June 12- It's Independence Day in the Philippines, but more importantly, the day marks my Lolo Jose's birthday. He passed away a few years ago. Until now, I lack the guts to see pictures/videos of him sick and of his burial. I feel the necessity to keep intact the image of the happy man I knew and so deeply loved.
I don't really consider myself as a daddy's girl, but no one will argue if I tell you that I was my Lolo Jose's favorite grandchild; his girl. He was such a great grandfather. No words can describe the pain of his passing. I didn't understand then, but being a nurse and all now made me realize how much he may have suffered before his passing. I wish I was able to take part of taking care of him during his last days. I remember when my dad talked to me and asked me if I wanted to go home since my lolo's prognosis is quite poor. My dad knew how close I was to him. I refused that offer. I was a coward. I knew it was going to be difficult. I must admit, now I look at it as selfish. I was just thinking about the pain that I would feel once I see him. For that, I want to apologize to him, but it was one of those things; it would have been too much. I remember saying my last goodbye to him on the phone. He couldn't speak at that time anymore, but I knew he was listening. One of the images of my grandpa that I would never forget was the last time I saw him. It was the time when I was leaving for the US after vacationing in the Philippines. I looked at him straight in the eyes and I told him I loved him. He was crying; didn't want to let go of my hands. I will never forget the look in his eyes. I felt it bade me goodbye in such a meaningful way.
He was an inspiration in my nursing career. When I take care of elderly patients, I remember him and suddenly I feel that I should provide the care that I would have provided my own grandfather. I missed out on that opportunity, but each patient becomes another opportunity.
Lo, thanks for the inspiration. I truly miss you. I love you and Happy Birthday.