There are things you should remember from the past almost-two-weeks, such as:
1. Walking to the gully with your dad, dog, and brothers on Christmas Day; Mikko cool in jeans while we wore old PE pants too short to cover our ankles; taking a turn at a long root to scale the gully wall and having a rock land on your knee--the ugly purple and yellow bruise that formed afterward; opting for the slippery fallen tree instead of the concrete bridge over the ravine that cut through the golf course; Buster under the faucet.
2. Going again to the gully on New Year's Day; looking at rocks and things and swinging a natural wooden "finglonger" around while they stuck piccolo firecrackers in the cracks of the gully walls; the way the white dust fell like water from the wall after a little blast and then became a cloud once it hit the gully floor; the lab foaming at the mouth and straining at the leash as the fuses burned and then galloping across the sand to sniff at ground zero.
3. Tracks on the fairway shortly after sunrise; the short grass under your bare feet because the slapping of your slippers sprayed your back with dew; Dad; Dad's back and the dog trotting at his side as they walked before you toward the early morning sun.
4. Lola worrying herself into illness over her siblings and the family land; a pot of lugaw at every meal because she no longer eats regular rice; a long duster, blue and tawny batik, a knit sweater and a scarf from her eldest grandson; repeated refusals to go to hospital; sitting alone on what used to be the family church pew.
5. Your complete inability to remember (or believe) the fact that your grandfather spent his last Christmas in the hospital, in 2004.
6. Mom needing help to stand up and complaining about her knees upon entering an air-conditioned mall; keeping your head down and smiling as she hands you task after last-minute Christmas task; being tekky, e; Christmas dinner at the Hapit Anay carinderia; giving up the computer so that she can work on the liturgy; squash seeds.
7. Riding in the back of the pickup with your brothers after buying fireworks; the pineapple fields in various stages of planting; the air getting colder as you drew nearer to home.
8. The first time you decided not to go to the Clubhouse to watch the fireworks with the rest of the neighborhood (excluding years in which holidays were spent outside of Kalsangi) at midnight; late lunches and dinners.
9. The unspoken acceptance that Momon is no longer too young to watch what he has long understood; 3 Idiots, Rancchodas Shyamaldas Chanchad (zubi dubi zubi dubi pum parram), Mithter Rathtogi; returning briefly to the days before everyone had a laptop and jockeying for turns, when Mon put Spore on the only computer with a graphics card good enough; Bosher; good questions, smart answers, and sharp snark; watching the DVD of his performance at the high school battle of the bands just minutes before you had to leave for the airport.