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April 30th, 2008 posted by erwinilao under Uncategorized

She woke me up with a question, “Do you want to see the Grand Canyon?” Startled I said yes just to keep her from asking any more questions. I wanted to go back to sleep and enjoy the start of my weeklong vacation. I was planning to do nothing since we came back just a week ago from a three-day camping trip. Suffice to say, I am just feeling lazy and want to bum around the house for a week. Or so I thought.

She called up her aunt in San Francisco to ask if they would like to join us for the trip. That way, we could stay at Aunt’s house in Vegas and go from there to Arizona. My wife’s grandmother who is bedridden because of a stroke could also go with us to Las Vegas and probably sit on a wheelchair and play in a casino. Gambling always made her strong and during the past few days she was grumpy being in bed all the time. It was supposed to be therapeutic for her, gambling. The downside is that when she loses, which is almost always, she would go back to her grumpy self. She would not take her medicines and not eat. Well, the plan is to take her with us and so my wife was planning it all in her head. 

We will not get a rental car and instead use our van. I just took it out for a thorough inspection last week before the camping at Lake McLure and so I guess it could survive the 1500-mile trip. A week of a rental van would eat away at our budget. We have to crimp. 

We got to the house in San Francisco to pick up Aunt and grandmother. Aunt was packed already. Not that heavy since she just got back from her house there. Grandmother’s stuff was prepared. I loaded the accessories for the wheelchair. She was on her bed, not aware of what was happening. She was not in a good mood and was smirking at her eldest daughter. Apparently she hated being brought from one house to another whenever nobody would be available to take care of her. I was asked to talk to her and convince her that it would be good for her to take the eight hour trip to Las Vegas and spend four hours in a casino playing slots. I was supposed to say that it would strengthen her arms and probably her spirirts if she wins. I was usually the guy they ask to say things like this to her. She loves me more than most of her siblings and granddaughters, she said that so to myself before when she was healthy. Anyway, I did what I was told, not wanting to thwart the carefully laid spontaneous plans.

“I do not feel well. I just want to stay here and wait to die.” With a forceful sincerity she looked at me while mouthing these words. My wife replied that she should not be thinking like so and that she would feel stronger in a different environment. The littany went on another ten minutes. Her grandmother insisting that she be left alone to die comfortably, my wife and her Aunt convincing her that it would do her good. Me, I was just reflecting on the absurdity of the moment. I went out to check on the kids who were making a raucous with their Healy’s. 

Shall we cancel the trip since she can’t make it anyway? Or do we just go there ourselves and let her rest as she insisted? Aunt could not leave her so she can’t go either. That would mean that expenses would have to be borne by us alone. It mattered but not much. The four of us are used to going out on vacations with much less on our pockets. Our principle is that money will ultimately be spent on something so might as well spend it on something we will all enjoy having. So the little we have, we mostly throw on the wants of the moment. “You will earn it tomorrow”, is what I say. “Just enjoy the now.”

So grandma is not coming, so is Aunt. Just the four of us off to Vegas and then Arizona. 

Six hours on the road. Two more to go. Had to stop twice for a restroom break. Kids are asleep after a two hour video game. My wife had to steal some sleep for five minutes every two hours to keep me company. We talked mostly about how we ended up being here. Nine years of marriage and counting..? Whenever we recall our past, the stories change. She would not admit she hounded me, I was too proud to admit I fell for her. If you are just on your way to getting in a relationship, you should write a blog. That way the facts are laid out and you could have it as evidence nine years in the future. 

We also talked about sex. Mostly that topic would keep me awake. Well after five hours of driving in the middle of the night I needed all the subjects that would keep my head awake. And that one almost always never fails. Nothing kinky though. Just stuff that we have been through when we were young. Like, did we sleep around, or what we thought after the first time we did it?… Serious, thoughtful conversation. I am just glad I could do it with her. I think that was what attracted me the most. The fact that I could talk to her and she to me, I guess there lies our secret to keeping the relationship. Maybe.

Finally I could see the lights of the Strip. It is five o’clock in the morning and I could use some sleep.

About the author: 1990 - Freshman belonging to a seminary called the Marian Missionaries of the Holy Cross. The very first student to run out of St. Vincent's Bldg. from the Registrar's office when the violent earthquake of 1990 began. 1992 - Fresh out of the seminary and back to the corridors of the institution. Feeling the need to belong to something or someone. That was when I found SAMAKA. 1993 - Elected President of the College of Liberal Arts, really did nothing but hung out with Morfe, Echauz, Mercado and the Filipinism ideologue. Most were SI Fraternity members. 1994 - Got tired of student politics and joined the MASP, a popular group of Student Speech instructors who knew how to clean tables and do teachers' errands. At least we got paid and I got to "own" the Speech Lab off the 2nd floor of the ST bldg. 1995 - Elected as President of the Adamson University Student Government (AUSG). The election was a landslide courtesy of a no-show opponent, a dysfunctional left-winger, an ambitious "speaker", and my being a popular student teacher. Not that I did not deserve the position at that time. My term was the most peaceful the last fifteen years prior. Here are My Achievements: - Minimal pillboxes thrown off the campus since I keep them in my Cabinet at the AUSG office., - Less frat wars since I attended their drinking sprees in front of Cardinal bldg., - A more religious contribution from the AUSG, never before done, during the celebration of World Youth Day - More parties or celebrations like a week-long festivity during the Student Week, a College Student Government celebration, a fund-raising dance party for Lahar victims and other sorties we would not mention. I am glad I was part of this institution. I am proud to say that it was because of ADU that I am who I turned out to be. For more of me, visit

erwinilao has blogged 16 posts

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