“Jill, where are you?”
“Still at work. Why?”
“Come to our house for dinner. Your aunties and uncles are coming to visit Inang.”
“Uh, okay. I’m still at the office. What time?”
Three generations of Fortins assembled in one house, tearing into some of our family’s favorite dishes (including mine – kilawin and fishballs, what what!). I had posted this picture on Facebook, but my parents called me and demanded (on speakerphone) that I edit the food pictures out, “because there’s only one fish! They will think we did not have enough food!”
It’s days like this- days when we are all together, days when we’re laughing, joking around, and (90% of the time) making fun of my love life- that I catch glimpses of Inang’s old, vibrant self. Her giggling eyes, her relaxed demeanor… they are things I rarely ever see anymore. I see her sit back in her chair a bit further, watching us and soaking it all in. I wonder if she ever thinks to herself, “By the grace of God, I did this… and what a job I did.” When I think about this, I feel the pride she must feel, the puff in her chest, the glowing warmth in her heart.
But then I think of what else she might be thinking, and it makes me sad.
“Why are these moments so few and far between? And where is everyone else?”