Anyone who saw her would agree–Lola Nanay was an otherworldly beauty. She had huge, expressive brown eyes, a touch of gold in her hair, and a radiance that seemed to come from the inside.
She was a good and loyal wife. She was a responsible and wise mother. She was a reliable kumare and peacekeeper to her neighbors. She was clever, creative, and resourceful. She had a sharp eye for micro-business opportunities and was a natural entrepreneur. Every small business she started was a neighborhood success that also added to lolo’s income. My mother, titas, and tito experienced a simple life but they never went hungry, thanks to Lola Nanay’s budgetting prowess. She was generous to anyone having a hard time to the point that the bit of money she saved she was able to loan out to relatives and neighbors. And she never even demanded payment. But for all her traditional Filipina attributes, no one who knew her can deny that Lola Nanay also had a sharp tongue–she said what she wanted to say and meant whatever she said. She didn’t hesitate to speak the truth, even when it hurt.
What people outside the family didn’t know about my grandmother was that she was a natural intuitive and had strong spiritual abilities. I grew up hearing stories of her visions and visitations from spirits of dead relatives. The stories didn’t scare me. Ever since I could remember, anything of a spiritual nature was fascinating for me even as a kid. And now, I am able to understand it better: Lola Nanay was a closet clairvoyant.
Lola Nanay died when I was in third grade, just a few months after her daughter, Tita Lena, died of a brain tumor. Mom used to tell me she died of sadness from losing Tita Lena. She couldn’t bear the thought of her own child dying before her.
I don’t remember having a lot of bonding moments with her when I was a kid, but somehow since my spiritual awakening, I can feel her wise spirit guiding me from beyond the veil. I fancy I inherited her eyes, her stubbornness for digging at the truth, her lioness courage and formidable spirit. I also believe I got my natural intuition and spiritual gifts from her. I am not clairvoyant, but I have come to terms that I am blessed with other clair gifts. And when I tap into them, I also express them through writing, creating, and connecting with others.
Thank you, Lola Nanay, for being my mother’s mother, for being my grandmother. A part of you lives on in me. And because of that, I feel more connected to you. I am honored to be one of the bearers in our generation, of a legacy of spiritual gifts in the family.