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rainy

today was my grandmother's viewing. it started at 9 am. we arrived at about 8:50 and were still late. whatever happened to filipino time?

i don't know why, i'm not so comfortable saying "grandma" in terms of my own unless i am (was) talking to her. i can say "grandma" to the kids when talking about their grandmothers, but i am... relentlessly formal about my own. (i refer to my other grandmother as "my father's mother," but that is for a different reason. formality is one thing, dislike for an entire branch of "family" -- i only refer to them as "family" so as to not offend my father's memory -- is another.)

we only stayed for about three hours. nola woke up with a fever, so i wasn't so keen on having her out there for that long. my mom, intentionally or not, made me feel bad about not planning on staying longer, but please -- the children have to come first. if the family doesn't understand that i can't stick around because of a sick child, well, to hell with them. (later my mom called and said that other people showed up sans husbands because the men were staying home with sick kids. well.) and then it started to rain, which kept me from wanting to return later. she said it was okay, and the guilt dissipated, sort of.

one of my cousins put together a lovely video full of family pictures -- i hadn't realized my grandmother was so photogenic. some of those pictures were really nice. i teared up at a lot of them -- but i think the worst tear-inducing ones were the ones taken at the hospital and one picture of my grandparents, father, brother and mother at our old house. the house is gone, all of them but my mom are gone... i felt like wailing at the top of my lungs. my situation is hardly unusual -- people DIE, for crissakes, but there was something about that picture that hurt.

my aunt's ex-husband showed up (because he had to sign some paperwork for the gravesites -- i don't quite understand this, but since he was still married to my aunt when the other three people in their plots died, i guess maybe he signed something then, too?) and that was a bit of a shock. haven't seen him since his youngest daughter's wedding about 3-4 years ago. he stopped by to see me before he left and said that he missed only two of us (a cousin and myself) from the family -- hope he wasn't including his own children in that grouping -- and it made me cry a little bit. he was my favorite uncle once. not sure that i ever replaced him, but the time for that sort of labeling has come and gone.

after we left the viewing, we stopped by the gravesites (oh dear god, they had marked out my grandmother's spot in bright orange paint), then went out for lunch at a nearby outdoor outlet mall (stayed there until moments before the rain started), then dropped off paul at his grandparents' house. we headed home with the intention of cleaning, but it didn't really work out that way. i felt bad about not returning to the cemetery, but the rain put an end to that.

what a tiring day. no wonder cam thought it needed to be finished off with alcohol. i think i agree with him (i say with gin and tonic in hand). more than that, i think this day just needs to be over.

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