A PRIEST-friend once said dead relatives sometimes appear in dreams to give surviving loved ones messages.
He was probably talking about my paternal grandmother, gone since 2001 but apparently still keeping tabs with descendants still alive.
One aunt, whose job contract in Osaka expired, was so desperate to go back to Japan. One night, Lola appeared in my dream as if to suggest it was best for the aunt to go back to college and find work in Manila instead.
Months before my dad died unexpectedly in 2010, Lola even brought Lolo with her to one of our nocturnal dates.
“Pakisabi kay Boy (my father’s nickname) na mag-ingat naman siya. Baka kung ano’ng mangyari, eh.”
Both of them looked grim. Suddenly, a staircase appeared behind them and there was light coming from above.
I can no longer remember whether I was aware it was a dream but I knew I followed them, although I stayed at the foot of the staircase.
Looking up, I saw a very good-looking tall man with shoulder-length blonde hair. It seemed he was admonishing them. The man then looked down, saw me and crossed his lips with a forefinger to make the “quiet” sign.
Daddly died shortly afterwards. I have always wondered whether Lola’s warning was about that.
But the visit I remember the most happened just after she died.
It was the first time Lola appeared in my dream. She looked like she was in a hurry, and just took the time to talk to me.
“Sabihin mo sa kanila, ilabas na ang mga manyika sa cabinet. Ibigay na lahat kay Mariel,” she said before leaving in a huff.
Wow, I thought. What was that? I called an aunt.
Tita Fe said that when Lola was still alive, one of my female cousins who was working overseas regularly sent dolls to her firstborn daughter, who was then a toddler.
Fearing that the child might not take good care of the dolls, Lola would pack them in an overhead shelf inside her closet as soon as they arrived.
She would then cover the dolls with thick towels to hide them from anyone who might take an interest.
It seems that Lola forgot to mention the dolls at her deathbed. Mariel was nearing puberty when Lola died.
“Teka, hindi ka na nagagawi dito. Paano mo naman nalaman ’yang tungkol sa manyika? Kami lang ang may alam doon,” my aunt asked.
This was a phone conversation so I couldn’t tell how Tita Fe reacted when I told her about what Lola had said.