but this I know for sure, we would be talking to her on the phone and greeting her a happy birthday. Hirap ng long distance parenting ano!
The kids have already practiced their happy birthday song (although they have been singing this every time someone's celebrating a birthday), naninigurado siguro. I have the phone in the hand, when I suddenly remembered my sister telling me yesterday, as we chatted, that a cousin of us died and would be buried today. Meaning, nanay and her sister, and most of the family and relatives and friends would be attending the funeral first before celebrating. Teka, labo yata ano?
Whatever, ganon na nga yata talaga kapag tumatanda -- a celebration cannot be distincted whether it is a funeral or a birthday, basta celebrate all as long as you are sorrounded with living and loving people. I cannot blame them, they are not getting younger, too. Better to savor and enjoy the time spent with people you love.
Nanay is the 'central communication line' in her huge family - including the tita ni tita na lola ni, pinsan ng lolo ng lola ni, kapatid nung pinsan ng kapitbahay, apo sa tuhod ng tita na pinsan naman ni, inaanak sa kasal ng tita, inaanak sa binyag ng pinsan, inaanak sa kumpil ng lola, at kung ano ano pang pwedeng ikabit sa kalahian ng buong madla. Basta naging ganon lang kasi kami yata ang unang nagkaron ng telepono sa buong pamilya at pati na sa buong kapitbahayan na minsan ang feeling ko -- na kasama na pati buong kalye at kabilang kalye. Another thing is because we live near the right places -- near Makati to shop, near Pasay and Baclaran for provincial buses, near the LRT for colleges, etc.
Anyway, ayun na nga -- our house became the center of visits and calls from relatives and friends and not so friends. Nanay would get the news and she'd be expected to let the news reach the needed party. She'll do it, either by calling or visiting or by snail mails or by asking other people to spread the news. And when someone comes to visit from the provinces, our house would be the first stop. As a boarding house for those going to school or as a snack station or as a long staying until we found a job thing or as a one night stay because the bus left without us version, etc.
Oh, but everyone is welcome to our house, pati na ang apo sa sakong sakong, kung meron man non. And I admire my nanay for being so compassionate, so understanding, so gentle, so strong -- because she'll be hearing all good and not so good news, even the death of loved ones, bickerings, complaints, money problems -- whatever that needed to be said.
She's also so generous she would not think about giving her last centavos for someone to have a bus fare to school. Or a cup of rice for a neighbor who has nothing to eat.
Plus, she has instilled to us Christianity. I guess, it is easy to be inspired by her as she's showing how to be a good one with her actions.
Oh, she has her flaws, too. The most glaring would be that she loves her children too much - she would do anything for them. Spoiling them like crazy that until now, that they wont budge away from her and her thinning wallet. Ayay, mag sermon na naman si ate, hehe.
Hay, but I am a mom, too. I know how she feels. Gotta stop or else it would be real sermon for my siblings when this is suppose to be a tribute to my nanay :-)
For Nanay, 'we are real sorry that we didnt get to greet you today. I know the text message I sent you wont be enough. Promise, we would be calling you tomorrow as soon as we wake up to let you know that we love you very much.' Of course, I am also looking forward to all the chismis, hehe!
(And I will add a little prayer that my siblings would be responsible enough to know what to do without being asked, amen!)