Piso Para Kay Toto 4, Second Day
It was a really busy day. Personally, I don’t know how I will approach the grandmothers and fathers in Kanlungan ni Maria. It was my second time to actually go on a charity for the elderly.
When I entered the room, there was this painful pinch in my heart. Why? Because I saw a bunch of elderly. Because in the first place, I think that they don’t deserve to be there. That in the first place, there should be no home for the aged because the elderly should already have a home with their family. But yesterday, why did I saw a bunch of elderly there. Abandoned. Alone. They don’t deserve that.
I talked to them. I could feel the warmth they want from us. Actually, they don’t need any food or gifts or fancy things, but instead, they want time from us so that they can tell their stories. Maybe, it is loud enough inside their head. Or maybe, they just want someone to talk to. Like the old times.
It was a really colorful house, actually. Too bad, I am really bad with names. One of the elder there was playing Sungka and we were playing with her. She could barely talk but she was about to cry when we approached her and played with her. I actually don’t know why. When I hugged her already and bid her goodbye, she looked at me and she tried saying something I can barely understand. I saw her eyes, almost wet, and I tried to listen to her better. “Babalik ka ha,” she said in a really vague voice. Shit, I want to cry, too.
And I met another elder whom I talked to for almost the whole stay there. She was a bubbly girl. She told me that she was a ballroom dancer once, and she really liked dancing. Then, the singers of the group started singing. It was not yet the time for us to dance with them but I believed that that was the time for us to dance. I grabbed her hands. “Hello. Maaari ba kitang maisayaw?” I intended to say that in a JS prom-ish voice to make her feel her old dancing days again. She held my hands and she did her best to stand. In a few minutes, we were dancing. I know that I don’t really dance because I am never good with it and I am shy, but this time, I felt that I have had the best dance of my life with a woman I barely know. I sang the song to her, too, as we danced and I saw her smile. It was the same smile you can see with young girls. She told me after that I should always visit her there. She told me that a couple of times, but I could not make a promise. I told her that I will try and I saw her frown. I pulled back what I said and I told her that whenever possible, I will. I hugged her. I felt more than happy.
And the third elder that I met there was a woman who loves to give banat or pick-up lines. After listening to her, I told her my own pick-up line:
me: nanay, ilan ang balikat ng tao?
nanay: ilan? wala diba kasi nakakabit iyon?
me: hindi po. Apat.
Then I did my action. One for my left should, two for my right, third for her left and fourth for her right until I was complete hugging her already. She laughed really hard and she told me that she will never forget that. I really like her.
Then, the last elder that I met there was this man who was laughing at us as we tried compressing ourselves for a single photo. Lovely approached him and had pictures with him. Lovely was asking him to do crazy poses and he was laughing and laughing. It was a really adorable sight seeing the two of them - Lovely pretending to be his girlfriend, and the elder laughing and laughing really hard.
When we bid all of them goodbye, I was forcing myself to not cry. I was able to not cry, actually, but it was a pretty sad time for me. It made me think if I will be able to see them again. Even though for a short while, I learned a lot from them: the happiness in small talks and simple things, the beauty of life and the wisdom of ages. I wonder how would it feel like if I met them and befriended with them in their younger years.