My dear Anty Baby,
When I was young, I was so impressed with you. Whenever I spent school breaks during summer in your house, I looked up at how you run your business. And surrounded by women who don’t, it may be a bit shallow, but the fact that you drive wowed me. As I grew up, I have learned to admire your open-mindedness and frankness. I do not have the courage (hopefully yet) to be as forward as you are.
When I was in college, you always welcomed me into your home. You know my favorite food. We slept on the same bed, sometimes after hours of playing cards. Sometimes before going to sleep, we would talk for hours. You were so proud of me and my achievements and have always believed in me.
When I started working and decided to leave IT, people close to me discouraged me, but not you. You agreed with my belief that employment is not the only and certainly not the best option, especially for an entrepreneurial person like me. You introduced me to real estate.
When I started working for myself, you became even prouder of me. I heard you telling people I’m your niece who graduated physics and computer engineering from Ateneo de Manila and now works at Sun Life and a licensed real estate broker blah blah blah. I would try to downplay, but you were always showering me with compliments. I am sorry that I have never told you all this before, but I hope you know how much I appreciate you. I hope in my own little way, I have shown you somehow.
When I became pregnant with Sophia, you were very encouraging. We were on a trip to Cebu and Bohol when you found out with my parents, and you helped me make your sister understand and accept my situation. It was always so easy to tell you stuff because I know you would understand.
When I got engaged and I showed you my ring, you said you already know (not really very surprising) and that you were so happy for me. You wished me all the luck and happiness you said I deserved. Anty, wherever you are right now, I hope you watch over me as I try to find love again. I know that whoever I choose and end up with, you will accept and be among the first to be genuinely supportive and happy for me.
I still cannot believe you’re gone. I knew this morning, but I suppose it really didn’t sink in till now. I teared up a little when your mother cried upon hearing of your death. It has been a busy day and I suppose I was distracted seeing my nieces and nephews. But now when I think about you, I am beside myself with grief. I hope you forgive me for not doing more for you. And I hope that you know how much I love and appreciate you.
On our way home, my mother said she got cold at Kuya Weng’s house. I told her I will have a house in a place where it snows. Your sister said she won’t be able to visit, with a sort of disbelief in her voice. I told her if you were there, you would tell me to go for it! I remember you saying whatever I wish for and say, I make it happen.
I am sorry I have only asked Ate Ivy at times how you are and not call or visit you. When I saw you unconscious and pale and thin yesterday via video call, you looked so different from the vibrant and energetic person that you are, who has so many stories to tell. I guess it was difficult for me to see you so frail and unwell. You know that I am not good with hospitals and doctors and how weak I am when it comes to dealing with illnesses and pain. I am sorry.
This is how I see you and this is how I will always remember you.
Anty, maybe I will see you again someday. I hope you are in a better place and I am glad you are no longer suffering. I will never forget you. May you rest in peace.
Your loving niece,
If Sophia has someone like you in her life, she would be so lucky. I love and appreciate you, Anty Baby! ❤