Phone calls on early Friday morning usually mean one thing: one of my cousins would come by for a visit. It’s our day off on Fridays and they usually hang out at our house, helping me around with the chores and the children while my husband works and the house help is off.
Last Friday was different.
My uncle passed away. My father’s younger brother is no more. I can still remember my Tiyo Miguel like it was only yesterday he spoke to me in his house balcony so many summers ago. I have not seen him in years but because he looks a lot like my father – one glance and they could be twins, except my father has a lighter complexion and my uncle has less hair. They almost have the same tone of voice.
He was taken away from us all so suddenly. One episode of heart attack and bam, he’s gone. God really takes the good ones first. I look at the photos posted on Facebook to remember him and see a spitting image of my father. I cried. I feel for my cousin who has to take a flight today to see her dad inside a coffin instead of his kind, warm smile on Christmas. But more so, I cried because it seems like it was my father inside that box. The nightmare of almost losing him in 2011 came back.
I feel the pain of losing a loved one while abroad the second time this year. And both times, I can’t travel to see them one last time.
When my grandparents died, it was like, “it’s their time”. They are old but my uncle is only 61 and losing him means anything can happen and one day, my parents could go and leave us just like that. Somehow, I find it so hard to accept.