A New Year’s Eve Soliloquy
It’s New Year ’s Eve again. The most anticipated and exciting occasion for me….but that was long ago. I remember how I can’t wait for the “media noche”. Even we only have a piece of the traditional 12 kinds of fruit, some hotdogs on a stick, “biko”, and “puto” as our food; it was still a festive feeling for me seeing them on our table. Then when the midnight clock strikes-- me, my brothers and sisters, together with mother would have fun running around our front yard with our lighted “luses” and “kwitis” fireworks. We’re not able to afford those extravagant fireworks so we just contented ourselves with watching those displays from the neighborhood and from afar. And surprisingly, we were delighted with that, but especially me. I guess what gave me the happiness and excitement during those times was the feeling of a happy family around me. Watching my eldest brother enjoying lighting those 5-star firecrackers, my two elder sisters merrily dancing to the new wave disco music loudly playing on the karaoke, and my mother busily preparing our food for the media noche…ah, those were the new year eves that was really bliss for me…but everything slowly changed brought about by unavoidable events.
I was already working then (since I was not able to enter college right after finishing high school), when mother got stroked. After that, I never saw her busy preparing our media noche food ever again. We couldn’t afford to hire the services of a therapist so it’s just us her children who had to massage her and we managed to give her even just a little improvement. Mother could hardly walk already but at least she did not become bedridden. And while she can still manage to do some light chores-the cooking had already become impossible to her as her hands had lost their steady grip. And so, our New Year's Eve had never been the same again as far as I’m concerned coz I was missing my mother’s touch on the foods at our table. One of my elder sisters took care of the food preparation since then and the following media noches we had. We still have fun with our "luses" and "kwitis", and mother is still able to go with us outside the house and join the merriment so it was still a happy new year’s eve for me.
But when my elder siblings had all gotten married and had their own family already, New Year Eves had been solitary instead of festive for me, wearisome instead of fun-filled and anxiousness had replaced the usual excitement. I alone had to mind the "media noche" expense and preparation. And there’s just the two of us now-my mother and I.
Although expense was not really a problem for me, it was the food preparation that had become wearisome every new year’s eve that had gone by…because I had never really liked cooking and food preparation (though I enjoyed watching mother and my sister do it) much more the planning and budgeting and the hustle and bustle of buying what’s on the budget list. Oh but I can manage anyway.
But can I manage the solitude I’m feeling right now? At this very moment that I was writing this piece-I am teary-eyed and I swear I wanted to cry. It was lonely to think that I could no longer enjoy the company of my brothers and sisters and share the childlike merriment of New Year’s Eve when we were young. And mother will just be lying in the bed now when she used to be there in the kitchen busy as a bee hours before the clock strikes 12.
I miss the feeling of anticipation and excitement of a child years ago that was in the same kitchen watching her mother busily preparing food…now the child will no longer be there but a solitary lady preparing food not because she was happy doing it but because she have to…for her mother. If not for her, I would not bother at all about New Year’s Eve and I will just have to sleep through it. But don’t get me wrong, I am not lonely because I was the one doing what mother and sister used to do. I am lonely because I feel so alone in that kitchen. It would have been happy if I have mother alongside and we would be happy talking while working on the food preparation and not like that where she’s just there on her bed and occasionally giving me instructions as to how I would do the cooking.
Or maybe, just maybe… it would be more happier if I was there in the kitchen busy preparing food and there will be this child happily watching me doing all that…a child of my own…but how can that be when I am still single like this and to think I am already nearing my mid-thirties. I knew it…my loneliness is not merely because I’m longing of the past. I guess it was more of I’m longing for a future with a family…of my own. But God doesn’t seem to have the same plan for me I guess.
Tell me God--do you intend to keep me single for life? Coz if not, why does it have to take so long for me to find my destiny? Oh yes I remember, there was this one text mate who could have been the one for me but didn’t You took him away? No I’m not angry with that and I have no right to contend Your decisions. I still believe You know what’s best for me. If you think single life would be best for me then so be it, but at least restore my mother’s physical condition back to the day when New Year’s Eve was so much happier for me. Please. And then I will never have to go through this sad soliloquy again.