In my heart, Always

In my heart, Always

November 1 is “Araw ng mga patay” Filipino which means “The day of the dead.”

So I’ll dedicate this post for the one important person, I can’t forget…

Back in the late-80s, when I was about 3 years old, I live in the back of the barn, turn into a makeshift entertainment room. The barn had a huge heavy television screen where the owner showed films every night for 4-5 hours (2 or 3 films).

The audience sat in the benches facing the TV, and in the back of the benches was a bamboo bed about 100cm wide x 200cm length. That’s where we lived. Our clothes and other stuff are under the bed. My father and Renaldo, my 2-year-old brother, lay on the bed day in and day out because of malaria.

Whenever the evening comes, we become a part of the show for people who comes in to watch films.

Renaldo hated the loud sound, and it was up to me to soothe him since my mother is out the whole day until the evening trying to get some small income. I have nothing to eat for almost the whole day. I spend my free time waiting for other kids to drop their empty snack wrappers, hoping that I can scrape some leftovers.

Because of improper care (which I blamed myself for a long time), my one-year-younger brother died. At two, Renaldo caught many other sicknesses after malaria.

One day, my mother went out like normal and I was happy that my brother seemed at peace. Renaldo usually cries and whine, but that day he sleeps with a peaceful look on his face. Despite the hunger of not eating again the whole day, my naΓ―ve 3-year-old self covered Renaldo’s cold body with a blanket and kiss his forehead.

Later that day my mother return with other people and horrified me when they stuffed my brother in a wooden box and locked it with nails.

brother's death

No one explained anything to me, my mother just yelled at me when I tried to stop them. It was a nightmare. In my head, the men who put my brother in the box was the reason Renaldo died.

I thought I’d never get over it. But I did. A short time after Renaldo’s death, my father recovered. Life got better. I moved on, but the pain remain to this day. Each time I think of my brother, I feel like crying. How bad he must have felt back then. No food, no medicine, and on top of it suffering from malaria and bronchitis and other sicknesses, and ultimately cancer…

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26 thoughts on “In my heart, Always

  1. I’m speechless dear Jess…you were 3 years old? I though is fiction but is real? I’m really speechless and sad 😒 I cannot even imagine what was in your heart πŸ’”
    You’re a very powerful soul πŸ€—πŸ’•πŸ€—πŸ’•

    1. Yes, dear Ribby, Renaldo was my younger brother. He’s a year younger than me.
      I’m not sure what was in my heart then, but I don’t remember ever smiling until my father was healthy enough to get a job.

      1. Heartbreaking 😒😒
        You are who you are because of all your experiences but you’re really a strong women! Not everyone can go through something like this! πŸ˜–πŸ˜–

        1. I’ve been through worse stuff dear Ribby and that’s why I’m grateful for all the good that enters my life. Thank you so much that heartfelt sympathy though. 😌
          When we drop by Singapore you got gift me best dessert ever πŸ˜…

    1. Thank you so much πŸ™‚ I comfort myself that at least he saved himself from the hard life he might have to face.

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss. πŸ₯Ί God, this is heart breakingπŸ’” Facing a loss at such young age, you have been through a lot, knowing each of them only shows how a strong soul you have become today. I got nothing to say, just a long pause at my brain thinking what to say.

    1. Thanks Simon ❀️ your thoughts are more than enough πŸ™‚ Again thanks. πŸ€—

    1. It was. Though it seems so far now, yet so close at the same time. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Chris. πŸ˜”
      Sometimes I find myself smiling because November reminds me of his death, yet at the same time it’s the month my son was born. πŸ™‚

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