Little Miss Drama

Remembering Auntie Aida…

on August 28, 2013

Just recently, my mom’s eldest sister, Auntie Aida, passed away. It was quite a shock for all of us and up until now, it still feels like it was not real at all.

My Auntie Aida is already like a second mom to me and my siblings because ever since we were little, we would spend our entire summer vacation in their house in Lucena. For years, it has already become our habit to go there and stay with her and my two cousins (she has two sons) for almost two months just before school starts again.

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Auntie Aida’s first time to see and hold my son, Joaqui.

I remember, when we were younger, we were all scared of her because she’s kind-of strict. She was the only person who could make me eat my veggies out of my own volition. And I also remember, during meals, whenever I cross my legs on the chair while eating, she would tell me to put them down because it’s not proper.

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At Zoe’s christening with Janna and Joaqui

Growing up, we became closer to her and our two cousins (Kuya Ton and Kuya Jo). By the time we were in college, we have stopped spending our summer vacation there because of our schedule in the university but from time to time, we would still go and visit her and our lola (grandmother).

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At Zoe’s christening with Janna and Joaqui

Last year, almost exactly the same time of the year, she was rushed to the hospital because she had a hard time breathing, She had water in her lungs that the doctors had to take out and a tube had to be inserted for her to be able to breathe properly. She was in pain and her heart got weaker. We were told it was like a mild heart attack already. Yet she was able to recover from that like a miracle as if nothing happened to her.

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After Auntie Aida’s check-up at St. Luke’s

After a month or so, she was back to her normal and daily routine of waking up early in the morning and cooking breakfast for all of us. She was already advised not to do so many things around the house anymore because she’s not supposed to tire herself up with the usual household chores but she still never stopped.

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After Auntie Aida’s check-up at St. Luke’s

And then three weeks ago, we only found out that she was confined in a private hospital in Lucena because she was having stomach pains. For 4 days that she was there, tests were made yet no one could tell them what was causing the pain. Her son, who’s currently in the US, sent me a message in Facebook asking me to have her transferred already to Manila.

My mom immediately got hold of my aunt’s cardiologist at St. Luke’s Medical Center in QC for the transfer and also for a recommendation of an internist to look at her stomach pains. The moment she got transferred to St. Luke’s, we were informed that her pancreas is swollen and infected and they had to do a procedure in her gall bladder to insert a tube that would help not spread the infection and also ease her pain. At the same time, her heart was constantly being monitored because it was still weak.

I could not visit her because there was no one to take care of my son. My younger sister and her husband was able to see her prior to the procedure and my aunt could still talk. She was just advised by her doctors not to if not necessary.

Wednesday night, my parents just came back from the hospital. My mom said the procedure was done but my aunt has been crying from too much pain from the procedure when they left her. After just an hour or so from arriving from the hospital, my mom got a call from St. Lukes. It was my uncle and he was asking them to return to the hospital that same night. My mom wondered why but they went back.

And because I usually work at night, I got a text message from my mom after a few hours to call my other aunt in Lucena, their youngest sister and tell her what happened. Unfortunately, that night, my aunt had an arrest and fell into coma. The doctors checked her pupils but they said the non-reaction is already an indication that my aunt was already brain dead. I could not believe it. And I didn’t know what to tell my cousin who’s in the US (my other cousin is already dead from a fire accident so he was the only son left).

I made the call to Lucena. I was still hoping for some miracle at that point. The next day, one of my aunt’s doctors said something that still gave us hope that things will still get better…that my aunt can still recover from this. We remained hopeful. But by night time, we were to realize that that was really it. She was brain dead and all we could do is just accept everything. My mom’s youngest sister went to Manila that night to make a decision. By Friday, after talking to all of my aunt’s doctors, they decided that it was time to let go. We had to go to Lucena.

We stayed in Lucena for one whole week for the wake and the funeral.

Until now, it still feels weird that I no longer see her when we’re there. I miss her cooking. She’s such a great cook that I realized I should have asked her recipe for her embutido (generic term for sausages found in Spain, Portugal, the Philippines, and Central and South America including Brazil) and leche flan (creme caramel). I have not tasted any leche flan nor embutido which is as great as hers.

We miss it that every time we’re going to Lucena, she would text us asking where we are and if we have already eaten because she would normally prepare food for us. And every time she makes embutido, she never forgets to send some for me back home because she knows how much I love them.

My aunt’s passing may have been sudden but I am still grateful that she was able to see my son and hold him before this all happened. She may have died but now we know she’s already at peace and she no longer feels any pain. Plus, it comforts us to know that she’s already with her youngest son, Kuya Jo, whom she greatly love and cried for when we lost him 10 years ago.

We love you and dearly miss you, Auntie Aida…

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