I got an interesting call this morning. It was my dad telling me that my mom was in town. My mom lives 7 hours away from me, so this was not something I was expecting to hear. Not that it was a bad thing, just a little surprising considering that she, my dad, and my sister and brother were planning on, and still are I presume, coming to visit me next week. My mom had called and left a message last night about coming up to see me. I hadn't listened to it because I wanted to keep the message icon on my phone so that it would remind me to listen to it and call her the next morning. Apparently, one of my aunts was coming up here to visit a friend, and my mom hitched a ride. Also along for the trip was one of my Filipino cousins that I had never met before, of which there are many. I don't mean "many" in the traditional sense, I mean "many" in the Filipino sense, which means there's like 50 or so of them. I'm pretty sure this number increases exponentially every year. It's estimated that by the year 2014, 1 out of every 7 people will be a member of my family.
I was trying to give my mom directions to my apartment over the phone when they reached Montgomery Chapel, which is on the opposite side of the school from where I live. She was trying to relay this information to my Aunt Flora, who was driving the van, which had a total of 7 people in it. After about 10 minutes of this super fun game, I decided to walk down to the chapel and lead them like the shepherd I am trying to learn how to be. This turned into another super fun game called "Get in the van, I'll tell you where to go, get out of the van, we're going to walk, get in the van, they're driving and need directions, we'll meet you there" by Parker Brothers.
We finally made it back to the apartment, where everyone took a potty break to prepare us for the next leg of the journey: touring the school. I rather enjoyed this part because my aunts kept making Harry Potter comments, and these are old Filipino women who by all rights shouldn't know who Harry Potter is. After the tour, we had lunch at the chinese restaurant and then the van carried my family away to Daly City, which is apparently where they keep the Filipino people around here.
I got a real sense of the mortality of people while we were at lunch. I've known the women that were sitting around the table for as long as I can remember, and it suddenly dawned on me how old they were all starting to look. In a way, I've lead a pretty blessed life. I attended my very first funeral earlier this year, and I just turned 30. I went for over 29 years without having to go to a single one because I just never had anyone die on me. Well, my uncle died when I was in high school, and I was very close to him, but I was out of town during the funeral, so I couldn't go. He died of leukemia. He got very sick and was hospitalized for a long time, but I could never bring myself to visit him. Hospitals are another thing that I don't have that much experience with. I remember thinking to myself that I could always visit him another time. I could visit him tomorrow. I can visit him next week. Part of it was denial. Part of it was that I didn't want to see him that way. I was too self-conscious that I wouldn't know what to say when I got there. I think seeing him in the hospital would have made it too real for me. I was a mess when I found out that he died. I'll always regret never having said good-bye to him.
These women have always been a part of my life. I don't like to think about people dying, but my sister and I are strangely morbid people. I've noticed my aunts and my parents getting older and I can't help it. If I think about it too much, I actually start getting choked up, so I'm always pushing it out of my mind. I know it's unavoidable; in a way, I almost wish I was more used to people around me dying so that it won't be as much as a shock when it finally does happen.
Sorry to make this post such a downer, this is just how my brain works sometimes. Happier stuff tomorrow, I promise. I also promise to stop ending my posts with promises ;-)