Mom, what did we last talk about?

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Last words are powerful.

In stories or movies with heartbreaking endings, characters would leave important words that would impact the lives of the viewers; those which would give them epiphanies, so they would want to be better, to change, or to continue in life giving their best foot forward.

But fiction is fiction; and these words are well thought of and edited a hundred, or maybe a thousand times to create a perfect ending. Here is reality. In the real world, there are no beautiful and impact giving last words. Only questions of what should’ve been said before the parting.

It’s ironic how important for me last words are, when I can’t even remember what my Mom last told me before she passed. I didn’t realize this until months after my Mom’s passing, I was telling a close friend about the day Mom went when surprisingly, I was caught off guard and suddenly asked “What were Mama’s last words? Because I honestly can’t remember”.

The question haunted me for days, and up until now, it still does. I can’t remember what my Mom’s last words were. Sometimes, it’s funny; but most times, it’s devastating.

Every night, when I’m about to sleep, I look at my Mom’s photos on my bedroom wall, and wonder. How did I get to say goodbye? Or was I able to?

The sunset my Mom passed wasn’t the kind you see in movies. It was painful, and every night I remember.

I remember how she fought for air, how she held my Dad, how she couldn’t decide whether to lie down or sit, how she tried to vomit but nothing came out, how my Dad did all he could to help her be comfortable, and how I came down from upstairs and saw Mom peacefully lying there, lifeless. I never saw how she went, I never heard what she last said, but Daddy told me that as she drew her last breath, she whispered to him that we two should stick together no matter what; that she loved me so much.

Even though my Dad told me what she spoke of in her last moments, I deemed it important to remember what we, my Mom and I, last talked about. But no matter what I do, no matter how much I vividly remember the sunset she passed, I couldn’t seem to grasp what our last conversation was about. It’s like the world is playing this game on me about how I still feel the sting of losing her like it just happened earlier today, but the things we last spoke of were completely lost somewhere in between muffled cries and breaking hearts.

Every day, when my mind becomes unoccupied; every night, before I sleep, I go back to those last moments with Mom. I don’t care if replaying everything would scar my heart more than it already is. All I know is that I won’t ever be at peace until I remember the last words I heard her said.

I hate that this is reality; and that I am part of this madness. I hate that I can’t rewrite Mom’s last moments, so I’d be able to talk to her one last time; that I’d be able to somehow make our last conversation beautiful.

I hate that I feel so much, but I can’t remember.

Mom, I’m sorry if I can’t let this go. But I know, someday I will be able to, when I have my questions answered, I will then, let you go.

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You’re my hero, so stay

You are both my hero, and my downfall.

Before that, you were just a face in a roomful of people. It’s funny how time changes things; or no, maybe people are the ones who change things. However it goes though, it doesn’t matter. You’re here now.

When you came, I didn’t know what I signed up for. I wasn’t fully aware of the effect that you, that this, would have on me. I took risks anyway. I’m a risk taker. I don’t think ahead of things. I just savor whatever the moment gives me.

Luckily, life gave me you. From the moment I had you, you’ve been giving me comfort. You give me things others wouldn’t even bother to give me. You give me time. You know me, sometimes better than I know myself. You continue to stay despite seeing the darkest, and messed up parts of me. You push me to be the best version of myself; to do things I’m not aware I’m capable of doing. You believe in me so much it starts to scare me.

It scares me that I’m too messed up to achieve the things you want for me.

It scares me that I would let you down; and when I do, you will leave me behind.

So I constantly reevaluate myself. If I’m being the person you liked in the first place. If I’m good enough for you. If I’m still the intelligent woman you believe me to be.

You see, I don’t want you to go. I can’t see you go. I don’t know what I’ll do if.

To me, you are my tattoo. Meaningful and important etched in my skin. A symbol to remind me that I chose you, because I want to. Not because I was told, or because I’ll be pretty with it.

Before you came, I didn’t know how valuable you’d be. Still, I chose you; and then you saved me. You saved me from the person I don’t deserve. You saved me from choosing the wrong decisions. You saved me from insanity when Mom was rushed to the hospital. You saved me when I wanted to die with my Mom.

You’re still saving me; from the immature woman I could turn into at times, for the bad decisions I might make.

I don’t know how it feels like to hang around me; to understand me when I’m being difficult. But somehow, you manage to do it. And you manage to teach me a lot of things, so I’d be a better person. You’re still saving me.

Every day, I ask the heavens why you came. But until now, I still can’t figure out how someone who’s as beautiful and as goodhearted as you would ever be part of my life. I know that it’s not just about saving me, it’s much more; and I know that the answers will come. At the right time, like you always said. Along with the questions, I beg the Almighty to please make you stay.

Please, love. Stay.

Half past nine

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In my younger days, half past nine was a late hour, half past nine was bedtime. But that Saturday night, half past nine was riding a bus, and I, ever unaware of the destination, happily goes with you for reasons I dare not speak out loud.

Half past nine is your bedtime, so as you prepared to sleep the journey off, you advised me to do the same, but I just couldn’t; because half past nine is not my bedtime, at least not anymore.

So as Betty Who sang to me about blue heaven midnight crushes and human touches, I looked outside the bus window, trying to figure out where we were; casually stealing a glance at you, trying to etch in my mind your face as you peacefully slept.

A few minutes after eleven, we got off the bus. We missed our destination, but it’s okay; because we kind of gotten used to the hang of having long walks when we’re together. As I went on ranting about the impulsive journey, I was also happy and grateful that I get to spend this moment with you alone.

For an hour or two, we ate late dinner over life conversations. This, no matter how cliche, is something I won’t get tired of doing with you.

I never finished that dinner; for I was too busy taking in the moment, the surrealism of it all. For I never thought that it would turn out to be that kind of getaway. The kind which makes a person believe in the beauty of unpreparedness, and impulsiveness.

There were a lot of things in my mind, but I never wanted that night to last, that’s for certain.

It was half past 3 when we arrived where we came from. As we rode the taxi before dawn broke, I sit silently beside you, as you slept, as I watched the city at its silent state, the moon as its only light. That moment, I closed my eyes, and thanked the heavens for giving me that quick overnight getaway with you.

It was half past four when you walked me to my front door. There are a lot of things I wanted to tell you then, but only “thank you” made it out. We hugged goodbye, and it was the best morning I’ve ever had in months.

“Thank you” would never suffice for the things you do for me. It will never tell you how much I appreciate you, how amazing you are to me, how truly grateful I am for your existence.

One day, maybe. I’d be able to tell you up front how much you mean to me. For now, thank you.