Today is Sunday. It is Family day, yes, but it’s usually a different Family day for me. I usually spend my Sunday with my Feast Family. Today, I decided to come home early.
After my 7:30am mass service, I changed clothes and immediately drove to Festival for the First session of the Feast. I arrived just in time for the talk, the first one for the Delete series. The topic was very practical and timely, as always. But I will talk about that some other time.
I went to Cainta after, for a competitor check. My boyfriend invited me to his relatives’ place in a nearby subdivision, but I thought about my own family, and how I should spend time with them first.
On my drive home, I kinda cried thinking about my family. I thought about my encounter earlier with an elderly co-servant, and how I wouldn’t want the same fate with my family.
Tita Susan asked me how many siblings I have, and I said that I have a brother. I then remember that she has the same set of kids, Ate Bembem and Kuya Ompong, who were my former church choir co-members. Kuya Ompong died of a heart attack a few years ago, which I think definitely broke her heart. Ate Bembem moved to the States to work, leaving her own family back here.
I used to see updates of Ate Bembem in Facebook: playing by the snow, enjoying coffee by the furnace, things one would normally do in a country of four seasons. Remembering these, I asked Tita Susan about Ate Bembem…
Then regretted having asked.
She looked like she was caught off guard and didn’t know what to say. She looked like she was holding back tears. I knew it was bad that we were talking during the mass. But I felt worse knowing that I must have tapped some unreleased hurt.
After a break, I apologized for asking, as it was really an innocent question. Still I got curious and asked if she kept tabs with her. I somehow put the words in her mouth, that she hasn’t heard from her for quite sometime already.
As I was driving home after a quick stop over to perk up, I thought about my family. I wanted to bring home something. Basically, I want to bring home myself to them.
When I was done parking in the garage, I greeted my usual perked-up hello. My mom, infected by my perkiness, answered by asking why I’m home early. They were all surprised, because they are used to me being gone during weekends for the Feast. I just said that I have the right to come home early, so I did!
As we are co-servants in our parish, I told my mom about Tita Susan. But I didn’t tell her how that affected me.
The thing is, I don’t want that to happen to my parents. I don’t want them to be stopped at their tracks, choking on tears when asked about me or my brother. I don’t want them to miss me because I can’t get to spend time with them. I don’t want them to wonder how I am, or even worry about how I am doing. I want them to know about the things that happen to me first hand, and not know about it from someone else, or worst, be the last persons to find out.
When I was younger, even if my mom was a fulltime office employee, and my dad an OFW, I never felt their absence. My dad was not an absentee father. My mom had time for her kids. And while I still live under their roof, I definitely don’t want to be the “absentee” daughter.
God made me go home early today. I already spent my first few hours of the day hanging out at His home. Now He wants me to spend time with Him in the home He made for me.