There are three houses in the compound where I live. I occupy the first house, the second is rented to my niece and her family, and the other one is owned by my single former classmate in College. 6 days prior to Christmas, my niece and family decided to spend the week and Christmas day with her husband’s parents in the North. My niece and I are not in good terms because of her belligerent maid she cannot do without. My friend and former classmate also left for her province 4 days before Christmas, too.
I am used to being left alone but not for the whole week and on Christmas day. But the years have made me braver. Then, I used to panic when my nephews and niece come home late when I was younger, even if the next house was occupied ( They stayed with me in their College years until they got married as their parents sold their house and moved to the province). Now, I can sleep, although not too well, even if the two houses’ occupants will not be around all night long. I am no longer afraid of ghosts , even as friends, neighbors and relatives have just died recently. I was more afraid of thieves who would hurt the occupants in the process of robbing them.
I had relied on the wife of our chapel caretaker to accompany me and stay the night with her kids all of the 6 days . She did so for only two days of the week. She said her baby had a slight fever, so she’d rather not bring him out of their house at night. She could have brought him earlier in the afternoon, but I guess she was making excuses. I didn’t want to be blamed for the baby’s illness in case it gets worse, so I didn’t beg her to come.
Before the Pandemic, my siblings and children usually celebrate Christmas day in my house. But my sister died, my older brother and children migrated to the U.S.A., and my older sister, cannot come to Manila from the province because of Covid restrictions. I had only my younger brother and nephew to celebrate Christmas with.
Despite my situation, I didn’t feel weepy or depressed. I was just disappointed with the chapel caretaker’s wife. When I got to this age, I have accepted the fact that good times won’t last forever: People get sick or die, or move away and I have to bear the consequences of being single. I just regretted not having adopted a child when I was younger. But even with children, some older people find themselves alone, too as their children move out or migrate to other countries.
And like what my friend said who is also single and living alone, “why be afraid when God is with us?”
She is right. I survived the six days and nights of being alone!