I'm not even sure how it came about but we have been calling her "Wiya" ever since we were small. It's a name that is a far cry from her real name "Trinidad".
But we called her so. And we will still keep calling her by that name till we too have passed.
I can't really recall my earliest memory of her but we did have a lot of fun and fond memories.
During summer break from grade school, she would go and tell us to make money by selling ice candy or pastillas. Of course she made all the ice candy and pastillas by herself. I tried helping but the chubby kid I was back then, I end up eating most of it.
We did make some money which we prolly spent on Jollibee [Wiya obviously added more money for that to be possible.
With that beginning, I sort of "branched out" and tried selling my NBA cards around my neighborhood. My uncle had a sign made so that I can hang it on our gate. It wasn't that much good a venture as most kids would want to trade but it was fine. Wiya was happy I was keeping myself busy like that.
I also remember that Wiya started my love for reading.
She was a very avid reader herself and had a ton of books and novels. Sometimes she comes home from her teaching job at Feati University with a plastic bag containing Tintin graphic novels and/or Archie comics. Me and my brother almost completed all of the Tintin books via Wiya.
When I got a bit older, Wiya and I would go to the local mall and hit up the nearby Booksale. She would go browse the Novels section while I perused the bargain comics bins. In fact, we did that at every Booksale we went to. Even up to the point before she got really sick. Whenever we went to a mall, we would go straight for Booksale or if it was a mall we havent been to then we'd go find if there was a Booksale in it.
I owe my love of reading to her. And reading has opened up new worlds for me and managed to broaden my horizons.
Going into a Booksale will never be the same again for me. I'll be always looking over the aisles and over the books and look for Wiya as she looked over what books to buy.
She also jump started my Music collection which in turn jump started my love for music.
It's true that my Dad introduced me and my siblings to music via The Beatles and that my Uncle [his brother] introduced me to a whole wide variety of genres. But it was Wiya who contributed to the small collection of cassettes I have.
My Dad and Uncle had a BIG music library ranging from Vinyl to Cassettes to CD's. So it was only naturally that I was jealous since my collection/library was at most just 4 cassettes. But Wiya changed that. Everytime we went to a mall [on weekends], she'd let me buy one or two cassettes. That really got me into alot of good music. This was around early to mid 90's.
When my Uncle died, I quit my job in Pampanga and moved back in with Wiya. My Uncle was the only family she had left as my Lolo and Dad years ago. So it was now my time to take care of her. But as it always would happen, she ended up taking care of me.
As the weeks went by, she prolly noticed how bored and unproductive I was. Wiya didn't want me to be so stagnant. She told me that I was young and that I should be going out there doing something. "What do you want to do?" she asked me.
At the time, digital photography was still just starting and as I browsed the web and read articles and marveled at the pictures, I told her that I wanted to get into photography. I was hesitant though since the gear was a bit costly. But she got me the gear and enrolled me to a photography class to boot.
I was glad that she did what she did. Photography has opened alot of doors and options for me during that time. I met alot of new people, made alot of new friends, went to alot of new places I thought I never could go, I took alot of great pictures. I don't shoot as much as before but I still loved taking pictures. Wiya always told me to have my shots printed and kept in an album. Unfortunately my hard drive crashed before I could do so. But seeing her happy and marveling at my shots even if they're crappy felt really, really good.
She also loved watching sitcoms.
She loved watching Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother and Glee. She utterly loved NCIS though. she'd watch it over and over.
We'd always go and talk about what happened next episode since I watch episodes more earlier than cable tv here airs them.
She usually watched them till she fell asleep.
We even got cable tv hooked up when we had her over when she got sick then we'd watch her shows.
A little more recently, I let her meet a girl which she absolutely adored. She treated this girl like a granddaughter and was always welcome at her house.
She then found out about the future plans me and the girl had and she was extremely happy and excited.
But things don't go as planned.
I was left alone with alot of questions in my head. It was really a bad time for me. But Wiya was there for me and comforted me. And like she told me before, she didn't want me to be so stagnant and unproductive. Moreso wallowing in depression and despair. So she told me to just continue with the future plans sans the girl. She would be more than happy to shoulder the expenses.
And with that, I started taking up Baking Classes from one of the best teachers/mentors around.
She was still staying in Manila at the time and I always made sure to ask my instructors if the baked goods we made would be still good enough to eat a few days after we made it so that Wiya can taste them. She managed to taste a few of them before she got really, really sick.
But a few days before she left us. I managed to tell her about my progress and how I'll be graduating soon. I noticed she tried blinking her eyes and she was moving her mouth or at least trying to as if she was trying to say something. I knew she heard me at the time and that she understood. I wish I could have heard how proud she was of me.
Recently, the whole class underwent TESDA certification and by hard work we all passed. It was nerve-wracking for me but I knew that somewhere Wiya was there guiding me along.
As you have prolly noticed, you might be thinking one thing. Wiya spoiled me. Well not only me but me and her siblings. I think that's a given since we were the only "direct" grandkids she had. And isn't it part of being a grandparent to spoil their grandkids?
Despite the fact that she spoiled me, she also raised me to not be a brat..a spoiled rotten brat. of course I grew up to be somehting else but at least it wasn't that something that Wiya didn't want me to be.
Also, Wiya supposrted me in everything that I did and wanted to do. And I do mean everything. No matter how far fetched or stupid it was. She was always there to back me up. She was always there to pick me up when I fell. She was always there to comfort me when I was down. The point is, she was always there for me.
It was all too fast.
I didn't even get to say a proper goodbye.
I didn't even get to apologize for my faults.
I didn't get to say that I love her very much.
I miss her. Alot. Her smile. Her laugh. How she suddenly just sings out of nowhere. How she playfully says "And sooo..".
The house feels so empty. I feel so empty.
But I am comforted by the fact that she's in a way better place than I am now. And that she's finally resting and without pain. And that she is now with Lolo, Dad and Uncle along with ALOT of our old dogs.
Wherever you are Wiya. Please continue to be there for me. I am getting older myself and I need guidance now more than ever. Feel free to visit me or my dreams at any time. i am open to talking with you and catching up.
I'll be with you soon enough.