August 7, 2007

Take me Home

Filed under: Doodles, Blabs and Rants — didee @ 9:49 pm

There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.~ The Lord Of The Ring, J.R.R Tolkien

I was having a quick hunger fix with the fools (or what’s left of us) at the office earlier, and our conversation shifted to kids just as we we’re finishing up. If I remembered it right it all started when we we’re teasing Ryan on how many kids he has already, errr erase that, I mean, how many “eldest” he has. LOL. (Sidenote: If you want to avail of Ryan’s services, please leave a note and I’ll get back to you… LOL).

Anyway, all of these triggered a memory – or rather memories – I had when I was still a small kid and how many times I got lost and somehow found my way back home. Up until now, I believe heaven sent some angels to watch over me.

I remembered when I was still around 4 or five years old, my grandma visited us from her hometown of Samar. She stayed with us a couple of days, while she buys stuff she’s gonna bring back to the province. One day, she asked my papa if she could take me with her on one of her walks. This time though, she was headed downtown, where you’ll find almost anything and at a cheaper price. Even as a kid, I love watching people move as they go about their own business, looking at various stuff shops sell. My lola (grandma) was holding my one hand while I try to ignore a budding stiff neck because I was busy looking up and craning my neck absorbing all of these things happening around me. I love how we wait for the sign to turn “WALK” by the sidewalk, and as one, all these people start their march across the street.

I don’t know exactly know how it happened, but somehow i got lost. My lola, probably, for a split second let go of my hand and that was all it takes for me to wander on my own. It didn’t bother me that nobody was holding my hand, all that matters is that I’m at a new place and there’s so many things to watch all at once. I followed the movement of people, as if someone was still there holding my hand. When the light turns red, i just stopped walking, because the wave of people that I’ve been following also stops. I wasn’t afraid. It didn’t occur to me that a four year old wandering off on her own is a very scary scenario. But at that time, I wasn’t aware just how lost I was.

And just about that time, my lola went back home, almost beside herself when she told my papa about what happened. My parents together with my uncles and aunties all went out to look for me not even knowing where to look first. (Hehehe didn’t know I was such a trouble maker when I was young).

It was already dark when the sudden realization that I was alone came to me. I didn’t remember if I wailed at the top of my lungs, but i do remember crying. Imagine a four year old, sobbing silently while she was walking alone. I don’t remember shouting for my mama and papa, but I remembered how scared I was the first time I realized that nobody was there with me. My pink lips curled in a sad, scared pout, with silent tears streaming down my face. I was scared but I was brave (and still am 🙂 ).

Then I came along an alley and I saw a young couple. I don’t think they were married. I think the boy was visiting the girl in her dorm or in her apartment. (Or just maybe they we’re making out and I was interrupting hehehe). Well, that was I thought then , because I seem to remember my Auntie Tata’s boyfriend or suitor doing the same thing (not the making out thing lol). I approached them and said “Uli na ko.” (I wanna go home). I know that there are some childhood memories that are not as vivid in our minds when we try to remember them. But these memories are very much clear in my head up to this day.

I remember one of them wiping my tears away, and asking what my name is and where I live. God bless my parents for teaching me at a very early age how to answer such questions. So with quivering voice I answered, ” I am Dianne , I live at #19 V. Rama Avenue Cebu City.”. And then I went on, like having a recital, without them asking with, “My father’s name is A_______. , my mother’s name is C_____. I am 4 years old.”. Good kid. I was a walking ID card. LOL. (Note to parents reading : VERY important to teach your kids these: how to say their name, your address or put an identification card in their pocket when you go out, just in case. I intend to do this when I will have kids of my own.)

And the rest was history, the young couple fortunately knew my street and brought me home and told my parents how they found me (or was it how I found them? 🙂 ). I don’t know what happen to them. I hope they ended up with each other and had their own kids whom they taught to recite their names, address, and age. 🙂 My mama told me they’re angels sent by God to bring me back home to them. And I believe so until now.

Another lost in space moment came when I was in grade-5. We just moved to a new place together with my mama’s eldest sister. My papa always fetch me from school all throughout my grade school days. And at times when he can’t make it, there’s no problem really since my school was just 15 minutes away by foot from our house. But then, we moved and it would take two jeepney rides from our new place to my school. It was bit overwhelming at first.

One day, we were released early from school. Perhaps it was because of a typhoon because it was really raining hard that day. And I mean really hard! And to add more twist on that fateful day, I didn’t know that they had a new routing scheme for jeepneys implemented that day. Rather than waiting for my papa to fetch me at the usual time, I decided to go home on my own. In my mind I was pretty confident since I had familiarized myself with the landmarks I “need” to see on my way home. Like the St. Nicholas Church, then the long stretch of road of Colon, then the Pari-an mini park. Then I would have to get off at a bakery near my aunt’s place and walk home. It was all embedded in my young mind and I thought it was such an easy feat. But then came the rerouting of jeepneys!!!!! (If I’d known WTF means at that time, I would have said it, LOL)

Since it was raining hard, I thought of bracing myself for the fast run I need to do once I get off at the bakery near our house. I was watching intently where the jeepney would pass and taking note of the usual sites I see on my way home. Then suddenly, the jeepney went left going to Cathedral church! It was unknown territory for me! This wasn’t part of my usual route. I told the driver I have to get off and gave him the last money I had in my pocket. I didn’t thought I needed more, since it was supposed to be the last ride I need to take me home.

The street was empty and slowly the rain was happily drenching me. With my heavy backpack, I couldn’t decide whether I should go left or right. I don’t know which road would take me home. Kinda remind me now of Robert Frost’s famous poem,

Two Roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And Sorry I could not travel both.

And be one traveler long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could;

to where it bent in the undergrowth.

Yes, I was indeed lost. But I wasn’t on some woods. I was in the city. And it was raining. And I was drench to the skin. And I don’t have any money.

I decided to choose one of the two. I couldn’t remember which one. But on I walked amidst the pouring rain. Suddenly missing home. Then not far from where I was walking I saw a lady in white. Not the white lady usually present in horror stories. I definitely remember she was wearing white and she had an umbrella with her. And she was pretty. She was walking toward my direction, and I was walking towards hers. When we were just a few feet away, she stopped and smiled and I remembered her asking , “Nasaag ka inday?” (Are you lost ?). All I could come up with at that moment was a muted nod.

She asked me the usual questions and I explained about our being release early from school and the sudden change of route taken by the jeep. And silently added that I had just given the driver what’s left of my day’s allowance. Under her umbrella she explained how there was a rerouting scheme implemented for that day. She told me what jeepney to ride to take me home and gave me money for my fare. She must have sensed that I was still a bit scared, so she waited with me until the right jeepney came, told the driver where to let me off, and with a wave and a kind smile she said goodbye.

Memories like these are really worth keeping. Maybe it’s timely that I remember them now. Once in awhile all of us will get lost along the way. And once in awhile there will be someone whom heaven will send to take us back home. 🙂


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