I miss you when it rains. My youth was filled with you carrying me from the jeep to the house so I won’t have to walk in through the flood. There are days when you’ll stop us from going down the first floor of the San Andres house because it’s flooded in, and you’ll come back up with tuyo and kamatis for breakfast.
You loved that house. You built that house. You built that home. We all grew up there. Our childhood wouldn’t have been complete without that house.
I remember you talking to my father, telling him how to handle his misfortunes. I have never seen my father respect anyone as much as he respects you. I honestly believe you are the only person he actually took advice from. I also believe he wanted to be a great head of the family like you.
You never finished grade school. Your wife barely made it to grade three. Yet your four kids graduated college, settled with their families, here and abroad, now giving their children ten times over what you have provided. Our parents, our aunts and uncles never stopped telling us how poverty and tough times left you unaffected. You helped when help was needed, regardless of bloodlines, reputation and linkages. There was nothing in your life that you never shared — from your roof, to your food, to your clothes. You shared everything, and that was the vision that your wife carries to this day.
And my God, you loved her so much. I have never seen a man love a woman that much. You hated her for a while, but one word, and you were back. You loved her so much. For as long as I can remember — actually, from the day I started to find out what it’s like to “date” a guy — the only desire I had was to be loved the way you loved her. And you looked at her everyday as if it’s the first time you’re seeing her. Endless fascination. Pure admiration. Smitten. Swooning. Constantly, unending.
Our lives were completely changed with your passing. Though we know it is part of the natural cycle, I guess not one of us ever imagined a day without you. Your smile. Your laughter. The way you cry when you miss us so much. The way you survey our boyfriends and girlfriends and give out approving nods when you like them. Your protection. Your touch. Your love.
I miss you so much. It’s been years, but I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the idea of not seeing you. I hate the fact that when I decide to get married, you won’t be there. I may be the only one saying it now, but I know all of us left here are thinking it: though our lives go on everyday, it remains incomplete without you.
We buried you on a rainy day. I think the heavens mourned with us, though I selfishly think not enough. Each time we go to your spot, it rains. Each time we think of visiting you, it rains. It’s like the rain is you, and you’re all over us. You’re around us and I can taste you and I can feel you and I feel lonely and composed at the same time.
I miss you so much. You should see your great granddaughter. She’s a spitting image of you.
I miss you when it rains. And lately, it’s been raining a lot. So yeah, I miss you a lot. But to be honest, there was never a day I did not miss you this much.