Dear Kulit,

My memory is not good. It’s pretty bad actually. I can’t remember what I ate last weekend if you paid me. So, I think it’s pretty important to write this down right now.

I think I’ll start on the day that you were born. It was around 2am when your mom told us that her tummy was starting to hurt. We got her to the hospital where we played the waiting game until around 7 or 8 in the morning and your dad called me to look through the nursery window. And there you were, a small bundled up little package under a sun light. You were the most perfect thing I’ve ever seen. I called my dad, your grandpa, and sent him picture of you. I’m pretty sure I was laughing and crying at the same time because you were so damn perfect.

You were the quietest little baby I’ve ever seen. Hearing from other people, you’d think all babies are monsters; keeping their parents up at night and bawling every minute of every day but you were different. The most of noise that you could make were tiny “eh eh” sounds and that was only if you needed something, like food or a diaper change. Other than that, you were very, very quiet.

You did have a routine, though. You’d wake up every 2 or 3 am in the morning so you could be carried or fed and then you’ll fall asleep again. I’d be keeping myself up at those hours just so I could get the chance to hold you because I’d be out all day for work.

I have a picture of us, with me carrying little you with an expression on face that says “Go ahead, take this baby from me and I’ll gut you from chest to crotch. Just try.” That pretty much sums up what I feel for you.

I don’t remember but I think your first word was either “ayaw” (I don’t want) or “no”. I think it was “no” because we had to say that to you a lot. When you were around one year old you started biting on your crib and pretty much wrecking it.

You didn’t talk much then. I have this jersey shirt that had the number 8 on it and when I wore it I would always point it out and say “8” but you’d ignore me so I thought you weren’t paying attention. I was really surprised when one day you saw me wearing the shirt and you said “8!”.

You were the prettiest little boy I’ve ever seen. You actually looked a lot like a girl when you have long hair. It’s good that you’re so photogenic because your mom likes to take pictures. Your mom collected a lot of pictures of you, even more than the pictures that she has of herself. When you grow up, your whole life is already cataloged on your Facebook page and you could look back and see how much everyone adored you.

I suppose the only worry we have is that you still haven’t gotten the hang of language yet. You’ve always invented your own words so much so that people who hear you thought you were really Korean. Until now, when you’re four turning five in a few months, you still don’t speak well. That’s our fault and I’m sorry. We don’t talk to you that much. We’re not really the chatty type of people and it’s just a shame because you’re turning out to be quite the talker yourself, only we can’t understand a word you’re saying. You did pick up a lot of colorful words from GTA San Andreas that you liked to play and Pewdiepie, Markiplier and Cryaotic’s playthroughs in youtube.

I like that when you play video games you also commentate on it, like those youtube gamers. Of course, half the time we don’t understand what you’re saying but you’re still doing it. I’ve always planned that when you’re older and have learned to speak properly I could get you a camera and a really good computer and you could make your own playthroughs and we’d upload them on youtube. Judging from how cute and charming you are you’d be popular in no time and what you’d earn will help pay for your college someday.

I love that when you wake up, the second thing you do after waking up whoever parent was still sleeping beside you is to bang on my door and wake me up. Then you’ll pull me up and force me to go downstairs to the living room with you. I love that sometimes you give us a hug or a kiss out of nowhere. I love that when we’re riding on a jeepney, you prefer to sit on our laps and be held and hugged rather than sit on the seat beside us even when there’s room.

I know someday this will all change. When your mom and I hug and kiss you in front of your friends, you’ll probably start complaining. But right now, you’re our baby and we’re all making the most of it.

I want you to know that despite being tiny and defenseless, you’re still my knight in shining armor. I have no worries when you’re with me because there’s nothing more important than you. I’m most probably spoiling you rotten but I’m your aunt, not your parent, I’m allowed. You give me hope and courage by just being here with us.

We all love you very, very much and I know that you will grow up perfect.

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Dear Mommy,

It’s been fifteen years since I last spoke to you. That’s not the fault of either of us. I’m sure you didn’t mean to die. I’m still not sure whether I should envy you or not. Sure, you didn’t get to see how adorable your grandson is but you’re not here to suffer either.

Anyway, that’s not why I’m talking to you. I’m talking to you because there’s no one else to talk to. No, mom, I’m not being dramatic. I’m 99% sure that most of the people around me don’t care enough to help. I know because I already asked for help and they chose not to. The only two people who cares about me, my dearest sister and her baby boy, don’t have the ability to help. I would rather not worry their heads by telling them something they have no ability to change. I know, you can’t help either, you being dead and all, but you’re my mother. Aren’t you supposed to have the cure-all for things like this?

So, onto the problem at hand. I’m depressed. Immensely so. It’s one of those days when I wish that I drank alcohol because maybe it might just numb the pain enough for me to be able to bear it. Yes, it’s that bad. I hate alcoholics. They should all be set on fire while alive. The fact that anyone with the ability to help does not care enough to do so, as I have already said, is the source of the pain. The people who I counted on to help me are looking at me like they didn’t who I am. I feel so abandoned.

I don’t know what to do anymore. I’ve never wanted you to be alive more than how I want you right now. I need you to hold me while I cry and tell me that it’ll all pass and everything will be okay and I’ll believe it because you told me so.

But you’re not here. And I’m in my room, crying for two hours now because no matter how much I tell myself that I’ll get through it, I don’t believe it. I’ve never felt like this since my nephew was born and that scares and depresses me even more because the thought of seeing that boy grow up and being there for him as much as his parents will be has been the only thing that has been able to tether me onto this world and if that’s not working, I don’t know what else will.

I’m scared and sad and alone. No matter what I do, I’m not feeling better.

I need you, mom. Please help me.