20 july 2000 |
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i am back. sort of. i mean, physically, i am present. but my heart and my mind is still in the philippines with my grandpa, or maybe somewhere over the pacific ocean. i spent one week away, which due to time zones and travel time translated only to three days with my family, but it was worth every penny, every second spent.
grandpa is still alive. i would say he's fighting for his life, but there's not much life left and i can't imagine that someone going through that much pain would want to beg for more. he is at home, in his house, surrounded by my mother, my uncle, my grandma, my brother, my cousins and others who love him dearly. which is what he wanted, so i know there is peace in his heart, even if we can't see it on his face or hear it in his breath. i know he is in good hands, and i mean that as in there-and-now as well as Then-and-Up-There, so i am not as worried about him as i was.
it was -- as odd it is to say -- wonderful to see him. no regrets.
days away: 7
days spent in grandparents' house in the bicol province: 3
days spent in uncle's house just outside manila, inbetween flights: 2
days lost in travel: 2
total hours flown: 31
total hours sitting in airport waiting for flights: 10 1/2
number of airports visited: 5
books read: 2, on the river piedra i wept and girl with curious hair
movies watched: 2, and two separate halves, on the plane and in my grandparents' house, hanging up, star wars: episode I, snow falling on cedars and some foreign film.
photos taken: 0
number of mosquito bites: 38
number of mosquito bites on left ankle: 6
mosquitos killed: 1, after landing on my arm. no blood was involved.
cost of hello kitty passport holder i did not buy at osaka airport: 700 yen
cost of all-you-can-eat filipino buffet for two: 640 pesos, including drinks and gratuity.
exchange rate: 43 pesos to 1 dollar.
times said "i love you" to grandpa: 1, in a whisper, with a hug.
i did what i had to do, and in that respect, the trip was better than fine.
i thought i couldn't, wouldn't, write about any of this, but i find myself jetlag loopy and bored out of my mind. i want to close this chapter, for now. (although i still have to write a eulogy for the funeral, and naturally can't bear the thought of such a thing.)
five stunning black-and-white photographs from the late '60s to mid '70s of my grandparents, mom, uncle and brothers. they're good lookin' folks, i must say.
"america is developing immigrants of wimps." -- my uncle boy, mocking once again me and my brothers.
also, i ate so much, food so good it would make you weep.