I am having some bad insomnia. I rarely have a whole night’s sleep. When I am able to sleep for one night, the next night I would be completely awake till day break. If I take a nap during day time, the more I will not be able to get some sleep at night.
Four nights ago, I was still wide awake by 3 in the morning. I really couldn’t sleep. My mind wandered kung anu-ano na ang naiisip ko. Then I started thinking about my parents. And strangely enough, I missed my mother’s storytelling. I missed listening to her stories. Eh nung araw, pag nagkukwento sya, naiinis ako. I didn’t want to listen. I ignored her kwentos. I would pretend to be listening out of respect but in reality, I wasn’t interested to listen, kasi pang dalawampung kwento na nya yun.
Now that I am in that age, mahilig na rin akong magkwento and maybe my children also are bored with my stories.
When I am irritated with my husband, I will tell Oyen, when he is irritated with me, he will tell Oyen too. That’s why my daughter feels like she’s a marriage counselor or a therapist.
When my mom was still living, that was also what she did. Every chance she gets, she vents out her frustrations. Ngayon ko naisip, my God, I was such a bad daughter. I wished I was more sympathetic to my mom. I wished I was more a dutiful and loving daughter. She probably needed a friend but I was the least interested to be by her side when she was feeling down. Now I understand her situation.
Twenty nine years ago, we stayed in Via Melina, San Lorenzo, California for a few months with my parents. Since I didn’t work, I just stayed home with Oyen and my mom.
I will spend hours stuck in a chair listening to my mom’s stories. Nung araw, nung panahon ng hapon, nung panahon ng kastila, nung panahon ng Americano, yung buhay nya sa Pila-pila. Her face always lights up when she starts reminiscing her days with her parents, with her brother na merong anting-anting.
Her face turns sour when she talks about yung mga tiga Binangonan na mga balasubas, mapagsamantala, mga tsismosa, mga inggitera.
My mom would vent out her frustrations in life, yung mga tampo nya sa mga kuya ko, sa Papa, sa mga manugang nya. Her favorite topic aside from her life with her parents and only brother was how she and my father were able to survive and provide for us. That was something she was really proud of and I must say, all of us. Sobrang sipag nilang dalawa, matyaga, at hindi sila nang-abala at nanloko ng ibang tao para itaguyod ang kanilang pamilya. Hindi tulad ng maraming tiga Binangonan na hanggang ngayon ay dala-dala pa ring ang masasamang ugali na nanloloko ng kapwa, kaya hindi mga umaasenso.
It just occurred to me that I am now in the same stage as my mother. although I don’t talk for hours telling about my life, Oh my buhay allows me to tell bits and pieces of my experiences. I am able to vent out some of my frustrations although controlled and I can also express some of my joys thru my diary. At least I have an imaginary listener any time of the day. Unlike during my mom’s time, she didn’t have a diary, she didn’t have a blog, she had to wait for me, for my brothers to listen to her stories and most of the time we were not there. She was always by herself. Parang ngayon ko naisip, kawawa naman ang mama ko, wala syang makausap.
Sorry Ma. I wish I knew better.
Go visit your parents. Just sit there and listen to their stories. One day, they won’t be around anymore no matter what you do. No matter what you have achieved, they won’t be there anymore to share in your glory, in your frustrations. They maybe the most imperfect people on earth but they are your parents. God gave them to you. And no matter what, they love you with all their hearts.