Write Yourself Alive: Day Four – Birthday Buddy

Today’s Prompt: Write a letter/poem/story to/ about the person involved in your last heartbreak (friend, family or lover). Say everything you couldn’t say then or still can’t say now, unless it is through art. Open up.

Grandma & I (with my brother in the background).
Grandma & I (with my brother in the background).

I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to you.

I remember being five years old, sitting in your kitchen in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro. I remember watching you fry up some suman, and telling you that I’d be the first dela Luna to go to culinary school and make you proud. I did it. And when I called you up after I graduated, I remember that choked up sound in your voice, telling me how proud you were.

Last we chatted face to face, it was over thanksgiving brunch in Toronto, October 2013. My sister and I had an amazing time with you, chatting about old memories, laughing about how well-dressed you continued to be with your pretty scarves, your perfectly coiffed hair, your smile, and your bright eyes. I still remember saying some smartass joke and you (as I walked with you, holding you to my side) smacked my arm the way you always do, hushing me for it, but keeping that twinkle in your eye because you still thought it was funny anyway.

I remember helping you into the taxi that afternoon, promising to see you again as soon as we could. I remember you telling me repeatedly how proud you were of me and my accomplishments. I remember you telling me you loved me so very much.

Your faith in me was always one of my greatest sources of strength. I never got to thank you for that.

Growing up, celebrating my birthday was always fun. Like clockwork, two days after it, no matter where you or I were in the world, we’d give you a call, because it was your birthday next. You were my birthday buddy.

I turned 26 a few weeks ago. This was my first birthday without a birthday buddy.

You raised ten children, who then gave you twenty four grandchildren, who then gave you a host of great grandchildren… and they’re all around the globe looking up to you, admiring you, missing and loving you.

I’m lucky to be one of them.

I know you’re looking out for us all now, and I know you celebrated our birthdays too.

I bet you still have that perfectly coiffed hair up there.

I love you, lola. See you when I see you.

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