I marked my forty-first year of existence yesterday unusually. Spending it away from my immediate family is in itself, is a highly unusual event.

I was supposed to welcome the sunrise by the sea and wait for the start of the Triathlon. But as it turned out, I not only missed the sunrise but also the first part of the event, swimming. I did not watch the awarding at noon, I only listened to it while staring out at the sea.

My whole afternoon and early evening was spent in a wake. An aunt on my father’s side passed away. Technically, she is my great-aunt because she was a first degree cousin of my father’s mother. But I grew up knowing her as a sister of an uncle thus an aunt.

Although I grew up hearing her name ans stories about her, I only met her personally last year.  She reminded me so much of her mother. In my heart and my mind, her mother was more of a grandmother to me than my own father’s mother. Although the time I spent with her mother was far and few between, in my child’s heart and mind, she was what a grandmother should be. She was like my mother’s mother. Thus when I met my aunt, I think some transference took place.

Am planning to transfer here in Cebu, at the least, spend a big chunk of my time, but the only two people who were a part of my childhood have passed away recently. They are my links to my Cebuano/Dalaguetnon ancestry. My own father and grandmother never talked much of the past and never encouraged me to visit their birthplace. Those two people are the only ones who I feel a kinship for. They are the ones whom I feel I can connect with, with no pretensions and artifice.

Aside from my sister, sons and husband, two other people made me feel that my day was really special. One made me feel special only in my mind and another brought tears to my eyes.

All in all, it wasn’t a bad marking of birth. So on to the nine-year countdown for the half century mark. Then am all ready to expire and be cremated.

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