During late afternoons or weekends when we are off from school, my elder brother and I would sometimes spend rowdy playtime on grandfather’s bed. He willingly obliges to let us enjoy time with our toy cars and airplanes but he is just so keen with his transistorized radio. His reminder to never touch it and be careful to not let it fall off from the ledge where it is placed is constant.
The house is awaken from slumber the minute he turned his radio on soon as he wakes up. He turns the dial to his favorite radio station. It is only on AM band so most of the radio stations available in our province are news rich or more of a commentary talk show on air. He is so particular of just leaving the radio alone when it is playing. He makes sure of that when we are around his company and he would really keep an eye on us while listening to it and quietly having his warm coffee with milk or sometimes just milk and our favorite, biscuits.
Soon as he finishes his eating by the side table, we know that he would try to bring those cup and saucer and spoon back to the kitchen. Then we wait for him to doing that so we could turn that dial and look for some music. Of course young as we are back then, our patience with too much talking gets the better of us. My elder would be the one taking the first risk to turn up the radio after bumping on a station playing uptempo music or sort of pop beat. As long as never of that all news laden reports and again, too much talking.
Lolo Daddy, as we fondly call him would be quite furious getting back from the kitchen. His voice cracks into an angry tone and reprimand us that he is still listening to the news and all that commentaries because he wanted to know stuff and what’s been going on. After that, he would then immediately tell us to get down from his bed, disappointed of us not heeding his reminder to leave his radio alone.
We would hurriedly go down from the bed before he calls our father. That’s one thing we don’t want to happen. One thing we don’t want father to scold us.
Three radios have been part of my grandfather’s life. The first working radio I saw with him was I think older than me. The life of it was retired when its volume knob got broken and he forgot to take the batteries out. It was covered with rust and was leaking. I think one of my aunts gifted him to replace it but he still kept that old radio and would tinker whenever, maybe he misses it. I think Lolo Daddy was a sentimental man.
A year before he died he was confined in the hospital for a few days. His heart enlarges and that limits him from conveniently living his everyday life. I grew up knowing this condition and wondered if anyone of us will have the same. I prayed that he would survive every attack because I want to see him and be with his company for a long time.
He died in his sleep. It was dawn and his radio wasn’t turned on yet. I was in my sophomore year in high school then.
Lolo Daddy’s heart enlarges maybe because he has a lot of love, stories and words of wisdom to share and instill on us. Well, there are stories and words of wisdom of his that are still on my head till now long after he’s gone though.
Happy Birthday, Lolo Daddy. I miss you.