Lola, in Tagalog (the primary language in the Philippines), means Grandmother. Except being the Filipino-American that I am, I never called her that. I always called her Grandma.

Grandma, besides my parents and my brother, is the first person I can remember constantly being around me when I was a toddler. I have this image of her sleeping in my bedroom on my other twin bed next to me in my room. And I remember this purple-y floral embroidered luggage bag that she always had; and she constantly wore purple …. as it’s always been her favorite color.

Grandma turned 99 this February. And other than her vision and hearing, and the occasional memory lapses, she’s as sharp as a tack. Well, I should really say that those memory lapses have become more frequent … but geesh, at her age that’s still frickin’ amazing. The point being is that she can still recognize all her own children and her dozens of grandchildren scattered throughout the world.

The reason I’m bringing Grandma up right now is because she needs all the good prayers and positive vibes right now. I’ve just been told that she was admitted to the hospital in the Philippines on Wednesday night … and things aren’t looking too good.

My mom and all her siblings that live scattered throughout the U.S. are desperately trying to find a flight “back home.” Because they’re trying to travel to the Philippines together, they’re having a difficult time coordinating flights. That, and well the tickets are monstrously expensive.

I wish I could be there; be by my Grandma’s side to hold her hand. Be with my aunts and uncles and cousins to hug them and to be hugged by them. Mostly, I want to be with my Mom, who called me this morning in tears. Because my Mom, who is named after my Grandma, is feeling so lonely right now. Wanting desperately to catch the first flight out that she can. And yet, this morning … told me she’s not had the energy even to pack, because she’s just been waiting by the phone for any word of when she’ll be able to get her flight. And well … any other news of my Grandma as well.

My "Lola" and Mom, who was named after her, on my wedding day ...

My "Lola" and Mom, who was named after her, on my wedding day ...

It’s times like this that I wish I was closer to home. That I didn’t have such a new job with little to no time off to take. It’s times like this I truly miss my family.

Please please please … if anyone has it “good” with the Man Upstairs, please send a prayer or a thought up to him to look over my family, my Mom … and most of all, my Lola.