*Ate (pronounced AH-TEH) = a title of respect, translating to ‘older sister’ in Tagalog.
It’s crazy to think that you were one of the first cousins I’ve ever met, become really close to, and kept in contact with throughout the years.
I remember when you came to Saipan in hopes of making a living here. But, of course, life had different plans, and you went on to follow a different goal of yours. I wished that you’d stayed with us longer, as it would have been lovely to have someone closer to my age who I could’ve had many girl’s night moments with, and go to when I searched for some much-needed advice.
Still, I’m very happy at how that change of events turned out for you – financial stability, and a family and home of your own in a foreign country – to say the least!
You have always been someone I looked up to and someone I dreamt of following in the same footsteps – maybe not to the exact scale, but close enough.
Ahteh, I admire your gentle nature. The way you speak is as soft as cotton candy, which I find to be welcoming and kind. When you get upset or angry, you manage to keep a cool aura around you, and it’s rare for me to see you stay beneath your dark clouds for long.
Thank you for treating me like your own younger sister and for caring about me the way an older sister would.
I apologize for my behavior when you stayed with us when I was a child. Only child syndrome. I was not used to having someone else in the house and was, in fact, jealous of the treatment my mom gave you. Also, the fact that you were just naturally good at many things earned constant praise from my parents.
It’s a natural feeling to experience that with siblings, right? Oh boy, I wonder how I’d be if I actually had siblings. I probably wouldn’t be as bad considering I would’ve been used to the lifestyle since birth. I don’t know. I’ll leave the sibling narrative to you and your actual younger siblings, and my friends who have siblings. Nonetheless, I still feel embarrassed about my behavior, and I thank you for no longer harboring any negative feelings toward me (if you had any).
Ahteh, after hearing the many challenges you’ve been through from my mom, I admire you even more. I thought my life was challenging as it is, but it was still nothing compared to yours. I’m very thankful that you overcame those obstacles and are now living a much calmer life full of love, happiness, and two munchkins!
I miss my nephew a lot. I wonder if he still remembers me. I can’t wait to see him again and meet the latest addition to your family, my niece. Based on her photos, she looks like she’ll grow up to be confidently sassy. But, boy do the siblings look alike. I’m excited to see the bond between the siblings grow. I love that my niece has a kuya who I know will be protective of her and cherish her deeply. In turn, I think that she’ll be the one to shy away from her affections towards her older brother, but still love him fully and be there for him when he needs comfort.
Oh gosh, I’m already playing out how I think they’ll grow as siblings, aha. Hey, if it does happen between them, I’m going to be mind blown – happy, but still, mind blown.
Ahteh, I hope to visit you guys again soon. Maybe when I visit, we can go on more adventures with the entire group and have some amazing days to look back on.
Happy Holidays, stay healthy and safe, and hugs to the little ones!
*Day 21 of 30 Letters In 30 Days – A Close Relative