Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bittersweet Birthday

There were only two instances I remember my younger brother weep in his adult life- one was when he told me the heartbreaking news of our Mom’s passing, and the other during Mama’s interment with his tears silently sliding down his cheeks while his eyes remained covered by dark glasses. He is a man of a few words- always quiet and wielding. He never said anything bad about another person (he left the gossiping to other less prudent members of the clan), and even more curious- he was never quite expressive of his sentiments. So from his actions you’ll get the best cues to what he’s feeling.

He left for Manila today, and is scheduled to leave for the US tomorrow. He was never much into goodbyes, but today, I think was a turning point for him. You see, my brother stayed home for a few months for his surgery (it is less expensive here in the Philippines, plus we are here to take care of him) and at the same time meet his son for the first time.

It’s a long story. And by that I mean looooooooooooong story, a saga if you will, so let us not get into how the situation came to be- the important thing again, is the present. As father and son spent the past glorious months, it was pure magic. I’m so happy my sister-in-law, my brother, and their little tyke were finally together like a real, regular family. My brother and my nephew have this uncanny resemblance- Gavin is an exact carbon copy of his dad except for his dimples and fairer complexion. The kid is funny. Articulate and precocious for his age- and he just turned two years old a few days ago.

After their first Christmas together, the Barney-themed 2nd birthday party, and countless days and nights bonding and hanging out together- it was suddenly time to go back to the US again. Like our parents many, many years ago, my brother has to go back there for work- he is joining the US Navy (just like our youngest brother) so that he can support his family.

It’s hard to think of Tyrone as a grown man, I got used to thinking he is my younger teeny-tiny brother who was somewhat a Mama’s boy (haha!). Now he has a family to take care of and I can never be prouder. It is not easy for you to be away and I’m in awe- seeing someone sacrifice for the one he loves. I’m reminded of what Mama and Papa have done for us…

Godspeed bro! (I know, I know I’m sappy) Be brave, and I promise I’ll do my part well and manage the household here and take care of Gavin the best I can. So wipe away those tears because in the end, you know it would be all worth it- when you see Gav grow up and be like his dad.

birthday boy
nanay with dimple and umbang
nanay with clown
that's me in pink!
barney, agnes, gavin, and tyrone.

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