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Ama... My Grandmother


When I was about 6 or 7 years old, I had a dream about my dead uncle who was shot in our house. He told me to take good care of my Ama (Ama is Chinese for Lola or Grandma on your father's side). Later, after a few months, she had a stroke but she survived the incident and lived until it I was about 12 years old.

My Ama was a short old woman with curly hair, very sweet and caring and she never let's us go to school without kisses or hugs also although my father forbid it. She spoils us rotten, I supposed that's what grandparents do.

I was the youngest in our family, that includes the whole clan not just my immediate family. My mom was the youngest and same goes for my dad so I was, as you say, at the bottom of the food chain, always being picked on and teased, also getting bullied by my sisters and cousin, but my grandmother she was always there for me. When I cry I get a new toy, when I threw tantrums I get new shoes. That's how spoiled I was.

January of 1998, it was my aunt's birthday, so naturally there were cake and a little merry making in the house. My sister and I saw our cook's stash of chicharon (crunchy fried pork skin with a little meat), a favorite snack of the Filipino, the perfect beer match, and decided to sneak some for our own, but my Ama caught us. She loves Chicharon too, so instead of scolding us, she sneak some for herself too.

Later she became dizzy and decided to sit on her couch and all the while I was sitting near her while eating cake, then it happen, she had a heart attack. My dad rushed her to the hospital, but she was gone. All my cousin and my sisters were crying, but I didn't, I tried to be strong. When my parents got home that was when I couldn't hold it anymore and burst into tears.

As my parents and aunt went to arrange her funeral the maids, my sister and I decided to sleep in our parents' room, because they were scared. Our maids from the province and believes in the paranormal. So we were sleeping and one by one we felt someone tickle our feet. Morning came and I said to my sister "Achi, may kumilit sakin kagabi, si Ama" (Big sister, someone tickled me, it's Grandma) then they froze as the same thing happened to them. I guess it was her way of saying goodbye.

When she was alive my Ama has a hobby of getting up at the past midnight and asking one of the maids to massage her back, knocking on the maids quarters softly but consistently. In the Philippine tradition, there is this 40 days after death thing, we need to do after we buried our deceased. Now it was about my Ama's 40th day when one of the maids heard the knocking. It was soft, as if not wanting to disturb the people inside, but it was consistent. Our maid pull up her covers over her head and fell asleep scared. The next morning she told us the story. I didn't believe her, because to me my Ama will not scare anyone.

Another incident is when I sleep in my older sister's room. I was in 3rd year high school when I moved in her room; she was married now and lived with her husband's family. To get to my room you have to pass our altar. It is a custom to have the portraits of the relatives who passed away to be hanged at the altar, but our is a little different. Our family practices Buddhism and Catholic, so our altar looks like this. On the left side there's the Buddhism relics and figures and in the middle were the relatives portraits. On the right was the Catholic side together with the Saint's.

One particular night as I was passing the altar, there was scent of Lilac, but when I check the altar, there was no flowers at all, neither was there any petals who withered long ago because the maid regularly cleans the whole house. As I approach my room, I remembered that before it was my sister's room it use to be my Ama's so I decided to check the cabinets and found the only perfume my Ama uses, and I held it and thought of her.

That night I was still awake looking out and smoking at the window when I heard the knocking, soft yet consistent. So I freaked, flicked my cigarette out the window and went under the covers. Then an hour later when I was already asleep my mom opened my room and wake me up saying "nagising ako sinabihan ako ni Ama na puntahan ka" (I was awaken by your grandma and she said I should check on you). I was scolded by my mom because I was smoking. I guess Ama was still looking after me.

I use to think I was her favorite. In Chinese tradition usually the youngest boy in the family were favored, specially when the child is the only male offspring, and that is exactly what I am. I was the youngest and only son of her youngest child (my dad).

This incident happened to my sister though not me. Remember I told you that Ama had her heart attacked after eating the chicaron? Turns out my sister was order by my Ama to sneak her some. She found out about the following through her Reiki Master (RM). The RM said that when my sister entered their home, all the crystals in the house lost its luster and he felt a negative presence along with a strong positive one.

A little description of my sister. We are 3 siblings, my Achi our eldest sister, Siobe the middle child/younger sister, and Sioti the youngest brother (Sioti = Me). Being the middle child, Siobe was the tough one, the radical one and the most obnoxious one, always getting into trouble, you name it and she's done it. We grew up fighting for our Ama and later for our parents' attention. We never was close as kids, but I suppose we are pretty close nowadays.

Back to the story, the RM said to my sister "Alam mo nung pumasok ka nagdilim, may dala dala ka" (you know when you entered the house it became dark, you brought something with you). My sister didn't freaked but she ask the RM to heal her of the negative presence (as I told on my 1st story in summary of our haunting) then it felt quiet and he said "there is another one following you. It is white, positive. It is lonely but she has reached another level of spirituality." My sister ask "Is it my grandma?" the RM said yes. Then my sister ask the RM, "Can you talk to her and ask her if I was the one who cause her heart attack?" and Ama said yes but she is not to be blame and that she was her favorite, because she knew she can go far, and that she was the one who needed guidance amongst all of us in the house.

My sister told me this and I won't believe her at first, but now I am beginning to believe her as she is not also a Reiki Healer and she has change a little, probably because Ama is still whispering to her from time to time.

The RM visited our house on night and he said to my sister "swerte nyo, walang magtatangka pasukin tong bahay nyo, may nagbabantay sa inyo palagi" (you're lucky, no one would dare to break in your house, someone is always watching over you). But at times, especially after the midnight I would feel different, like something or someone malevolent is watching us.

There were also incidents that we are being called by our names at the laundry area of the house. The weird way my baby howls at night (my dog) but I also feel like I am protected as I pray every night and think of my Ama protecting us.

Thank you for reading.

Sorry if I jump from one point to the other, it's kind of a bad habit of mine when I tell stories.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Steel85, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Mhannerism (2 stories) (82 posts)
5 years ago (2016-03-15)

I like this story! I've never met both of my grandfather and they never visited me even in my dreams. Nothing, I'm just kind of jealous. 😭 jk.
But this is a wonderful account. I'm sure that your Ama is happy that your Siobe is changing for the better.

That was my sentiment too, but if that was me, it would be my conscience talking if she was up all night because of her back pain considering her age 😐

Thank you for sharing this!

Mhanne ❤
RedWolf (31 stories) (1292 posts)
5 years ago (2016-03-14)
I liked this story very much. I believe that when a grandparent dies s/he looks out for the person who needs it the most. The same goes for parents that die they watch over the person who needs it the most.
chapulin1234 (guest)
5 years ago (2016-03-10)
Nice story, I just have few objections as to why would someone feel the right to wake-up a maid for a massage in the middle of the night, but guess that is for another site... Different topic all together 😳, thanks for sharing your story.
sheetal (6 stories) (771 posts)
5 years ago (2016-03-10)
Hey Steel85... This was a great read You have narrated the story very well... Thanks for sharing 😊
TJYAKI (5 stories) (13 posts)
5 years ago (2016-03-09)

My husband is Filipino also so this story initially intrigued me because its from the Philippines.

Grandma's know best. I loved that your ama is still looking after you. She must have loved you guys very much and still does. Out of curiosity did that one incident make you quit smoking? I think if I was a smoker and knew that my grandma was "telling on me" from the grave I would either smoke more to be kind of like "its my life, I'll do what I want" or I would feel guilty about it and quit.

Thank you for shairing 😆

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