For 26 years, I have a younger sister. And that makes me feel glad, sad, bad, mad, and then glad again. 🙂
Growing up together, we had a pretty long list of crazy things we did as crazy little girls. Do you remember the tiny store we put up with friend Daisy as our sole customer? The gift hunting in Tita Yholly’s closet so we’ll have something special to give to Mama on her birthday. What about the endless fight over who’s going with her to the market? The long and tiring chase around the old mango tree every time we’re caught red handed for silly crimes we did. And the secret agreement whenever we’re forced to eat veggies.You always take small bites from my plate so I can be spared from spanking, right? And the siesta we hated so much, with the crystal clear image of the wide yard and all our neighbor friends having fun in our heads. Going to school together in a tricycle and scheming a way to get discounts from Manong driver. The petty fights over who will get the nicer toy. And will you ever forget the fire incident in Bagbaguin? The one we completely ignored despite the thick smoke entering the house because we were so into who’ll get the Ms. Asia Pacific title? What else can I think of? The field days and wearing Mama’s make up. All our Christmas dresses with little bags to match and the search for all our ninongs and ninangs. And a whole lot more.
Years passed and those stories changed. Some of them became more beautiful, others scary and sad – losing baby, missing Papa, Ondoy, getting sick, getting better, feeling down, standing up again.
I’m sorry I didn’t look after you as much as I can. I wanted so much to do it. The thing is I was also young then. I didn’t know how. We were forced to grow up due to all the many chaotic things that took place without prior warning. But the problem with learning once forced is that it never becomes that effective. You get some of it but you end up forgetting lots of it. I must say Brother Bo was again right when he said we should allow the natural ripening of things, not just things actually but even people.
We’ve been through a lot. I’m sure there will be more. As you said, we can do this! We could have done this actually, if we didn’t get scared. God bless us. Happy birthday!