Friday, November 12, 2010

Auf Wiedersehen, Tante Elena.

In the picture above is Mike and me with tita Elena. The first and last time tita Elena met my husband. Tita Elena is my favorite aunt, no doubt. What's my criteria? Well, prettiness is a factor, amount of papasko (when I was a kid), the aura she evokes and lessons learned from her.

About 2 weeks ago, tita Elena was hospitalized, she fell off tripped beside the stairs. She had to undergo operation, about a week ago, relatives said that she's critical 50/50, then the next day, she seemed to have recovered. But news that she died yesterday around 2 pm came. Apparently, she wasn't able to fully recuperate from the operation. She was just resting in the hospital until she gets better and may be released. We planned to visit her in the hospital 2 weekends ago, but since they're only bringing a car, only kuya Red, addy, mama, tito Junior, tito Ben and mommy (tita) Viring II were able to go. We said we'll visit last weekend, but no one would drive - Mike doesn't know the place and my kuya's were too busy. Around late afternoon yesterday, my dad and the rest of his siblings went to tita Elena and my cousin kuya Rodney drove. I became sad. Really.

Tita Elena is my dad's eldest sister. She is roughly 85 86 already. My lola, Crisencia, first married a German (name undisclosed), and this was the height of Germany's Nazi Reich. Lola Crising had two daughters with the German, Elena and Virginia. But according to my mom's stories of lola Crising's life, the German was cruel and she decided to leave him and split the kids - tita Elena was left with lola and tita Viring I went with the German. She then married a Filipino man, she had 5 children with Gregorio. Lolo Yoyong and lola Crising had Gregorio Jr., Benjamin, twins Alberto (my dad) and Antonio and Virginia. Lola Crising named her youngest daughter Virginia again because she lost her first Virginia.

I was 4 when lola Crising died, and tita Elena was the closest thing to a lola that I had, from my father's side. Tita Elena is funny but soft-spoken, she is very beautiful - up there along the ranks of Gloria Romero; she's very classy and really nice, even to me, who was a hard-headed child. She kisses me and sniffs me when she sees me. I love going to their place in Tanay when I have the chance (not much during college) because her cooking is the best. Her sopas is my favorite - when my mom cooks sopas, I ignore; but hers, I devour - maybe because tita Elena's sopas became my standard to what sopas is good. Last time I saw her was during the fiesta. We went to Tanay to visit her. She told me that when she's watching TV and sees the artista on TV (we don't know who), she thinks of me and boasts to people "na yung pamangkin ko (pertaining to me), ganyan ang itsura", which made us laugh. Then she served a very big lunch for us around 6 dishes and 3 types of dessert; sopas was not missing, she knows how much I love it. I brought the laptop and showed her pictures of our civil wedding - she wasn't there, since we decided to make it a very nuclear affair; I promised her that she'll be invited at my church wedding next year, she was ecstatic about it.

Tita Elena, we love you and we'll miss you. At least you don't feel the pain anymore.

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