Lolo, my father-in-law, was on the loose the other day. Sunday's at “The Farm,” our new location in the mango province of Guimaras, are usually quiet. But this particular start of the week, was anything but quiet or peaceful.
I had just returned from a trip to the local Internet cafe to check if our monthly funds had been deposited in our bank account in the States. Without an Internet connection at our place of residence for the first time in 14 years, I've adapted. Have to. Smart Bro, my former Internet provider, doesn't have a tower anywhere near our remote location.
So in addition to my daily one hour walk in the morning, I get some extra exercise when I make the 20 minute trek to “The Crossing,” one of the hubs of commerce in San Miguel, Jordan, our nearest town.
As I arrived home, I saw my asawa loudly speaking to her father on our front porch. You have to speak loudly to Lolo. Not only is he suffering from Alzheimer’s, he's also almost deaf.
Seems my father-in-law was angry with my spouse. He wanted to let his son, Amando in the front door, but my wife wouldn't let him. Amando is in Palawan, many islands away from our rural province, but Lolo was convinced he was here.
Aside from talking to deceased Filipino action hero, Fernando Poe, Jr., my wife's father, sometimes also imagines another relatives are coming for a visit. Lolo always goes to the front screen door and unlocks it to let them in. But not this time. My spouse was having no part of this and told Tatay (Father), that Amando was not here. She informed him that “it was all in his head.”
Lolo and The Healer
Lolo took offensive and thought his daughter called him “loco loco” (crazy.) She didn't but he was angry and took off. He only got a few meters away when he sat down to rest. He couldn't get up. My wife refused to help him as she knew her father was intent on trying to leave.
So until my father-in-law cooled off, my wife had our nephew Sharwin keep an eye on his grandfather who was seated in the shade underneath a cashew tree. But Lolo yelled at Sharwin to get away so my wife had our nephew hide in some bushes nearby by where he couldn't be spotted.
This went on for over 30 minutes. Lolo was still sitting on the ground. He refused to move. I figured there was nothing I could do. I was staying out of it. I was up early that morning, around 3:00 am, so I went downstairs to take a nap, knowing my wife and nephew had the situation under control.
But little did I know, when I woke up 90 minutes later, that Lolo had managed to get to his feet. My wife was on the living room sofa, exhausted and getting some rest. Nephew Sharwin had left his post.
Our niece Shaina became aware that her grandfather was no longer seated under the cashew tree and alerted my wife. The pair went down one of the paths of our five hectare property and found Lolo at Gerry's house, our caretaker. Gerry's home is located on the fenced in and gated property and Lolo reluctantly agreed to go home.
My wife had prepared a late lunch for him as he sat in our living room resting. But Lolo refused get up and eat. I walked over to him, gently put my hand on his shoulder, and said “kaun” (“let's eat.) I made a motion with my hand as if I was eating. He nodded his head, stood up, and walked over to the dining room table.
After his meal, Lolo headed for his room. He was tired and needed a nap. He slept for hours. He was no longer on the loose and safely resting at his new home, “The Farm.” It made for a livelier Sunday than usual. I'm hoping next Sunday will be back to normal. A 61-year-old geezer like myself can only stand so much excitement. But my 81-year-old father-in-law? That's a different story.