Her name was Norma Duran, but was affectionally called Lola Mommy by her closest loved ones.
She was a well-rounded kind of person: strict but caring, beautiful but dangerously intelligent, stubborn but understanding. And to be completely honest, I have vague memories of her only because I knew her best when I was a child when she would baby-sit my brother and I. Still, I didn’t think I would be this affected by her passing, even though we didn’t connect as much growing older. I wish I could have spent more time with her and I regret that I didn’t take the initiative. When she passed away on January 25, 2018, it was too soon, and my entire family came together, complete for the first time, to mourn her death and celebrate her life.
Grandma did a lot in her life. She studied at one of the most prestigious universities in the Philippines, got her Doctorate Degree in Education all the while sending 7 children to school, had a large family, had a true love type of relationship with her husband, and was overall a woman who had a big heart with lots of love to give. She lived a full life and I doubt she had any regrets when she passed.
Staring at her face at her viewing made me come to terms about a lot of things going on in my personal life. Something that really struck me was that death was certain, and it couldn’t be predicted in most circumstances. But if I were to die today, god-forbid, what is it that I’d want to have done? What really matters?
I confess that perhaps I didn’t make the best choices for myself. I feared financial instability so majored in something I wasn’t remotely passionate about, and ended up in a thankless job where the motto seems to be ‘live to work’. On the other hand it allows me to have a steady flow of income at the cost of my youth. Looking at grandma’s sleep-like face, I asked myself why I couldn’t be more brave and just take the leap like she did. And it occurred to me that I may be afraid of failure or being judged.
This year, I’m hoping to build my courage and take more risks. I hope to follow my grandmother’s footsteps and live a life I won’t regret. And maybe one day, I’ll look back and laugh about why I didn’t figure things out sooner. I may have not had the most memories of grandma, but the realization of how beautiful her life was has made a lasting impression on my drive to be a better me.
Thanks for reading and I hope you’re living the life you want wherever you are 🙂