Growing up, I had the privilege of having a step grandfather who loved me as his own. He passed away while I was in high school, and until now I still remember one of the last things he apologetically told me while in the hospital. “Alana, baka hindi ko na kayang umabot sa graduation mo.” 

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Translated into English, my grandfather said, “I don’t think I can make it to your graduation.” And although it was heartbreaking, all I could do was nod and look away with tears welling in my eyes. 

How do you even begin to tell a person to stay and fight after he says sorry because he doesn’t think he can hang on any longer…

 I woke up at around 2:45am to the sounds of pleading groans – the eerie kind, the frantic noises of panic that shouldn’t be heard in the wee hours of the morning. 

My dad had a nightmare earlier. Just a few hours in on Easter Sunday and a few minutes shy of the dreaded 3:00am. When I went over, I saw him jolting uncontrollably. Had I not just woken up, I would’ve thought he was suffering from a seizure. 

But those sounds were hauntingly terrifying. 

My first instinct was to wake him up.

A tap on the arm. Nothing. I panicked and shook his arm relentlessly. But he was still lost in his subconscious – sounds of muffled screams heard from his closed lips. He was trapped. And so I did what I could. I continuously hit his arm with even stronger force. Wake up, dad!! Wake up!!! Get out of your dream!!

This afternoon, my dad spoke to me about his nightmare. In a nutshell – and this is just my way of not wanting to dwell on it anymore because I find the entire thing incredibly creepy – a bad spirit was chasing him and he was desperately trying to flee. 

That’s so freaky, dad. 

Your lolo was there. [He saved] me. 

What did he do?

He was reaching out to help me get to him so that the bad spirit wouldn’t trap me.

A couple of years back, I had a short fascination with guardian angels. I had this belief that each person had their own guardian angel, someone whose sole purpose was to guide you on the right path. I would fall asleep thinking about what mine looked like. Did he have wings? Was mine a ‘he’ to begin with? Did they even have the concept of gender? 

After today’s episode, I’m starting to believe that my grandfather is one of my family’s guardian angels. He certainly has the heart for it anyway. He was one of the kindest and most generous individuals I have ever known and he was never one to brag about his accomplishments in life. 

Lolo, I’m so blessed to have had you as a second dad. I will always miss you…