Quick video blog update from the leading lady herself. Bouncing back only as a superwoman can (and rockin’ some pink lipstick while she’s at it).
In this video, we talk about how while she’s feeling like a million bucks, she only had vegetables to eat today (she’s on a strict, bland diet). French fries, as she said, are for next time.
Inang: How long until we can go home?
Me: We’ll have to stay here tonight, Inang. Maybe a few days.
Inang: *dramatic pause* I’ll die now.
Me: Don’t say that. I haven’t found a boyfriend yet. And you have to stick around long enough to meet him, at least.
“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?”
Inang: (waking up) Oh, you are home now?
Me: Yes, Inang.
Inang: What time is it now?
Me: Around 9:00.
Inang: I thought you are not coming home anymore.
Me: Why would you think that?
Inang: Because it’s late already.
Me: No matter how late it is, I’ll always come and check on you.
Inang: That’s why you are good. You always come home.
As Inang’s arthritis continues to worsen, daily exercise becomes more and more of a struggle. One of her favorite opportunities to break a little sweat is gathering vegetables in my parents’ lush garden.
Like the mountainwomen of old
Don’t mind the mess – parentals are currently renovating their kitchen
Ringing in a lazy Labor Day weekend with Inang’s paborite American pood: prench pries. (Please note: these are “Filipino” American french fries from Jollibee)
Inang: What are you going to ask your mom to bring back for you from the Philippines?
Me: Oh, I don’t know. Shoes, maybe. Things for the house.
Inang: You should ask her to bring you home a husband.
Me: What! No! I’m not attracted to Philippine-born Filipinos. Sorry.
Inang: (ignores comment)
Maybe she could find one of her relatives.
Me: What? One of her relatives.
Inang: Yes, one of her relatives to come home and be your husband.
But if they’re her relative, they’re also my relative! You can’t marry your relative. You shouldn’t suggest that.
Inang: Why not? I married my relative.
Inang: Sometimes, I cannot bring the laundry basket up the stairs.
Me: I know. I’ve told you a million times to wait until I get home so I can bring it up for you.
Inang: Ayy, if I have to hem clothes before I sleep and you have to work late, what shall I do then?
I’m going to get you one of those electric elevator chairs that you ride up the stairs. It’s not terribly expensive. You can ride it or send the laundry basket up in the seat.
Grandma: (as we pass Sugar Land Regional Airport)
What you SHOULD buy is an airplane.