at the end of this entry is mardy's text to me after i reminded him about uncle dalmacio, how we visited him in the hospital just before he passed away. he was so different--well, at least his body was--from what we remembered him. he had turned into skin and bones, dark, dry, paper-thin skin stretched over the distinct, gangly Abuyuan frame.
i loved that man. he was the one who wrote the Ybanag version of my wedding invite. he was graceful and quiet and didn't mind a drink, any drink, as the sun went down. i can remember him leaning against the sink in the dirty kitchen, tipping his beer bottle my way, then sipping from it delicately, like it was champagne instead of San Miguel. his jaw and mouth like my own, Indonesian Class B, wide and curved, how our ancestors must've looked. he visited us every summer, or before or after the rice from my papa's land was harvested, to give us a heads up on the workers and how much the crop brought.
my Auntie Mina Falcon remembers how Uncle Dalmacio used to carry her on his shoulders as he walked her to school. he was so like my Lolo Tomas, her and my papa's father. genteel and gentle and always calm, moving like a cat. like Papa. an old boyfriend used to call Papa the Ninja. we would never hear him as he approached and caught us almost making out. but that's another story.
"Oh yeah! I remember i dreamt of him last night! We were
sitting by a grill, he was cooking and he told me not to
worry. I said about what? He said i know how you feel.
I've been there. I said what are you talking about? He hit
me on the head and smiled. I'm looking after all of you.
Then i woke up. Ganda ng dream na yun. So don't worry gina,
He's there for you!"
7 years ago