Smile naman Lola!

Smile naman Lola!

Remedios.  That was my lola’s name.  Meding or Miding for short.

I have a lot of memories of my Lola Miding.  She is one of the few people I know who is always laughing.  At everything.  At anything.  Always laughing.

What’s funny is that when it’s time for photo taking, she would rarely smile.  She just wouldn’t! Lol. As a result most family photos would show her pouting while everyone around her smiles.  Well, almost everyone — some of her daughter seems to have inherited that no-smiling-on-the-photo trait 🙂 Thank goodness there were some photos when she did smile but super tipid.

She is one of the best persons to give a present to.  Why?  Because she shows her appreciation right from the time you give something to her, up to when people are talking to her and she won’t stop mentioning you gave her something.  Everytime I gave her something, she would scream.  As in scream.

I gave her a small pot of tiny roses.  She screamed “Ayyyyyyyyyyyyy! Rosesssssss!”.  Everytime I brought a tray of quiche she would scream “Ayyyyyyyyyyyyy!  Tsiken Quichhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”.   She would appreciate anything you give her.  Anything.  Whatever it is.  And that is why it feels so good giving to her.

In the same way that she appreciates everything she gets, she is also the most generous.  She would invite in her home those people who walked past that looked like they were homeless.  She would serve them food and sometimes even invite them to take a shower in her own bathroom.  I believe this gesture of kindness from her probably changed a lot of people’s lives we would never ever know about.

She loves the Lord and Mother Mary.  I remember her praying the rosary.

I can’t imagine how she was able to raise 11 children — 6 boys and 5 girls!  Wow.  I am not surprised though that she was able to.  She is very “maabilidad”.  She is not the type of person who would just do nothing.  She would always find ways.  In the last few times I saw her, she said that she cooks lunch for her neighbors to buy.  And having tasted her cooking, I would say her neighbors had a feast when they buy from her.

The one thing that would stand out in my memory whenever I remember my Lola Meding is this:  Bingo.  I have never seen anyone who loves Bingo more than she did.  The first time we, her grandchildren, played Bingo with her, my world was a dizzy whirl.  She called the numbers without the letter and in a speed that would break the sound barrier.  I was like “ah, ah, ah, what number did she just say? wait, wait, wait!”  She would already have a bingo sometimes after only 4 numbers were called!  And she would be playing with like 12 bingo cards at a time!  She wouldn’t just be playing her cards, she would also be looking at everyone’s cards as well!  Hence, you cannot, should not, talk while playing Bingo with her because you will be left behind.  Like we always were.

My family last visited her a few weeks before flying to Australia.  She was wistful and had wished us a good life and had asked us to wish her children here all the best as well.  Her home was quiet that day.  Her home was missing the laughter and the singing that used to be ever present.  There was some sadness surrounding me in a way.  She was a picture of health and happiness, though in her eyes I could see that she is ready for when her time came to go home to the Lord.  She was genuinely happy for all her children and grandchildren and though she was sad to see us go, she was happy that we have a chance to bring up our daughter (who was at that time still in my tummy) in what she believes is a better country.

A few months after our daughter was born, Lola Miding went peacefully in her sleep.  And while her loved ones shed tears for their mother and grandmother and friend, the angels rejoiced in her homecoming.


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