It was Tuesday.
I didn't go to work. I have this flu for almost week now that keeps me coughing from time to time.
I'm alone at home because Emz went to his business so to kill boredom, I decided to get rid of dusts in our bedroom (never minding my cough after all)- teheehee.
As I peek under the bed to sweep, I saw a big black lizard. Of course, common lizards are often gray in color and it isn't likely to see a black lizard. I also know that most geckos have light coloring so the sight of the black lizard really frightened me that I ran out from the house.
Since my Oyang (Bohol word for grandmother)’s house is only two blocks away, I decided to go and make a visit. My Oyang is on her early 90’s but is still living alone on her bungalow type house. Nobody is nursing her because Oyang at her very old age is still quite maarte and can’t stand long with anybody so what her children do is to make a weekly schedule to each family (she has five married children whom my mum is the youngest) to nurse and take care of her food, her daily needs and ‘caprices’.
She’s been sickly for few months now but she can still manage to walk and do light chores so every time I went to her house, she’d be as quick as a fox to open her door and welcome me. I’m one of her favorite grandchildren.
As I am about to knock at her door and call for her name, I noticed that the door was unlock so I went inside without giving her notice. I go directly to her room and saw my Oyang closing her eyes so tightly that I can see some tears. She’s murmuring words that I hardly can hear so I went near her.
“Oyang!”, I called loudly since she’s a bit deaf already.
She opened her eyes as if trying to see the person standing beside her.
“Ako ni, si Lanie! (It’s me, Lanie)”, I told her and grasp her hands. Her hands were very cold.“Nagkaon naka ug paniudto? (Have you eaten your lunch already?)”.
“Wala pa. Dili nako ganahan mokaon lay (Not yet. I don’t like to eat anymore lay”, she said in a very slow and shivery voice.
“Dili, magkaon ka. Hukaran ta ka. (No, you have to eat. I’ll get some food for you),” I said and went to the kitchen to look for food. When I came back, I let her eat a bit but after one bite, she no longer took any food.
I look around to see what is smelling so bad so that I can get rid of. I saw her pee can so I made some cleaning and getting rid of her wastes before I went back to her side. But the smell was getting worst as if some animal is rotting nearby.
Just when I’m about to look for it, she called for me. “Lay, gusto na ko mamatay. Dili na nako kaya. Gikapoy nako ug hulat anus-a pako kuhaon. (Lay, I just want to die. I can no longer bear this. I am now very tired waiting to die.)
I did not answer her but just hold her hands tightly and caressed her hair. She tried to move but it seemed that she cannot move her legs so I lifted her blanket so that I can help her reposition.
But just as her blanket is air halfway, I could clearly see that the skin between both her legs including her sex organ is decaying. The putrefying smell reached my nose at once. Her skin looked awful. I threw up. I can’t bear the smell and the looks of her in so much pain.
“Lay, ilubong na lang ko ninyo. Baho na kayo. (Lay, please bury me. I stink.)”, she managed to say slowly.
Her breath is dawdling, exhaling cold air.
I feel so weak because here I am witnessing my grandmother decaying to death and I can do nothing! All I can do is hold her hand and whisper her soothing words hoping that these can make her ease the pain…even in a moment.
She called for her late mother’s name and my Oyong (who already passed away last 2008), and many other names that I knew were all dead people.
A cold wind seemed to blow at the back of my neck.
I knew it.
Oyang is calling for death.