Her face, weathered and crisscrossed with lines and brightened by her subtle smile, stared at me from my screen. Around her were the happy faces of several generations of family members. Above their heads was a plastic banner with her likeness proclaiming – Happy 98th Birthday, Nanay!
Nanay* was just 90 when I last saw her. That was the day when I said goodbye before I embarked on a long journey of place and circumstance. I was single when we last met. I am now thousands of miles away, married and with family.
From my folks, I know that Nanay is still hale and hearty. My sister told me that Nanay was excited about her birthday and invited anyone who cared to hear to her party. She has gotten slow over the years and hard of hearing too. But she could still give a good scolding or do her chores. Her mind is clear – she remembers things that happened long ago. Her love is strong. One day, my cousin posted about the time she spied Nanay kissing a picture of my deceased grandfather that she held in her hands.
She has always been an emotional one. She would cry whenever she heard bad news about her loved ones. She would cry whenever she heard good news about them too. She would cry when people she had not seen in a long time visited her. I wonder now if she will cry when she sees me and all the rest who issued from me. I think she will.
I look at her picture. I see her fragile frame. I hope. I hope I am with her to observe her special day.
This is my response to
challenge to write a response, in 33-333 words, to the word ‘Observe”, i.e., to celebrate or solemnize (as a ceremony or festival) in a customary or accepted way.
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