until tears formed in my eyes and my stomach begged me to stop.
I take it as one pure blessing, you know..being able to laugh with full abandon , side by side with a good old company and just over the simple act of reminiscing the past.
Saturday night, my cousin Grace, who is also my bestfriend and my sister, was lounging with me in the couch after a full chinese dinner in a restaurant with the whole family.
We were so bloated from all the food, and we just sat there idly and heavily. Conversation flowed and we started comparing our lives now to our lives then when we had very little and when we can barely afford to eat out in a fancy restaurant.
We started laughing so hard . Tears welled up in my eyes and my heart was huge with joy .
We reminisced some of our summer vacation memories when my cousins used to spend time off from school in our little apartment in Tondo, Manila .
That time when we spent all of our lunch money ( which was 30.00 pesos, equal to barely a dollar) on a food that looks so good, but to our dismay, tasted so disgusting, that we ended up not eating lunch at all. We disliked the food. Even our niece who always had the biggest appetite wont eat it.
And another time when we head on over to Mercury drugstore ( convenience store ie. like a Shoppers Drug mart or a Walgreens), which is about a kilometer of walk. We spent almost half an hour inside the store deciding what variety of instant soup to buy. Crab meat soup. No. Nido soup. No. Chicken soup. No. Finally, crab and corn soup. Then as I reached out for my pocket to pay in the check out, my heart sank and I grew nervous. I look at my cousins’ expectant faces as if they were all wanting to ask me “why? ” I dig deeper into my pocket . It was empty. And as soon as my face gained color after being pale , we started giggling. But our heart ( or stomach) still yearned for that crab and corn. We had no money. We were poor, funny, little kids. We had to walk back another kilometer back to our house to find wherever the heck I put the money my father gave us so we can buy our snack.
Finally, that time in 7-eleven, My cousins and myself were happily proceeding to check out, each with different varieties of ice cream in our hands. The check out guy punched all of the items in, then as we gathered all of our coins to pay, we realized we were 50 cents short. We did not know how to react, and we all felt like we wanted to disappear right there. But before we could say a word , the cashier guy said ” Its okay, I will take it.”
So hurray for nice cashier guys. And for Ice cream!
I can still clearly remember the emotions of those moments. We were young and we did not know that we lack things . We did not ache because we were short of money or whatever luxury of life. Yes we did hope that sometimes, there were more money to buy ice cream, toys and hamburgers , but it did not really matter much at all. It is just that as kids, all that mattered were summer vacations , idle moments and the joy of always being together even, or most especially in embarrassing moments like that.
And to me that is pure joy , pure innocence and simplicity.
I wouldn’t mind going back to those days, when all little things we have never go unappreciated.