Small World

I have taken to responding to comments on the sidebar but this one deserves special mention because I was just floored when I read it this afternoon.  Tetet of San Bruno, California wrote a response to my Sweet 16 post over the weekend, about the lady I mentioned who cooked for my debut, Tita Effie (I never even knew that was an “F” because my Auntie Andie who was her friend kept calling her Eppie!).  She wrote:  

Hello. I’m an avid reader of your post. As I was reading this, I saw the name of my mother in law – Effie Ramos who lives in Timog Avenue, QC. WOW, you know her. What a small world 🙂 She is an excellent cook, especially her Kare kare and Beef Mechado. YUM!

Tetet, I’m speechless.  Tita Effie has always been someone I will never forget because she helped to make my 18th birthday truly special.  And mind you, she did it as a special gift to me — I didn’t hire her to cook for my guests.  I had lost touch with her through the years because I hardly see Auntie Andie who is her friend, but I always felt something tugging at my sleeve whenever I went around the Circle area.  

I hope she is fine and well.. I will save the kwento in a private e-mail.  I am hoping you can update me on what has happened to her and Tito Joe.  I hope they are both well.. I am keeping my fingers crossed she will remember me because what she did for me was truly a gift from the heart.  During my last visit to Manila this summer, I actually thought of just popping up there one afternoon I was tyring to go between appointments, but I succumbed to hiyaand thought I’d pass it up.

I’m just curious if you’re the mom of their first grandson?  Or are you married to Robert?  I knew Robert, but know that their first grandson was by their other son.  And how is Joel?  (Am I remembering the names right?.. I know there were three sons and their daughter who was a doctor already when I met Tita Effie.)  I would love to catch up — please e-mail!!  If you can, too, please give me Tita Effie’s mailing address so I can send her a short hello by mail at least.  That is, unless she’s also into the net now, then I can e-mail.

Wow.. talk about a blast from the past!  These are the rewards of blogging that are just beyond me.. totally!  It’s like thinking about someone and wondering what has happened to them through the years, and someone like Tetet comes out from nowhere to just tell me they’re related.  It’s as if I hit a button and got an answer almost simultaneously.

9/11 Year 5

This 9/11 Anniversary, for some reason, is heavier on the heart for me.  I almost turned around while walking to the bus stop this morning out of part anxiety (you get this sense of panic during occasions when you know there’s a heightened state of alert as far as security is concerned), and part out of a sense of grief — was I emotionally up to working another “normal” day?

I decided to go and brave the work day.  Things were as normal as can be as I had to jostle my way to my seat, prod an uncaring elderly Asian woman who didn’t want to move to the window seat until I got jostled in turn by the passengers behind me, and who, after I sat down with my well-endowed hips decided she was going to occupy part of my space.  I kept my cool.. I waited for another seat to become available, then I lugged my gear and transferred.  I had to before I bumped her back into her space with my derrier.  

Everyone was late in the office.  No trains were going in or out of Penn Station, and traffic leading to the office was all tangled up no thanks to an incident on the upper level of the 59th street bridge.  

So we are trying to go about our day as we would any other Monday.  This time five years ago, I finally made it home.  I was just grateful to be alive.  My sister and Alan were in our apartment, my family in Manila already knew we were all safe.  They didn’t have any idea, though, how close I was to Ground Zero.

I have gone back to Ground Zero around 3 times since 2001 to bring friends to see that big gaping hole.  All first timers, they never saw the grandeur and size of the World Trade Center when it was still standing proud.  The few times I had interviews there, I always had to find a security man or a policeman to show me the way to the correct exit.  THAT big.

It was so tall that like the Empire State Building, you would have to switch elevators somewhere midway if you were heading for the upper half.  I never even ever reached the viewing deck.  My sister, Offie, was more fortunate, as I got her the City Pass which allowed her to view New York City’s major attractions in a one-week stretch.

Today I said a prayer for the thousands of souls who lost their lives that fateful day.  9/11 is a lesson we must all remember and strive not to see happen to anyone on this planet again.