Honoring my mother | The circle game

IN THE MIDST of this year’s Araw ng Davao celebrations, life has come full circle for me once again. A most-welcome visit by my first-born, a reunion (of sorts) with two old friends on the concert stage, and a first-time experience by my youngest son to witness a huge music concert, all these make up this triad of good feels that stir up to the surface that old sentimental tune of “when I get older, losing my hair…”

The sight of us still performing has sparked mixed reactions from friends whom I haven’t seen in a long time. One of this is the amazement that these “lolos” are still at it, considering their 70s beginnings. Of course, all my equally old friends from grade school to college have gone on with their lives, become successful at their respective professions, and have transformed themselves gracefully to become retired grandparents.

We may have started our life race at the same time while listening to the music of our era, but we slowly parted ways as the struggle for the buck began to take its toll. By the near-finish line, it was (and always) every man for himself. However, that old adage “the song remains the same” becomes gospel truth because, when that music of our era persisted and survived till today, only a few of us chose to follow. These lolos are staying.

My first-born, now a grown man, well-travelled, and a rambler in his own right has dropped by to wish his old man a happy 63. I will never forget how, years ago both of us were crying, with me jumping up and down excitedly in front of the glass partition that separated us, and him, held up by a medical aide in the hospital nursery. His tales of travel, work, and love strengthen further our invisible bond that is, as Hemingway puts it, is rightfully “true at first light”. While I can only imagine all the people he’s met and the places he’s visited, his presence always appeases whatever anxiety I have on how he has lived and loved. He’s won many battles and his grip on the reins on his future is firm and true.

And this brings me to my youngest love. Exposed to the elements while at the same time innocent to what the new world offers, his decision to attend an open concert for the first time, is a big deal for us. While we worried in the past about his reclusive nature and seeming introspection, he is slowly opening up and embracing the call of his youth, adventure and the acquisition of a maverick spirit. He and his brother blend well, not only because they share the same passion for music, but more important, because their honesty is their weapon, and that, in the end, it always prevails.

This said, I leave with a tiny excerpt from an unfinished work.

“The old man sits at the gate and ponders the fading light of day. He sees the cycle of the day is complete, as the sky, once golden, slowly turn to gray. Contented, he pauses a while and turns to go back to his room for that much needed rest.”

Posted in Opinion