Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Losing Nina

I wanted to write about her since the week she died, but I didn't get to. There was that hole-like something inside me since that moment that I read this message on the night of November 8, 2011 from our classmate Vicky Pagsibigan in our group site:

Re: [fabfourone70] Carolina B. Cruz


The next day, I opened her account at Facebook and posted this on her wall- wishing that somehow, she would know that I mourn her death-

How do we say goodbye to a dear, dear friend who did not want to bother us with all her worries and pains and instead kept them all to herself? It's pretty difficult. I will miss you, Nina. I will forever treasure our days together at Marcelo; our days at T-170B, UP Diliman; the semester we spent together in your aunt's apartment in Cataluna St., in Sampaloc, wading into the floodwaters of Espana as we go to Diliman for our classes; your assistance to my son at BSU; the little secrets we shared; your gentle ways. You've been an angel here on earth. No doubt the Lord has a special place for you in heaven.
Like ·  · See Friendship · November 9 at 6:49am ·

I last spoke to her on the phone sometime in July this year- when Yollie Torres, another classmate, came for a short visit. That call was for her to attend a dinner with Yollie, hosted by our class valedictorian, Vic Mariano, who has just been appointed DOST Regional Director for Reg. 3 then. She begged off saying she is still recuperating from an illness. It showed in her voice so I did not insist. Her last outing with our classmates was in 2005, when Angie San Pedro went home for a quick visit and a little later, when Frank Santiago came home to bury his mother in Hagonoy.

When we went to UP together, along with a number of our classmates, Nina took up Business Administration. She was persuading me to shift to BA, but it was her who ended up shifting to BSE, major in Math. There were times during our college years when my Tatay and I would come over to their house in Sto. Rosario, Malolos. I distinctly remember one time when we were served nilagang gabi with niyog and asukal by her parents. It was so good I took note of it and made it a regular merienda fare at home, until now.

She has been sick for while, owing to the fact that her heart is not functioning so well. She even asked me once to go with her to see my son's heart doctor. But it never happened. For some reason, she changed her mind about seeking another opinion. According to her eldest sister, there was a need to replace a valve in her heart, a procedure she did not undergo. It must have been so painful and heartbreaking for her mother, sister, brother, nephews and nieces to lose her within a month of her younger sister Choly's death. She and Choly had the exact, same heart condition. She was buried alongside the graves of her father Andres and her sister Choly. The family lost two daughters with the same medical condition in less than a month's time. Life is really strange.

Goodbye for now, dear Nina. Your time has come while we, the ones you left behind, have no way of knowing when ours will come. But your death is a reminder to us that we have to live each day to the fullest, after all, it's the only life we've got.

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