A little over a month ago, our ancestral home located at the east side of the country was sold. Though I no longer live there, I promised to say my goodbye and give my last respect to the house we once called home.
It felt surreal since all of us have this thinking that it would always be there and at that very moment it still hasn’t sync in for me.
I sat inside my grandparents room and looked around, framed photos of the family, old memorabilia’s, framed diplomas and other things that has turned rusty and dusty through time were still in its place. I sadly smile knowing that within the next couple of days, everything will be removed and placed in a box of which will be stored somewhere where no one will be able to look at it and appreciate it, the house that accommodates everyone in the family who wants to go “home”, the house where I grew up with Turing.
I can still remember the coffee aroma which fills the entire house every morning accompanied by the scratchy sound coming from Turings radio. I was thought that as soon as I get out of bed, that I was to wash my face, brush my teeth and comb my hair and this has been my daily routine of which I thought my children the same. Once I finish my morning routine, I would follow the sound of the radio and the 4 year old me would slowly tip toe until I’m a few inches away from Turings back, I’d summon up my biggest and loudest voice and scare him and he’d act surprise and scared every single time.
I’d stay there for minutes looking at him tinker anything that caught his interest for that morning. If my grandmother has numerous bottles that has different colors, shapes and designs of buttons (she’s a great dressmaker by the way), Turing has bottles which has screws and bolts. He’s got a lot of tools of which some were hand made by him.
Since I was temporarily left under their care by my parents, Turing would always find ways to entertain the little me, he once made a car out of wood with soda lids for the wheels. He attached a string in front so I can take it with me anywhere. He built a make shift play house in the corner of our garden and bought me clay pots so I can play there. We even tried cooking real food since we have a number of chickens and grew a few vegetables at the back of the house. We would sometimes go out in the morning or afternoon and he’d watch me and my friend ride our bikes and pick dandelions along the way.
Aside from my birthday, I love spending Easter and Christmas with them. Every Easter morning, I would find a treat waiting for me atb the table and I always look forward to the Easter egg hunt for that day. Christmas is always special not because of the present (well okay of course the present counts) but because of the apple eating contest of which I always lose. When the whole family goes out I would find myself sitting beside him alongside other husbands and grandfathers who would rather look into space for the next 4 hours waiting for dust to turn into air.
Albeit all the fun things I remember, of course I was also reprimanded when needed, same as other kids my generation, I also had my fare share of “discipline” of which I think kids lack nowadays. You see he is an ex military so we have set unbendable house rules of which, most of the time, I diligently follow.
As I grew older more responsibilities were handed to me and just as freedom was freely given, expectations also rise. He thought me to never waste my time, do something productive when I can. Be independent. Hold my ground when needed. Do no harm but take no sh*t as they say. But despite the values that was taught, I still did some things I’m not very proud of and since I can never take them back, I try to be a decent person every day of my waking life. From this I’ve learned that we, mere humans, are born to make mistakes but molded to a person to deal and learn from them.
I had a lot of fun memories because of Turing, but looking back now, I guess what made me remember them all even though they now seem like a distant dream, are the little lessons in between. Those values inserted in every game, every toy, every scolding are what kept me intact even through my troubled years.
At my age now, I still get some serious, one on one “pep talk” with Turing and though I might not look that part, I’m grateful, I was always grateful and will forever be. I’ve learned that kids are like kites, before we make them fly, we have to make sure that they are strongly built and they can withstand strong winds. Once we’ve set them to start flying, little by little we let the string go so they can go as far as they want but still making sure we are holding the end of the string.
Once in a while the kite may falter because of the strong winds but all you have to do is tug the string a little to keep the kite aligned again. I’m glad that my grandparents still holds the end of my string because I know I can still go further than where I am now and knowing that they are just there waiting for me gives me enough comfort and confidence to go on. I will always be thankful to my parents for giving me life but I will always be grateful to my grandparents for the person I came to be.
They said I have a knack for writing of which I inherited from Turing. Some said I have big ears just like him. Some would say I have thick eyebrows just like him and I have stray baby hairs growing along my hairline just like him. I am proud to be just like him. He is my grandfather after all and I’m proud to be his granddaughter. Why did I write this article? I simply just wanted to say Happy Fathers Day Turing! Thank you Lolo. Looking forward to our next pep talk!