Precious moments do not fade away into forgotten obscurity. Nor does the past, be it bitter or sweet. Too often, we allow our lives to pass by without so much of integrating the details we encounter. The moment passes… and the information is lost… “My life has been full of richness but I never took the time to write any of it down,” says an old lady with tears welled up in her eyes. And a young girl tells her, “Don’t fret ma’am, you’ve had the experience and the memories are still there, you just have to delve a little deeper. It will start pouring like rain once you start writing it down.” And so she did.
I remember waking up in the chilly mornings of winter in thick layers of covers with the sound of the radiator gurgling. The greenery had somehow vanished overnight. Instead, white snow had blanketed the vulnerable outdoors leaving the whiteness of it all a sense of pureness in me. From my windowpane, I could see the breathtaking view of the world outside my little confinement. No more chirping of birds greeted me for the flock had probably traveled south for warmth. But it was all the same… magical. I took my time breathing in its magnificent beauty as if it were my last. It never dawned on me that this moment… this winter… would be the last I would ever encounter in this place I called home. Or maybe I just refused to let myself think that.
I moved myself away from the pane and woke my brother up knowing well enough that minutes from now, my mom would be knocking at our door to wake us up for school. But I didn’t want to experience what I felt alone. I nudged my brother gently but he turned away. The second time I nudged him, he managed to mutter, “What?” And as I crawled on the bed towards the window, I pointed out my finger and whispered, “Look! Look outside…” He slowly crept out from his covers while rubbing his eyes and followed to where I was pointing. He didn’t say anything. He was at awe but at the same time, I knew he had come down to the realization that this would be our last.
Soon enough my mom came knocking at our door. Surprised that we were both perched behind the window, she came to us and looked to see of what had aroused our interest. And the minute she did… I presumed she just knew. She too had felt it. Immediately, she had given each of us a big hug. As if she didn’t want us to dwell on it any longer, my mom later ushered us to the bathroom to wash up. As usual, our toothbrushes had already been oozed with toothpaste. She knew how cranky we would get if it wasn’t and she didn’t want to go through the chaos. Most of the time, she would bathe us as well.
My mom also picked out what we wore to school. Sometimes, when I didn’t like what she chose, I would choose what I wanted to wear myself. Mom just loved tying up my hair in the mornings after I got dressed. When she got tired of tying up my hair in plain ponytails, she’d start pulling my ponytails to the side, whichever side she pleased. Sometimes she’d braid my hair or I would French braid my own hair. But I just hated it when my mom pulled my hair up in two ponytails. I really did. She always laughed when I nagged how much I detested it. She always said how pretty I looked that way but I knew I looked horrible. Once, while I was reading a book in the library at school, my picture was captured with me grinning a toothless front and my hair held up in two ponytails. The best part is… that fateful picture was forever encapsulated in that year’s school yearbook. One of which I still hold on to this very day.
My mom still laughs over it today.