I am sixth in line of the grandkids. That makes me not the favorite. In short, my eldest sister is. Every time Lola comes home from the market. She would have something special for my sister. We would get something too but not the special cake or anything good for her. My grandmother is not discreet in showing she favors my sister. My cousins and I learned to accept our place and be content with what we get. I still remember Christmas time and we would put our socks in her house too. That is really exciting because we know our socks will be full of goodies. We were early knocking at her door and there it was, our socks were full. I immediately checked all the goodies I got. I was counting the cookies and hug my baby doll. Then, I saw my sister got a bigger doll that walks and sleeps. I was not really jealous and I know my sister will let me play with her doll.
“Don’t use that plate. Those are for the visitors.” My grandmother would tell us. I think it is the tradition that she learned from her mother too. She would let us use the daily plates and utensils. I don’t really understand why the good plates, glasses, utensils, pillow cases, and sheets will be used by the people we don’t know. She would explain that they are visitors or guests so we treat them with our best. Filipinos are hospitable so that figures.
“They are all gone.” My sister said. We woke up and all the doors were open. My grandmother immediately called my mom and dad. We love to sleep over in my grandma’s house but we are just next door. All the good things were stolen. My grandma was really so devastated that day. She could not believe everything was gone. Her beautiful curtains and nice china were all gone. I wonder why we were not able to wake up. We found a burned black thing outside the window. The neighbors said it must be a thing that will put people in a deep sleep. I could not believe how it happened. The thieves were caught but they already sold the things they stole. From that experience I made sure that we use the nice plates and not wait for visitors to come and use it.
The Horror House
My parents weren't home and so the mischievous children had a plan. Wanted to make a horror house. So we shut all the windows, tied shoes, put a pillow on the back of my brother, then tied a candle to make it look like it is flying. For us it looks so fun. Here comes our cousins and we started our horror house. Then my grandmother heard all the noise in the house. She came with a scissor and cut everything we made. She was so angry and scolded all of us. That is not the end of it. My mom and dad will have another round of scolding too. We learned not to make our house a horror house again. That was fun though.
Asthma usually attacks in September. My grandmother would have difficulty breathing and she always ended up in the hospital. It is not fun for her but for her grandkids it is a treat. I am not being mean but we love to visit her in the hospital. My mom and dad would take us in turns. Because hospitals are not really good for children. I would be so excited if I was chosen to visit. I would like to see my grandma and also the gifts she gets. She can’t eat all the oranges, apples, and other food that is given to her. Then I would tell my brothers and sisters what I ate. They would be so jealous and would be able to be the next one to visit. Yes, it is weird but those are some memories that hospitals make me smile and feel so sad.
Can you pray while you are in pain? My grandma is very religious. She grew up under the Spaniards. They just followed what is being said by those leaders of the government. She was taught to pray the rosary kneeling down and arms sideward. Growing up doing that is a pain. At six o’clock we would gather and pray the rosary. You can’t move your arms down and if a mosquito bites you can’t hit it. You turn your head and blow as hard as you can.
I did not remember when we stopped doing that. We still pray the rosary but we are given the choice to kneel or sit. I think that is one of the ways of praying that I don’t miss. It is hard.
Last Hospital Trip
I still remember that day. All of us grandkids want to visit her and it is because of the treats we get. My mom and dad told us to stay except for our eldest sister and one of our cousins. That made me so sad because I really loved my grandma even though I am not her favorite because I know she loves me too.
My mom and dad came and told us that she passed away. I cried that day and could not believe we would not see her again. Who will scold us, who will give us some candy, who will prepare a good meal for us, who will tell us all the stories about the war and who will …