Of course when you visit the graveyard, you know that your loved ones are no longer there, under the ground are skeletal remains of their temporal lives, and many of us visit every November 1 in keeping with the Filipino tradition of lugging our tupperware of adobo and kare-kare and our transistor radio and mahjong set; karaoke, tents, folding chairs, sleeping mats; trooping with the multitude, hordes of like-minded Filipinos dragging our belongings and thermos and potholders like refugees on the fall of Iraq.

           But for some, it isn’t about the fiesta or the vacation. We look at the headstones and remember the childhood and the summers, low-hanging branches of guava trees that cradled many afternoons of looking at caterpillars, of bougainvillea flowers gathered up in handfuls offered at the feet of a blue Virgin Mary statue, running with a white dog named Whitey and a brown one my sister called Lassie, a black cat with a small white zigzag stripe named Hitler and four ducklings and a turtle , blowing small breaths at spiders in matchboxes that my brothers called spiders’ apartments because of the partitions; wooden trolleys and carts and tumbang preso, anthills and fistfights, tumbling and falling, chicken pox, measles, graduations; we remember and we know we never thanked our loved ones enough for allowing us to gather as many flowers as we could and balance on as many stone fences all afternoon as long as we knew how to get home at sundown; content with watching us grow, without expectations, even as they tell us we exceeded them. I know that “thank you” is not enough and hope i could do something for the dearth of this expression.

This entry was posted by chattel.

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