Thursday, January 31, 2008

On Not Forgetting

Before I say goodbye to the month of January, allow me to share a glimpse of last year’s January.

These pictures with Nichi were taken a year ago.

Who would have thought that by this time, he would no longer be around? Despite the predictability of his situation, I did not really believe then that we were going to lose him so quickly.

It is distressing every time I realize how much of a kid he just was. Just look at how he played with the calendar seen at the background of our pictures.

I dreamt of him, you know? Last Christmas, I saw him wearing his new set of clothes for the season. He was ready to leave, the way he always was ready to leave first whenever we were going some place. He was all smile, waiting for us. Now that I think about it, I somehow understand what my dream meant. It gives me goosebumps.

I miss him a lot. Perhaps deep inside me, I am afraid to forget about him that’s why a day never passes without me thinking of him.

He was a happy little boy, a bit bossy sometimes. He was responsible—did his homework, even fussing over them a lot thus stressing himself out. At that point, he’d solicit our help. He had high tolerance against negative forces surrounding him, including hostile feelings towards him. But he could not help but feel affected by a juvenile rift between him and his bestfriend in school. I remember him confiding with me about it and he was on the verge of crying then. I think I told him that if he cries, he'll make me cry, too. He cared about the people around him. He made sure everyone at home would have something to eat. He’d remind you to leave some food for those who haven’t eaten yet when you are being too much of a glutton. He’d get himself involved with other people’s business, sometimes to the point of being nosy, because he ultimately wished to share his opinions on matters which he hoped to help. You’d know when he’s mad because he’d just shut up and give you a piercing look with his cute eyes, decorated with his exceptionally long lashes. You’d know when he’s sad when his eyes display those faint, red outlines, the same ones the Alaska (Milk) boy have. He had a way about munching his food. Anything he ate looked extremely delicious. He did not come short with a sense of humor. At least he had those healthy genes that make our family funny. He had such a loud voice, good for singing, laughing out loud, doing a monologue, and interrupting whatever you are watching because he just had to talk. He knew how to be sarcastic and was pretty much effective at dropping sardonic remarks. He didn't do this much, though. He had nice teeth, the nicest set among us, siblings. His skin always looked healthy, golden brown and glowing. I often teased him, “Mukha kang mayaman. Mag-ingat ka sa labas, baka ma-kidnap ka.” He had long, slender fingers which looked more feminine than mine. And he hadn’t mastered the art of clipping his own finger and toe nails; you have to do it for him. But you’ll get a kiss and a thank-you immediately after you groom him. He loved watching TV shows and movies, although at times he seemed a bit slow in comprehending what was happening. He’d bug you with his endless questions. But who isn’t confused with the show, Lost? He perennially felt hot, an electric fan had to follow him wherever he goes all the time. He obsesses on his projects or goals or what-to-buys. He wouldn’t stop until he gets them. He’s naughty and playful, just like kids his age are. He was often indecisive, taking an unusually long time thinking which item in the menu to order or what sari-sari store food to buy. But he wasn’t fond of junk food and didn’t like his food to be salty. He was aware of what was happening to him and was committed to his medications and treatments. He’d even wake you up so that you can hand him his 5 AM pills.

He’s all that and more.

Good and fun memories of him visit me all the time. They comfort me and make me smile. Still, the tormenting final moments of his life still haunt me. I guess, I cannot separate both sets of Nichi moments from each other.

And if it’s the price I have to pay for not forgetting, then I’d take it. No protests whatsoever.