I remember..

..How you used to send me your voice tapes from Italy, telling what you’re doing and how much you miss and love me.

..How you used to assure me that you’re coming home soon and that you cannot wait for that time to come.

..How I used to launch into a crying fit whenever we drop you off the airport.

..How you used to bring home numerous Barbie dolls for me. Those babies didn’t come cheap but I had a massive collection then, thanks to you.

..How you used to lastly pick my pasalubong from your luggage bag for a more dramatic effect.

..How you used to teach me basic Italian phrases.

..How you used to speak Italian ever so fluently, leaving me always in awe.

..How my cousins used hate me because I was your favorite apo.

..How I used to lay my head on your lap, doing nothing while you caress my face and touch my long lashes.

..How I used to watch you teach ballroom. I was very, very proud of you and thought, “Wow, my lola’s so badass!”

..How you inspired me to dance at such a tender age and continue to do so as I type this.

..The time you dressed me in a tutu and watched in pride and amusement as I twirled around the room like a ballerina wannabe.

..That proud look on your face whenever you see me dancing at school, front line.

..How we used to look at your old photos from the different countries you have set your feet on, each having an interesting story to tell.

..How we used to chuckle at your showgirl costumes.

..How I never get tired hearing about your adventures and the people you have met abroad.

..How your face lights up and breaks into a smile when I come visit you.

..How you used whip up the best authentic Italian dishes in the entire universe.

..How I was heartbroken when you gave your full attention to my baby sister when she came along.

..How I used to cry when I realized I wasn’t the favorite anymore.

..How you would defend me when other people put me down.

..How you waved and gazed lovingly at me during my college graduation march, crying tears of joy the entire time.

..How you used to shower me with hugs and kisses.

..How you used to travel from Quezon City to Manila just to queue up and “order” your favorite Jollibee meal from me.

..How you would still give me presents—never mind if I’m already in my twenties and capable of buying stuff on my own.

..How you remained generous and kind until the very end.

..How you braved cancer just to be with us a bit longer.

..How you prayed and prayed and prayed. Your sickness wasn’t a hindrance to remain faithful to the Lord.

..How you still thought of us despite your sickness.

..How you didn’t ask for anything in return.

..How you lived a fruitful and meaningful life in a span of 83 years. Mission accomplished!

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