JULY 8. Ito raw ang pinakamasakit na araw para kay Kris dahil parang ipinaramdam na ni Tita Cory na malapit na ang kanyang paglisan sa pagsasabing gusto na niyang umuwi kay Lord. Dito na nga nagsimulang umiyak nang todo si Kris habang nagsasalaysay.
"If you asked me what my most painful memory was, it was July 8. I'm glad I was there with my sister Pinky because it was mid-afternoon. This was the first time mom broke down. Ito yung first time na umiyak talaga ang mom. Siguro sa tindi ng sakit. Sa realization siguro, Boy, that she's gonna miss us.
"And it's so hard. It's so hard to see your mother crying. And to know that you can do nothing. I keep telling my mom, 'I love you so much.' And she was telling us, 'Gusto ko nang umuwi.' And I knew, Boy, na yung 'umuwi,' this is not yung uuwi siya sa bahay, but 'umuwi' was to join God. And hindi ako umiyak sa harap niya. I swear, I really, really did not cry. I cried inside the bathroom. We called the whole family and they came, so that we could all reassure mom that we were there."
JULY 10. Wedding anniversary ni Kris at ng asawa niyang si James Yap. After batiin ang mag-asawa ay tinanong pa ni Tita Cory si James tungkol sa sasalihan nitong international basketball competition sa Taiwan kung saan miyembro si James ng RP Team.
"It was our wedding anniversary, July 10, and mom greeted us. And then she said, 'Happy wedding anniversary, James and Kris.' And then she was asking James, 'Kailan ka aalis?' James was saying na pagod na pagod na siya doon sa double practice. And parang she was telling James na, 'You know that you're playing for the country. James, tiisin mo na lang.' And James told her na July 16 siya aalis for Taiwan.
"So, the routine was... it was that July 13 to 17, my routine was I would be there the entire time. Dadating sila, aayusan ako ng 8 p.m. Aalis kami, mag-SNN, babalik ako."
JULY 15. Nang sabihan si Kris ng Ate Ballsy niya na umuwi muna para asikasuhin si James bago ito umalis papuntang Taiwan.
"And then Ate told me, July 15, 'Krissy, go home. Stay ka with James. Paalis na siya. And then just come back tomorrow.' So, I packed for James. Nakapag-ayos ako, nag-ayos ako ng lahat ng gamit."
JULY 19. Nang emosyonal na magsalita si Kris sa The Buzz at aminin sa mga tao na tumitindi na ang sakit na nararamdaman ni Tita Cory. Pansamantala siyang nagpaalam sa kanyang mga shows para makapiling ang inang may sakit.
"And then nung July 19, that's when I said sa Buzz na I'm going to take a leave. That I didn't want to leave mom's side. Naalala ko after Buzz, dumaan ulit ako sa supermarket, nag-SnR ako ulit, namili ako dahil sabi ko, that was my role sa family, mag-alaga. Yung parang I wanted my... kasi my sisters, all of them, parang the scene in the hospital was so difficult because ilang times na akong nako-confine, I really said, I'll make everybody as comfortable as possible. So I said na, I told all of them, sinabi ko sa mga kapatid ko, hindi ako aalis dito until mom leaves. So, July 20, I didn't leave from that day onwards.
"My routine, Boy, would be... maraming tao kasi during the day and during the night. But from 12 midnight onwards, it was really just us with her nurses. So, I sit by her bed, I brought a small lamp so I could read or magla-laptop ako. And I tried to stay awake until five in the morning, para kung dadaing or may sasabihin, I'll be there.
"May pamahiin po tayong mga Pilipino na binahagi sa atin ng maraming kaibigan na bumulong daw na kung mahal na mahal mo yung tao at nakikita mong nagsa-suffer, have the courage to tell that person that you will be okay, and that you're releasing that person."
JULY 21. Nang lakas-loob na kausapin ni Kris si Tita Cory na ready na silang magkakapatid na tanggapin ang paglisan ng ina.
"Papunta tayo ng Tuesday, July 21, I was alone. That was about two in the morning. With the permission of my sisters, tinaymingan ko na gising ang mom. Nag-rosary muna ako before I talked to her, so I'll have the courage.
"Mata sa mata, Boy. Eye to eye, I was able to tell her, 'Mom we love you so much. Nag-usap kaming lahat. We know that you're fighting this cancer because you love us and you knew we were not ready. But I said, 'Mom you know, naggi-guilty na kami kasi nakikita namin na nahihirapan ka.' And I told her na, 'We all talked about it mom, we can promise you na aalagaan namin ang isa't isa. We're gonna take care of each other. But mom we're ready, we're ready for you to join dad. Kasi ayaw na naming nakikitang nahihirapan ka. And I said, 'Sorry, mom kung nahihirapan.'
"I didn't cry, Boy, that whole time. Again kasi prinomise ko sa mga kapatid ko na when I'm talking to mom hindi ako iiyak. And, Boy, you know she told me, 'Kris, don't worry.' Yung parang sinasabi niyang huwag na lang akong mag-alala kasi she doesn't want me to go on because she knew from the way my voice was cracking, kung ano yung emotions ko. Kaya sinabi niya, 'Don't worry.'
"And all my life, all our life, it's been that way with moms. Kasi parang people were saying na, 'Hindi mo ba na-feel dati na nakakulong ang dad mo?' I said, 'No, because mom made it feel so normal.' When my dad died, Boy, alam mo, araw-araw, because I would be crying in school, sinusundo niya ako. Alam ng lahat ang mga pinagdaanan ko. And every time mom has been there. So, yung 'don't worry' na yun, totoo yun. I never had to worry kasi ang mom ang nag-aasikaso ng lahat.
"I told my siblings that I was able to say it. And the next day, my sister Viel came and she repeated the same words to mom. That day, nagkatampuhan kami ni Deo [Endrinal, ABS-CBN Business Unit Head] at ni Tita Cory [Vidanes, ABS-CBN TV Head]. I was crying talaga in the bathroom but I never showed mom that I was crying. I didn't even tell my sisters na nagkaroon ng problema sa work. Talagang nanahimik lang ako. Kasi sabi ko, bakit ko dadagdagan ang problema nila, eventually maaayos ito.
"It was madaling-araw, papunta tayo ng Wednesday. Humiwalay ako for a while kasi I was drinking coffee. And the nurses called me. Si EJ was my mom's nurse from ICU, marami silang nagte-take turns but it was EJ and Ruby, they called me. They said, 'Sinasabi po ng mom n'yo... Ito po yung exact words...' She told the nurses, and she was wide awake, ha, 'I can already see Ninoy.'
"Boy, I rushed in, there was just one small lamp. Madilim yung kuwarto, nakahiga ang mom. But it was like there was a spotlight on mom because she kept looking up. And I asked her, 'Mom, you can see dad?' She said 'yes'. I said, 'Is he calling you?' She said 'yes'. And I said, 'Mom, kasi dad is in heaven. So, he's calling you to be with him. So, does he want to hold your hand?' And she said 'yes'. And I said, 'Mom, go. If dad is holding your hand that means gusto ka niyang dalhin sa langit. So, go with dad.
"And you know, Boy, that was the first time I saw my mom smile again. Yung talagang that aura of peace. Yung talagang ngayon pa lang napangiti nang ganun. So, I told them what happened. And I didn't leave her na till there was sunrise. So, tinext ko yun sa mga kapatid ko. But the whole time I was beside her, I could hear her saying 'Ninoy' over and over again."