I do not really brood about dying. But it crosses my mind, now and again. It makes sense to think about it, death being one of life’s few certainties, the others being taxes and change.
Thus have I made a living will. (Click here for a previous post about it.)
Thus have I composed my own (tentative because a bit too mushy) epitaph – “She looked for the meaning of life .. and found love.”
And now I want to make sure I am remembered by people I love, laughing.
No, silly, I don’t mean a remembrance of laughing me or me laughing. A laughing image of me would be hard to conjure. My smile is really a smirk. And I have this annoying habit of suppressing laughter, no thanks to an early blemish on a front tooth, which though long ago corrected has left an incorrigible tendency to avoid showing teeth at all cost.
More to the point, I want my family and friends to laugh laugh laugh when they think of me.
I want to be associated with things funny and happy and quirky.
Like my penchant for getting lost.
I want them to chuckle when they say: "Remember when mom got lost when we went on pilgrimages to Antipolo, to Agoo? Remember how she spent the night in a stranger's house in Agoo, sleeping on the floor, and then taking the first bus to Manila the next morning?" And someone would probably add, giggling: "She got lost, too, shopping in Mega Mall." Hopefully they will forget their mom had the temerity to get angry and scold them and insist THEY were the ones who strayed.
I want them to roll on the floor laughing when they recall my fashion style that dotes on shoulder pads, blouses worn back side front, stirruped pants, buttoned up collars, passionate-red lipstick, and a fluffy "banged" hairdo. Surely, someone would remark how I'd get pikon if anyone so much as snickered at the piquancy of my wardrobe. They had no way of knowing then -- had they -- that they could laugh their butts off, with permission, when the time comes.
They should also remember, with matching lip-smacking, my lengua, kare-kare and baked mac – rated the best in the world by a six-person, panel of tasters, never mind that they are biased and possibly intimidated by sharp looks from the cook. If I get lucky, they would also drool for my deep, dark, mmmmmoist chocolate cake, never mind that it is unevenly layered, sloppily glaced and iced and always in danger of toppling over.
A quick survey of my children’s memories told me they remember the mom of their youth: for unfailing Friday night pasalubongs (that could vary from hopia to belekoy to doughnuts to siopao depending on the state of her temperament and wallet); for shopping trips that usually ended at Goldilocks; for Christmas gifts of remote control cars they get to stealthily play with -- weeks before Christmas, with mom in the office blissfully ignorant that the toys she thought she had ingeniously kept in some out-of-reach hiding place had been found and pre-empted.
They also remember unsavory things ... like her being pikon when corrected, her tendency not to listen to explanations, and her uninspired housekeeping-- but these are of course to be glossed over and erased-erased-erased.
Lately, I have been telling my children I wish to be remembered for reformatting our "ho-hum" annual family reunions into memorable events that resound with laughter.
(to be continued with a post on our last reunion)