Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head...

Tropical Storm Chedeng is reportedly heading out of the Philippines after dumping much-needed rain on the country these past couple of days. It's been a relatively dry year for us this 2007. I remember a couple of years ago that we had somewhere around thirty storms battering our islands. It felt like we were doomed to nothing but rain-filled days that left our hair flat.

Suffice it to say that we're used to days that keep us trapped at home while the rain pours outside. When my mother first moved us to the Philippines when I was in the sixth grade, I remember eagerly anticipating the official announcement that classes would be suspended. (One would think that it would automatically be a given seeing how bad our streets flood.) But wait we did and until told so, we went about our usual morning routine, but making sure to bring windbreakers and rain gear.

It was such a long, long time ago. We had a driver and my mom always brought and picked me up from school. Embarrassingly up until college! (We'll talk about that some other time...)

Nowadays, my life is completely different. I grew up to be a street smart single mom who is solely responsible for another human being. A far cry from the helpless nineteen-year old kid whose husband left her a little over a year after getting married. My mother took care of me and K up until the day she died in 1997. She had a massive stroke five days after her sixty-seventh birthday.

Rainy Window from milov.nl
Sometimes when I commute home at night, I think about how my mom used to wait up for me even when I could drive. How she always made sure there was some food left over from dinner for me to eat. I miss her.

The littlest things remind me of my long-dead parents. I try to imagine what they would say to me now and what they think about what I'm about to do. I know my American father would be ecstatic. And my Filipina-Italian-American mother always encouraged me to move back someday.

As I come to grips with all the documents that I am gathering from files labeled as "Important", a date leaps out to me. It is September 20, 1980; the date indicated on my Philippine Immigration Certificate. This is the day that I am tentatively scheduled to leave.

I find it poetic. To leave on the same day I arrived twenty-seven years ago. I came here kicking and screaming; I leave with a certain sadness. If not for the Grace of God, I would be an emotional wreck.

So here's to rainy days that bring memories afloat; of days gone by with dearly missed parents; departure dates that are apt.

And the Grace of God that is more than enough.

song playing on K's ipod: svefn-g-englar by sigur ros

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