Alfred is currently in Bicol – Jose Panganiban town to be specific, in Camarines Norte. Unlike other times that he visited his grandmother there though, he considers this the worst time. His lola is probably around 88 years old already, and very frail. They are there to spend some time with her, and perhaps, see her alive for the last time.
The boyfriend was pretty close to his lola. She lived with them for many years, and he even had to share his room with her. So I understand how this is very hard for him. His Lola has been sickly, and I’ve urged him to go visit her since last month but he refuses to go. I think staying away was his way to deny the possibility that she might go very soon.
He sent me a message today saying that he’s finally come to terms with the inevitable. Of course, we all continue to pray for longer life for his Lola, but whatever God wills…
It is sad that I still have not met Lola, although we have talked about her a lot, and she’s asked for me over the years too. We always said that this year would be the year I’d get to visit her. Unfortunately, I decided to move to a new job and going on an extended leave just isn’t possible for me at this point. So the boyfriend left with his brother yesterday, without me.
But I don’t need to be there to pray for her, and to send her virtual hugs and warm thoughts. You could too. Pray for her well-being and we’ll forever thank you for doing so. While you’re at it, pray for their entire family too.
So yes, this isn’t a fun vacation for the boyfriend. No trips to the beach, or fun swim at the river, he’d might as well get tanning bed lotions to have the tan he used to always sport after his brief visits to Bicol. But more than missing out on the fun they usually have, I hope he gets to really appreciate this precious opportunity he has to be with his Lola again. I know that even if we lived in the same address as my own Lola did in the last few years of her life, I still felt like I could have spent more time with her. Specially when she was sick. Though I spent nights caring for her in the hospital too, I still feel like I wasn’t there for her because I wasn’t there when she finally crossed over. I wasn’t there while the rest of the family gathered around her bed as she breathed her last.
I completely empathize with the boyfriend because I know how much he will miss his Lola when she goes. But she’s still around now, and he has to learn to appreciate that and treat each day as a precious gift. (Too bad he can’t stay longer and will have to head back to Manila tomorrow. Work obligations.)