i can’t remember the last time i hugged my nanay se (dad’s mom) neither do i have any memories of her walking outside their house without a cane. but a very healthy version of her appeared in my dream last night.
i was playing on the street with my cousins, just outside our grandparents’ house, when we saw nanay se walking toward the house. shocked to see her, we stopped playing. my cousins huddled closer to each other and half-closed their eyes while i stood squeezed in the middle of their group hug and not blinking an eye. as she passed the house of the next-door neighbor, we saw the light on the post flickered. my cousins screamed, but i stared hard through the darkness, half-expecting our grandmother would disappear as ghosts do and half-hoping she is real. the light on the post turned on steadily once more and there was our grandmother still walking and almost in front of their house’s gate. ang nanay se! i called out. and then as if waking up from a bad dream – that one where we lost our grandmother – my cousins and i ran to hug our dear nanay se.
i hugged her very tight. and i closed my eyes. she feels warm. so alive. i slowly opened my eyes to look up at her face. but instead i saw the white ceiling of our unit.