Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Mamay and Nanay

Mamay* tends a convenience store on the street where we live. I would sometimes go to his store to buy an item which I forgot to pick up from the supermarket, or to quickly replenish my diminishing condiment supply. At 86, Mamay moves slowly now but he could still count and give the correct change. At times when I would pass by, I would see him watching  TV placed in one corner of his store. This morning, I saw him repacking brown sugar in small plastic packets.

I see him in contrast with my aunt whom we call Nanay**. Nanay remains unmarried and now lives with a relative. She's about the same age as my neighbor Mamay. But unlike my enterprising neighbor, I heard Nanay spends more time watching TV alone. In her earlier days, she went out with friends but soon lost touch with them. It's sad that she has become more forgetful lately, not recalling the names of nieces and nephews, not remembering where she placed a personal belonging, or if she has already cashed her retirement check. I plan to visit her again soon. I hope she still recalls my name and that we could laugh together as we remember whatever happy memories we still share.

Nanay (right in printed dress) holding me

Read about enhancing your relationship with your elderly relatives and creating pleasant memories from my book Life in the Middle. Available at PCBS, CSM Book Corner, and some branches of National Book Store. If you want the e-book version, you may get it from Buqo. Want a signed copy delivered at your doorstep? Please email for orders.

*Mamay is a Tagalog term used in Batangas for grandfather.
**Nanay is a Tagalog term for mother. Also used to refer to a grandmother.

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