Earlier today, I was having lunch with my eyes still half-open even after eight hours of sleep. As I ate at the table, Mama spoke from the couch, seemingly trying to remember something. “Nung birthday ng kapatid mo, nag punta ba sya dito?” That was just three days ago when Mommy and sis came by with ice cream and we were all over the house taking pictures with Mama.

“Yup, nagpunta sya dito.” Every time she forgets important matters like these, my heart is gripped with sadness and fear.

“Kagabi, napanaginip ko kapatid mo, nasa bahay natin [sa Navotas], nag-c-computer daw sa may tabi ng pinto, naka-on pa ung radyo, nag-te-telepono pa.” A pet peeve of hers and Papa’s was wastage of electricity. “Tapos sabi ng Papa mo, “Naku, dun sa tinitiran ko, ang sarap-sarap ng buhay ko.” Kaya sabi ko “Ah sya nga! Titingnan ko nga!” Kaya naglakad ako sa isang mahabang daanan na kasing laki lang nyang pinto na yan, at pagkalayo-layo ng nilakad ko. Puro damuhan daw at ang lawak ng paligid at ang linis. Ang iniisip ko, pagnakaabot na ako dun, may makikita akong isang maliit na kubo. Pero wala ako nakita nung dumating ako dun, kaya nilakad ko na naman uli ung mahaaaabang daanan na yon pabalik.”

Every night a different dream of the long departed. Her sisters and brothers, Lolo and Lola, but most of the time it’s usually Papa.

Papa used to dream of his departed siblings too. I didn’t listen much when he told stories of them. I still don’t know them to this day.

I stopped having dreams after Papa died. As much as I tell myself that I will dream of him when I sleep so at least I get to see him even just there, I’m unable to. I am left with empty dreamless nights.

For Mama, I wish they just stay as dreams, and not invitations from the afterlife. But living everyday and checking for dire warnings of portent is just taking its toll.


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