Lola. Nana. Grandma. Granny. Gramps. Mommy. Mommyla. These are names commonly used to refer to grandmothers. How do you call yours? I call mine NANAY. Everyone in the family calls her Nanay. When we want to tease her, we call her Nanay Sue, short for Susana her real name. When we want to tease her even more, we call her Nanay Susing.
Today is her 91st birthday! Yes! 91st! Amazing isn’t it? And mind you, she is still healthy for her age. She suffers from mild illnesses common to people her age like heavy breathing when she’s over excited or annoyed, high blood pressure, and arthritis. Apart from that, all her systems are working well. Her brain is still super active that she still knows everyone’s birthdays, from her children, grandchildren to her great grandchildren. She still reads and that’s without the aid of eyeglasses. She is updated with current events and watches television soaps that she likes. Her diet? Oh, she’s not the typical granny whose diet is limited. Well, when she was younger she was picky with her food. High-breed chicken was a no-no. Fish was limited to certain kinds. She ate and still eats all kinds of vegetables though. Now, she eats everything because according to her “makaon ka o ‘indi, mamatay ma lang angud” (whether you eat or not, you still die). Yeah, she now eats humba, adobo, lechon, sweets.She chews her food slowly. She's the first to sit on the table and the last to leave.
Grandmothers are usually doting, spoilers, and pampering. Not my Nanay. She is the ultimate disciplinarian of all. Plates had to be spotless after eating. No leftovers. It took several months and various processes before a grain of rice was placed on our plate, she said, so we had to eat without dropping a single grain. Noise wasn’t allowed inside, so we had to run around outside the house. Riding motorela or trisikad to the market was not in her vocabulary. It’s a waste of money to her. We had to walk so we can exercise. When you’re with her in the market, don’t expect to be given lollies or anything you want. “You don’t know what kind of hands made that.”, her reply to our persistent pleas. Afternoon nap was a must but my cousins and I usually escape when she fell asleep. Early morning devotions had to be joined by everyone or you get a long sermon afterwards.
For all these, I am forever grateful to my Nanay. These things helped sculpt me become what I am today. From her, I learned the value of money. I learned the importance of each member of the family. I learned priceless Christian values. I learned how my mom was trained thus cascading her discipline and values to us. The wisdom she shared will be treasured forever..
THANKS NANAY! May you still live to see more great-grandchildren.