’TWAS the prettiest Valentine’s morning sight: a clump of deep pink bougainvillea flowers seemingly straining to “get inside” the screened bed room window of my late brother, who handed on 5 years in the past.
Then I observed how expansive the flowers had grown, pink blossoms fantastically coexisting with the white flowers of the Kalachuchi tree that have been planted along with the bougainvillea once we first moved into the home 14 years in the past.
The pink and white blooms blended effectively because the branches appeared to stretch ever extra heavenward, with some diverging towards the window the place I had usually caught Kuya Ed staring out on mornings as he prayed; or just mirrored on a life seemingly wrung dry by heartaches, however nourished always by his religion that love is both simply ready not far away or one thing one makes.
The pink and white blooms had additionally shaped, 5 years after his premature dying in December 2015, a thick, pretty carpet on the picket trellis just under his window. As if a reminder of another path he had always fantasized about, the place a beautiful bride would stroll down towards him, fetched by his loving gaze.
Comfortable Valentine’s Kuya Ed! It took this clump of pink flowers straining to enter your room, to remind me that, all this time, it was for you such a day as this was made. Since you had looked for the one real love, in useless, all of your 60 years of life on earth, solely to battle with one heartache after one other. This present day is for you as a result of, in your disappointment, you poured out all of your love on those closest to you—mother, auntie, and us, your three sisters and cousin-sister; and later, your ever-growing gaggle of nephews and nieces.
Come to think about it, most Valentine’s have been spent with you quietly at house, us sipping beer or wine which you painstakingly curated as a result of that was your job, in any case. We largely ended up with you on Valentine’s as a result of my husband of practically 40 years had sworn, on our first Valentine’s as a pair, that we’d by no means once more mark the day: all as a result of I did not fly again in time from a protection and he, the newly minted boyfriend, waited six hours, flowers, candies, balloons and all, for a date who by no means got here.
So I performed together with that “sumpa” and we prevented Valentine’s in our 40 years collectively—avoiding, as effectively, the visitors, the congested restos, and all of the industrial blitz that we felt so cheapened a day of affection.
In avoiding mixing with the crowds, we invariably ended up with you, all three of us nursing drinks as we mused over the ladies who got here into your life however didn’t keep.
We your sisters by no means fairly understood how all this might occur, when everybody might see you have been good-looking and really good. You overcame a speech defect to change into a salesman – of wines and liquor. Fairly a feat, as you have been pressured to speak to some essential individuals, and in time grew to become so good at it.
However beneath the sometimes raucous ingesting periods and small events you favored to attend, at all times the loneliness was palpable. Was it since you had such very “excessive” requirements of the girl you wish to be with, or was it only a case of plain lucklessness? We’ll by no means know. However one factor we do know—in all of the years that the ineffable disappointment trailed you, you compensated by pouring out your love on these round you. Like us.
Keep in mind Grade 3 in San Juan? The way you regarded for Pedro, that down-on-his-luck child whom you’d “adopted,” kind of, by giving him your baon since you pitied him? Keep in mind the way you angrily pulled him by the collar and boxed him, as a result of he referred to as me “pilantod” months after I recovered from delicate polio and was present process remedy?
Keep in mind second 12 months highschool in Paco? While you rushed contained in the church, after lessons, as a result of an previous man had made lewd advances on me?
Keep in mind that serial, bike-riding maniac on Fabie Property, who favored to prey on ladies out to purchase pan de sal on early mornings? Hmmmm….was that daddy’s air gun you took out to chase the man?
I don’t know why it was that you just have been at all times the one who occurred to be there in your sisters’ moments of misery, however I thank God perpetually you have been there. By way of all of the years you grew to become cranky, sometimes arduous to know, the love and safety you have been so fast to supply us at all times served like a lifetime “move” for all of the imperfections. And but, it was our tragedy that we did not see actually up shut how the disappointment was consuming you up, maybe making it a lot simpler so that you can rationalize, unconsciously, not giving your well being extra critical consideration.
Possibly if we had regarded extra intently, possibly you’d be round nonetheless this Valentine’s sipping beer with me and hubby, an unlikely trio of souls blissful sufficient to only stare at pink flowers seemingly aching to “gatecrash” our small celebration.
Possibly…however regrets should not have any room on this dialog, solely the enjoyment arising from a certainty that after we had such a tremendous earthly companion who cherished us, in his personal method, although the love he needed saved eluding him. The calendar in your bed room has remained, 5 years later, on the day you final crossed out that fateful day in December, only a few days earlier than Christmas and your birthday. We are going to at all times preserve it there, along with your “XXXXX” and all, to remind us that, just like the flowers, life goes on as seasons change, with the one immutable factor referred to as love as our solely motive for being. Be proud of God, my Kuya Valentine.