August 22, 2017
Family dinners are becoming rare as we age, or at least in my case. I moved out last year to be independent. But if my schedule permits, I visit for dinners and sometimes stay overnight.
Our family dinner looks like this:
Mama will cook while Mama Cing, my grandma prepares the plates and the utensils. After preparing, mama will call us. Papa will wake up Tatang, my grandpa who usually sleeps around 6 pm. He must wake up and eat because of his medications. While on the table, Tatang will stare at me as if I am a stranger, no thanks to his memory loss. Mama Cing will ask Tatang if he can still recognize me. For Tatang, I am always a different person. Sometimes I am a family friend or sometimes I am his 18-year old great grandson. Grandma will shout at Grandpa if he refuses to eat. Everybody shouts because of grandpa’s aging ear. Sometimes I hate the routine. Most of the time I love it–the peaceful chaos of family dinners.
Tonight’s dinner was different. We were all affected by the local news about the injustices in the country including the murder of the 11th grader by the local police. The country’s situation was getting worse. Mama, who was usually quiet when Papa and I talk about these issues finally gave her opinion. “People can now easily take away life as if they were pigs in a slaughterhouse”, she said. Grandma would tell us that he used to like the President, but because of the recent events, she started to loathe the guy. Meanwhile, my disoriented grandpa thinks the President was a dwarf.
We ranted about the President’s leadership. We ranted why he was still supported by the people. We ranted why majority of the poor are the victims of drug related killings.
Most of our extended family members are also supporters. But I am glad that I am in the same boat with my parents and grandparents. We all believe that life is sacred, and that is something I am thankful for today.