A Visit From Australia

It’s been 5 days since my mother and sister went back to Australia. And apart from the picture of me when I was 13 that mum brought over and gave to Jerry, it’s hard to imagine them even being here at all.

Mum brought this picture over from Australia and gave it to Jerry. He has it now on his bedside table. Jerry doesn’t have any photos of his mother Veronica but I’m hoping to get him a picture from his sister in Manila.

Can you imagine my 76 year old mother with her first ever passport entering Asia? Or my sister travelling sans husband and kids? And 11 year old Jerry meeting his lily white grandmother and aunt for the very first time — affectionately dubbing my mother Lola Puti (white grandmother).

Even more exciting for Jerry was all of us crammed into our tiny little flat and Jerry being allowed to sleep on the floor in my room for 7 entire nights. That in itself was thrilling enough (for him anyway because he’s usually banned from sleeping in my room). As much as I love the little imp he is a terrible night kicker and you can never get any sleep when he’s within leg span of the bed.

7 nights flew at the speed of light — and before we knew it mum being loaded into a bicycle rickshaw by a grinning driver (he was being paid 50 pesos to deliver her across the road rather than us navigate her through thick city traffic) — has become just a shadowed photograph. And the little soccer game my sister Diane brought for Jerry (and diligently played with him each night) sits equally quiet.

Jerry and I have so many fond memories of the trip: mum in the public market buying jackfruit and onions; my sister riding in the squishy jeepneys; all of us navigating Jerry (without breakages) through the glass display in the Iloilo City Museum of Modern Art; mum unloading her suitcase of gifts for Jerry and his little friends; mum making Jerry a terrarium from the stuff she bought from the local nursery. Oh and the eating of native foods with our friends  — I do wish I had some photos of mum and Diane with them.

Jerry loved his Lola Puti and his Aunty Diane, and cried when they left. His eyes welled with tears as the taxi pulled away toward the airport … ‘Tita Mel, they had better stay 2 weeks next time, 1 week is not enough.’ And apart from the crammed sleeping arrangements, I definitely agree.

Blogging-U: This blog was prompted by the WordPress online course Writing: Shaping Your Story – 1.2 What original details do you see in your story?.