About two weeks ago, my mom and dad went out to run a few light errands and unwind on their own. The two went to SM The Block, and then afterwards transferred to Trinoma using the footbridge connecting the two malls. My parents are obviously not as young as they used to be. They move and walk slower than before, get exhausted much faster, and find it more challenging to see and hear, so when in public, they’re more careful and walk with much caution. As they were making their way to Trinoma, hand-in-hand, one protecting the other, they noticed how other people walked hurriedly past, with some even accidentally brushing against them, and almost all giving them slight glances. My parents chose not to mind them. They continued walking, as if having a stroll in the park, even exchanging jokes and stories, keeping each other safe until they reached their destination — exhausted, but in one piece, and a complete contrast to most around them, who were clearly in a rush.
Despite their brittle bones, the lapses in memory, and the body aches and pains, both my parents experience all too frequently nowadays, they remain at their youthful humor and wit. I still often find them bantering in the kitchen – – – cooking still the most delicious meals; I most of the time catch them in playful moods – – dancing and singing particularly to Sunday music; I always find it a joy to listen to their laughter, oftentimes in complete disregard of the urgency around them, taking in every moment, still looking after and loving each other, and enjoying the moment – – – taking everything in.
With such demeanor and without their knowledge, my parents are teaching me the value in living in the moment – – – making every moment count. Breathe.
“Tatanda rin kayo,” my parents would often muster when they notice how my brothers and I would sometimes disregard certain things in life. Sometimes in our busy lives, we forget that we will all reach that stage where bones get brittle, memory fanes, movements get limited, and senses fade because we’re all too busy and entangled with ‘the now’. We tend to ignore little but precious moments because we have so many ‘more important’ tasks to be busy with and to accomplish, only to realize later on life, when time and chances are already limited, what could have been. We start to regret lost time, gone opportunities. That’s when we’d pause and ask ourselves, “Where’d time go?”
Where did time go, indeed. I admit, it’s often more difficult to take our time and just enjoy rather than to dive in our all too often chaotic lives. It has become so difficult that we start to believe it’s the right thing to do. Is it really though?
“Tatanda rin kayo,” – – – before I get there, and following my parents’ example, I hope to walk slower, breathe deeper, laugh and cry more – – – take everything in. Live.
*For my parents.
*Photo taken of my parents, holding hands while walking (pa-sway sway pa) in August, 2015.