Forty days ago, I woke up in the crankiest of moods. It wasn’t just waking up on the wrong side of the bed. I felt like the day started off and was going to continue to be so completely wrong. Later that afternoon, I got a phone call. My beloved Lola Aging had passed.

Growing up, Lola was my neighbor. And though there were 18 other grandkids, she managed to make me feel like a favorite. If not the favorite. I grew up having her, along with Lolo Komong, always around. My Sunday lunches belonged to her. When I moved back to Manila, my weekly visits were just a normal thing to do. I got so used to having her around, that it never even occurred to me that one day she would no longer be.

For a while there, I was lost. For a week or two, I really was. I stopped making things. I stopped crafting. I stopped writing. I felt like I just couldn’t do anything. I promise to keep doing the things I love, much like you did.

I will remember you when I tend to my plants. I’ll remind myself that any interest in gardening comes from you. I will remember you when I put together pressed flower pieces. I’ll channel the Ikebana master that you were. I will remember you when I’m with Dad, Mom and Milo. You always made us feel loved. You always looked out for us. I will remember you when I spend time with the whole Sumulong clan. You always wanted us together. You always made sure we got along.

Like I said before, I rest in knowing that you are now with Lolo Komong. Your one true love, you once said. I’m happy knowing that you’ll be watching over us, just like you always did. You know who I am again. You now remember my name.

I’ll always love and miss you, Lola.

It’s me, Mikko.

The noisy one.

I Try DIY | In Loving Memory of Lola Aging Sumulong