Rambling Raphy L.

Best of: My Lolo
October 2, 2008, 3:20 am
Filed under: Best of, Daily Life

Originally posted on: Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 12:57PM

Melito Concha Salazar AKA Lolo 1918-2008

Yesterday morning, my mother woke me up and told me she’s leaving one of the house phones in my room.  I usually have only one phone in my room (that would be my cell phone since no one calls me through the house line anymore).  She said she got word that Lolo (grandpa in Tagalog) had gone under cardiac arrest.  Despite the grim news, she was in a rush to get to work.  I waited until I heard the door slam and went back to bed. Within 10 minutes, the phone rang and my cousin Mike was on the line.  He called out my name though I could still hear he was a bit unsure who was on the phone with him.  After I confirmed it was I on the line, he said, “Lolo passed away.”  There was a brief pause in which I broke the silence by saying “Thanks. I’ll tell my mom.”

I’m pretty grateful to have seen my Lolo this year.   When I went back to Philippines last month, we visited my grandparents at their home.  It wasn’t like the last time I saw him (which was roughly 5 years ago or more).  He lost most of his memory due to the Alzheimer.  Even though their room was filled with photos my family and me (some dating back when I was still in elementary school) he wasn’t able to recognize me.   In a way, I died before he did.  It was a relief that he still had his sense of humor. During our visit to their home, my Lola (grandma) showed us what they were going to leave us when they “left us”.  For me, I was being given Lolo’s triangle ring.  It’s a simple but classy ring. It’s golden with a triangle (hence, the Triangle Ring).  She told me to try it on.  It was a bit tight but I thought “It’s gonna be a while till I get to wear it anyways.”

After someone dies, people think about their last memory of them.  The last time I saw him was at my cousin Marco’s wedding.  I remembering throughout the wedding I could hear Lolo asking who was getting married.  My aunt told me he had asked that question at least three times during the wedding.  During the reception, we sat near each other with his nurse sandwiched between us.  We didn’t really talk.  When I tried to talk to him, he nodded and smiled. I felt like a complete stranger to him.  I guess what I want to say is I want to remember him the way I knew him.  When he made visits to Canada, we would watch the Price is Right together.  He would make up songs based on the products being showcased (“Deodorant is cheaper than the aspirin.”).  He use to laugh a lot and smile.  That’s how I’ll remember him.

This is a little comic strip I did retelling the story of my grand parents when they were “dating”.   I remember doing research on the story and my Lola said how Lolo was attracted to her cause of her legs.  I guess I know who I got that from. :S


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