Her benevolent, yet uneasy smile made me wish I knew everything about her; her thoughts, her words, her whispers, the content of her mind every time she stares vacantly outside. The wrinkles on her face just beautifully mark her scars, her memories, and the old days she reminisce fervently. Her strong, selfless disposition just makes me think again and again of the tough yet bittersweet past that becomes a smear indelible in her soul. So much went on in her head, I knew. For the past couple of days, my grandmother have been scurrying to and fro, moving around the city, keeping herself busy yet putting her physical senility even more at risk.
“I’m sick, dek.” Her voice was hoarse and raspy from the sore throat that she had gotten two days ago. It always saddens me to see her this mellow and droopy about life. She has always been the joyful, dedicated and strong grandmother that I know but lately; I have not been seeing that in her. I wanted to help, I thought. I beset her with questions that perplexed her, questions that were quieting foolish to a point where she became vexed.
“What’s in your mind, Nini? What are you thinking? Have you been doing lately? Do you need my help? Have you gone to the hospital yet? Do you want me to accompany you for a massage? Why are you not answering my questi—“
“I have just regretted too many things in life.” Stern yet frail, she grew weary from thinking too much. This car ride back home was nothing I have ever encountered with her. The raspy yet cheerful voice I hear whenever she talks about her experiences elsewhere, the stories of her foundation and the kids that needed surgical help, anything that was on our minds, we would converse throughout every car rides we have together. My grandmother was quiet. Again, her eyes were vacant. She looked nowhere else but the view outside the car window. From a mere sentence she said to me that day, she was just as human and fragile as anyone else out there. The grandmother I once knew was someone whom I thought she would never be for a day.
She regretted. That was it. She wanted to do many things in life, maybe, perhaps, I don’t know. What was she regretting about? My thoughts dashed to the thoughts of my mother – maybe she regretted that she has never had time to heal the scars between their relationships. Maybe it’s the good rapport that she has yearned all this time with the family. I don’t know. Nini, won’t you tell me what you have regretted? Can I help you solve your problems? I’m up to no good but I am always here to be there for you. I want to know what you are thinking; I want to help ease your burden.
Maybe she regretted too much about herself.
The car ride ended us she trudged heavily, carrying the grocery bags and walked up the staircase to her beloved home of fifty years.
Grandmother, whatever you have regretted, please just shun away those feelings. Regretting would only make it worse and I know that as time goes by, you are thinking too much about the past, about the future. Just breathe and live in the now, grandmother. You are more than the past mistakes you have made, you are more than the regrets you have accumulated all these years. My dear grandmother, I do hope you will put back that smile on your face. Life has not has it easy this few months but I am pretty sure all the effort, commitment and dedication will surely pay off.
Grandmother, just think about the love you've exude and the smiles you've plastered on the faces of forlorn individuals.