By CLARIELE JERRINA GATDULA
I tend to forget a lot of things, and tend to remember merely fragments if reminded. But, when it comes to that one tall glass of water with cartoon drawings of old men and women dancing, as told by their swaying, and the staffs, g clefs and the notes surrounding them. But, when it comes to that one tall water glass with the words “Groovy Oldies” inscribed on its flawless transparency, my memory will not fail me.
My memory will not fail me on how my mom and dad shared that one tall water glass. That one tall water glass I and my brother nicknamed “Groovy Oldies.” That one tall water glass which we laughed at when we see it. That one tall water glass we would not use, for we laughed at the thought that it is only the “oldies” at home who should use it. That one tall water glass mommy and daddy would bring to bed, in case they wake up from thirst in the middle of the night.
My memory will not fail me when it comes to Groovy Oldies the water glass. Up to now, we would still mention it and we would laugh. And then we would jokingly ask our parents ages. And for the longest time they would answer with numbers half or a decade less than what their birth certificates declare. And we would laugh like those jokes never got old.
And now as I get older, towards the chapter of life where one stands on her own two feet, where her fists are clenched, to fight, to be brave. Not the small hands they used to be, held tight to her dad’s and mom’s. And I am happy learning with the struggling.
This time too, my memory has not failed me. For I have always known that I never really got around with accepting that my growing older has always meant that the groovy oldies of my life will never get any younger. And somehow, they have come around that too. If then, 48 meant 38. If then, comments about looking younger than their real ages were prized compliments. Now, my groovy oldies appreciate the would-be benefits of presenting senior citizen IDs.
My memory has not failed me. No, I never had the idea that I will come around to affectionately saying, “Kawawa naman daddy ko,” lips pouted, hugging Mr. Groovy Oldie as we go through his prescriptions and lab results… the way he would sweetly say, “Kawawa naman baby ko,” whenever I recount a bad day.
My memory has not failed me. No, I never thought who says what was ever reversible. If then, Mrs. Groovy Oldie was the one to say, “Nakaka-proud naman ang little girl ko!” whenever my middle child syndrome kicks in and I brag about the great day that had just happened. Now, I just love reminding my mom that there has not been a day that went by that I never thought that she is my hero.
While my memory has not failed me, I failed myself. I knew we would all grow old. But, why has not it ever occurred to me that change is the only constant thing. That as I change, my groovy oldies would too? That as they had readied me to face the world on my own, I will never really come around the fact that one day, I will be in a different place, or part of the country, or the world, but will not come home to my groovy oldies’ lectures or corny jokes…come home to thinking, “Why did growing old ever had to entail being away from them?”
Well, my memory has not failed me. While it was such a laughing matter of a mundane tall water glass, it has been more than a decade since I got sad that Groovy Oldies the tall water glass fell and broke… That one tall water glass that was not even of Corelle-quality. That one tall water glass we still fondly remember. That one tall water glass that had sported the words I will always see mommy and daddy as. Our. Groovy. Oldies.
Clariele Jerrina Gatdula is a graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Far Eastern University. She considers herself a success in the making – one failure at a time.