Tuesday, November 3, 2009

White Hair Chronicles XIV - Itay, matanda ka na ba?

Itay, matanda ka na ba?

My son Popoy, 6,  asked me this last night (are you old already?) Of course, I'm not yet old, I told him. Why are you suddenly asking that, I asked him back. Wala lang, po - it's nothing, he said.

Something must be troubling him after we visited the cemetery where his Lolo Vic (my father) and his grandparents (my in-laws) were buried. We usually go visit them ahead of the throng, but typhoon Santi made us go along with the multitude that were there November 1.

When my father died two years ago, Popoy asked "why did Lolo Vic die?". The quick answer we gave him was "because he was old". Actually my father was only 68 when he suddenly died from heart attack. He was ok despite the operation that drained cerebrospinal fluid from his skull six months before and despite the difficulty in walking due to arthritis. Popoy and his lolo bonded well during the short time they knew each other. Popoy did not meet my wife's parents ever. But he knows from the pictures shown him that they got to be very old. My father was on the fat side and had his hair dyed black regularly. To Popoy, he must not have looked old at all.

So when my wife teases me about looking like a grandfather, and me being so old that cataracts affect my eyesight, plus the visit to the cemetery 'where old dead people' are buried, Popoy must have worried that his father is going to die soon.

It is kind of sweet to think that my young son is worried sick about me.


  1. Well, my late father died when I was 12, during our first year in PSHS. He was 52. I'm 47 now, and I have a 9-year old son, so I have this particular psychological hurdle to overcome. This Thursday I'm attending the funeral of someone who used to report to me before he resigned a year ago. He died suddenly of complications from H1N1. He was 25 years old.

  2. it's kind of fatalistic, but filipinos say "kung oras mo na, oras mo na". so we try to make the most out of it, responsibly.



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