Yesterday was the first anniversary of my grandma’s passing, and we went to the province for the ceremonial “babang-luksa”. This means roughly moving on from the one year of mourning since her death, and it was marked, as most Filipino occasions are done, with prayer, food and relatives.
As much as I have said bad things about my grandmother over the years and I admit it, I knew she loved us as only she could, with what she knew to do. She always made sure we had the best of everything. She taught us the value of hard work. She showed us, in the end how crippling it can be when people that don’t need you anymore leave you in the dust.
She was my grandmother, and I know she’s better off where she is, with my ninong and lolo.
After we went to the ceremony to pray at her grave, my pops told us a story, and I swear it’ll be etched in my mind forever.
It turns out, my lolo (who I’ve never met because he died before my parents even got together) loved to garden. He would go to my aunt’s house and plant every single day, and bring home a handful of champaca (small white flowers that would fill a room with their scent) to put in her hair. See, I always associated champacas with my grandmother, she always smelled of them. When she died we had a choice of roses or champaca to put in her tomb and I chose the champaca because it felt more like her.
I’m glad to know that the signature scent of lola was given to her by my lolo. And i’m hoping that maybe, he’s now handing her a handful of champaca when they see each other every day.