Monday, August 22, 2011

there are no goodbyes

I didn’t expect yesterday would end up as grey as the aternoon skies. At around 5:30pm, August 21, National Artist for Literature Edith Lopez Tiempo passed away. I could not define the sadness that drenched over me all of a sudden, the wall that blankly stared back after receiving the news.

The literary community calls her “Mom,” and at this very moment her children are in sorrow.

She left a void as immense as her passion, and now it is up to her children to keep her words alive. Hope is all we could have—hope for relief, hope for posterity, hope for lasting remembrances.

There is not enough “thank you” to contain my gratitude for the teachings I receive from her, the fleetest moments I am with her, the gentle smile the first time I met her. She may be an old woman but the wisdom in her eyes is young, always ripe, sometimes with a glint of the jokester. “How proud I am to have a writer who is Biblically approved,” she wrote on my Sands and Coral journal I had her autographed back in 2008. In my mind, well, how proud I am to have you as a second mom in my second home.

In the Director’s Dinner last May 17 where Mom graciously attended for the 50th anniversary of the Silliman University National Writers Workshop she co-founded with her husband, Edilberto Tiempo, she said, “I am happy, happy to be with you as I have always been happy all these 50 years with writers, and I hope that each one of you will be happy to say that, ‘Oh, I was last night with a 92-year-old woman who claims she is a writer.’”

And in my simple words, I am happy, Mom. I am.

[ photo by Urich Calumpang ]

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