Allow me to linger on the memory of you today.
In my mind, the first day I saw you is as fresh as the thought of yesterday.
You were radiant as you were simple; gracious as you were serene.
I instantly loved you. I would have wanted to stroll along hospital walkways with you if I continued my studies in that direction. I enjoyed listening to stories of you, especially the early years in Baguio with the rest of the family I had grown to love too.
Your car was my favorite, and only now do I realise that my own car is blue too, like yours.
I miss your thoughtfulness, how you would invite me to eat or check if I have a ride home. Merienda at Jollibee would always remind me of you.
When the time came when you no longer remembered me, I kept on thinking about you. I could not tell you how much I loved you, because I had become an unwilling stranger. Yet I still prayed for you. And I still pray for you.
It has been a year today since you left. Though we were almost but not quite bound as family, you will always be the one I learned the most from. You are one of the reasons why I survive being alone. You were the gentle strength that kept me standing in spite of the crushing difficulties at home. You were the inspiration that empowered my prayers to bring my father back in the pink of health. And you are the silver lining that reminds me to trust God's plan and to see the good in every event that comes -- or fails to come -- in my life.
Thank you, Lola Bella. You will always be remembered and loved.