Monday, March 2, 2009

Silent Shores

I started walking when I was only 8 month-old and had learned to talk and mumble few words when I was 10-month old. I was so talkative and restless. I knew the alphabet when I was only 3 years old. I draw a dog without a head when I was 4 and when asked where’s the dog’s head- I just said it’s covered because the dog is eating something from the can. I always sing while sitting in our stairways waiting for my Father to come home but they don’t quiet understand the song I’m singing coz I was out of tune and murmuring like reciting a poem. These and all the endless memories my Mom always shares in the table when we eat our meals. I understand how thrilled they were when I was growing up aside from the fact that I’m their oldest. I always felt confident, better than my other siblings and smart every time my Mom kept repeating the same stories. Of course, I don’t remember any of it except the vague memories of alphabets all over our walls. We have ample of Pepsi’s cardboards & catalogs at the time when my father worked in the company. My Mom diligently wrote alphabets on it and stamped it on our walls. I remembered pointing the letter S for our last name, P for Pepsi until I memorized it.

We have a neighbor and he’s a doctor who really loved talking to me when I was about 2 years old. He’s so fascinated at how talkative, fluent and clever I was. I answer all their questions with all its innocence and cleverness. During weekdays, he would come to our house and borrow me from my Mom. He’d bring me to the hospital with him (where he worked) and all the Nurses were amused by my being so talkative. One time, I fell off the hammock while my Mom was doing the laundry (outside) coz the Doctor’s daughter tried to steal me and they wanted to play with me. They never had young kids in their house at the time. Good thing to know that we live in a small town, lol!

I grew up terribly shy. I don’t know why. I don’t go to their house anymore when I was in grade school. When I found out that he’s not really a relative, I felt more embarrassed showing my respect by kissing his hands (a Filipino tradition) knowing that he’s a rich and well-respected doctor and we are just so poor. His wife would ask me to come over their house if they have occasions but I never really go. Yes, I changed a lot.

I passed the Licensure Exams and became a licensed Engineer. He was so proud to congratulate my parents. My Mom just told me about it. I saw him by himself sitting in the waiting shed. He was so skinny and already on his mid-70’s, retired. I felt I wanted to say “hi” and “thanks for remembering me” but my shyness overpowered me. It’s too late, I thought. It’s been 20 years and had never really talked to him like a grown-up. I don't even remember having a conversation with him. I was just so intimated. Well, he's got an intimidating personality but mellowed down a bit on his older days.

Last weekend, I received a text message from my Mom telling me that he just passed away and his wake is in our tiny chapel. Wheew! I felt really bad knowing how wonderful he was to me when I was a toddler and all those memories my Mom kept reminding me. All I can offer is my fervent prayer that his soul may rest in eternal peace.

I learned a hard lesson from it: Never take anyone or anything for granted.
Shawie

7 Grateful Heart's Words:

Debbie said...

How true your words are! Being shy can get in the way and we end up missing out on much. It sounds like you were very intelligent, even as a little one. Some people are more comfortable writing and maybe that's you. You have a gift and I'm glad you use it. Let your light shine, Shawie. And I'm sorry about the loss of this old friend.

Etavasi said...

Hmm hard to explain, I just don't understand, why suddenly feel shy after grow up.. hehee.. nice story..

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Those are wonderful memories to reminisce by. We do all sorts of things when we were younger and as we grew older, we can't seem to relate to them anymore. You should not feel guilty about the doctor. You were just a part of his yesteryears. Thanks for the post. God bless you always.

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SHIELA said...

I think I need that lesson as well.

I lost my Dad already Sha but we did not settle the way he wanted. Sad :(