In the end, it’s about memories and we hang onto photos and things that remind us of loved ones.
In a year of losses, our family experienced another loss – Ma moved back to Philippines at the end of July.
We knew for over a year this day was coming – it was delayed due to my sister’s illness and death – but it was still hard.
My family and I spent time in July helping Ma declutter her apartment and pack.
Ma and I are minimalists, so deciding what to donate or dump was easy.
It was still an effort getting Ma to focus, as she waited until the last minute to start.
At one point, I asked Ma to get off Facebook and focus. She replied, “I haven’t posted in days and don’t want my friends to think I’ve died.” 😂
We keep the memories
The hubby and I decided to keep a few things:
These albums predate my existence and contain priceless memories. I will guard and treasure them.
This Chinese artwork hung on our family’s living room and it reminds me of Pa and Ma.
Ma had cute kitchenware that made yummy dishes over the years. I now have my first clay pot and one to remember Ma by.
Loss is harder when you experience it as a child and as the parent of a child.
Ma left on a Wednesday evening and we dropped by on the Monday and Tuesday.
T likes to tease Ma. He often smacks her on the butt – and while Ma does think he’s a handful, she loves him.
Near the end of our visit on the Tuesday, the reality sunk in and T started crying.
The poor kid has experienced so much loss lately and my heart ached for him.
On Wednesday night, after work, we dropped Ma off at the airport and said our goodbyes.
A few days later, the hubby and I emptied her apartment. I had a 39 fever – this was when my pneumonia likely started – but we still had to do the heavy lifting.
It’s funny how life flies by – one minute they’re there and the next, they’re not.
Food brings comforting memories
It’s been three weeks since Ma left and we try to video chat frequently.
We now have an incentive to visit Philippines and hope to do so next year. It’ll be T’s first visit and the hubby and my first since 2010.
I’m not sure how we’ll survive the 16-hour flight with T but life always figures itself out.
This evening, I made chicken claypot rice using Ma’s claypot and this Wok of Life recipe.
I’ve always wanted to make this comforting dish – and it was indeed comforting, in more ways than one.
Photo at top: Swimming at scenic Elora Quarry at the beginning of summer in June.