This afternoon, I went to Tiyo Maning’s (my uncle who had a stroke) house. I saw Rachel leave the house to go to church. Junior and Becky (his daughter) were there. Ramie also popped up. I went up to the kitchen and saw Tiyo Maning and Tiya Milagring there. Tiya Milagring was feeding Tiyo Maning who has aged very much since I saw him last year. He has less hair and what’s left is all white. He’s thin but flabby. His eye muscles aren’t focused. And he could not speak! I knew he wanted to talk and several times motioned to me to eat melon and also he tried opening his mouth, but he could not speak!
Tiya Milagring complained about her miseries in life, and how she is withstanding them. I sympathize with her because, my God, what a life! She has to take care of Tiyo Maning as if he were a baby. What pain, considering before he was the dashing, handsome young doctor who eloped with her the night before her wedding to an Escaño. What pain!
I felt sad, even when I was in Tiya Oding’s house, I felt like crying. The Old Maids were there. Talk, talk, talk about my forthcoming trip, about their trip. Tiya Oding gave me one hundred pesos, which I’ll convert to dollars. I’ll add that and my money in the bank to what Mama will give me, and I’ll have $2,355. I must remember to save because Mama might forget to send me money. I don’t think I’d like to beg from her.
I wonder what I can do in the U.S. to make a little extra money, presuming Immigration will allow it. Perhaps I could make my cloth flowers there, or embroider belts. I could also send things to Nene and she can pay me in bulk after she sells them. I hope I can work part time because I’d like the practice.
I’m quite excited but so tired. I always have headaches and I have a tiny cyst on the right side of my neck. It hurts and bothers me. And I have all sorts of ticks in my face from nervousness — on my cheek and on my eyelid.
I refuse to take the TOEFL exam again in the U.S. I will show them my receipts etc. but will not take the exam again.
I can’t believe it — I’m really going to America!
[The diary ends here]