roo and i had a chance to find old albums from my childhood while we were at my mom's home in manila. photos with my grandma at agus river in lanao, snaps with cousins at our old rented home in zamboanga, and faded memories with childhood friends. and i would have to say, that those old grainy discoloured photographs were among the most precious of gems from our short trip.
i grew up from a single parent household, co-parented by various aunts and uncles as my mom worked hard to provide for our needs. my memories of my parents living together were screamfests and flying dishes, radios, and televisions. i know there must have been good days, but i must have been too little to remember.
there are fleeting memories of sitting on my father's lap as he wove stories, of bittersweet love and things that made me cry, and i remember those dream-like memories in my head fondly. he was a great storyteller, though i always tried to hide my tears away. i can't even remember his birthday, perhaps only that it's sometime in november. with vague memories of time spent with my dad, he's mostly a shadow to me, mentioned only when i need to fill out personal information forms that require both mother and a father to be listed.
the last time i saw him, i think i might have been 12 years old. he had re-married and i had half-siblings. it was awkward, and too much time had passed for me to feel any emotional pull to connect with him. every time i think of my half-siblings, i wish them a good life and wonder if i'll ever get to know them on a personal level.
there were a lot of individual photos of my mom and dad, looking young, and coolly untouchable by life; which never is the case. we looked at all the albums with fascination. roo was interested in finding me in all the photos, and i was interested in finding youthful versions of my parents. i suppose we are all interested in the past and we start off in our life's journey defining ourselves through our parents.
the only photo of its sort, we were thrilled to find a snap of my parents together, in their younger days, carefree and so into each other. roo candidly commented, in her five year old way, that it's similar to the photos i shoot of my princesses and princes (which is how she calls my couples). i know with a lucidity that relationship is over, but it was still nice to be reminded that at a point in time, there was love, there was respect, and there was friendship. as a child, a mother and a wife, this photo touches me in many ways. it's a token that once upon a time, i came from something beautiful; an observation that my relationship with my husband has a direct effect on my children no matter how i wish to buffer them; and a reminder that we all have to decide and act on a daily basis to nurture the love.
i have no lists for 2012, just a lighter heart and a promise to my loved ones: to make time for what is most important and to hold on to the good things because the only moment we truly have is now. let the past be something we can learn from and laugh about.
happy new year everyone!