Monday, May 28, 2007

Reflection: Miss Me Some, But Let Me Go

The day prior to the burial, we had a mass at the funeral parlor. It was a beautiful mass attended by family and friends. It was con-celebrated by three priest friends of dad - Fr. Nick, Fr. Noni, and Fr. Rene.

After communion, my grieving mother approached the casket of dad and sobbingly whispered a good-bye message to dad. I faintly heard, "Wait for me, I will follow you soon so we can forever be together in life eternal." It was heart wrenching to see my mom mourn the loss of the love of her life.

Mom and dad had a special bond. They were faithful and committed to one another. Dad's the only one that mom has no problem "obeying" orders. You see, my mom is the original dragon lady of the family. She is a self-made successful entrepreneur who did not get any dole out from anyone to start her business. It was all due to sweat and tears and yes, lots of prayers. She is assertive, independent, and indomitable in character. But with dad, she knows how to make him the head of the family and our business, even if dad was a "Mr. Mom" who took care of the kids (with the able assistance of nannies) and the home. Dad always joked that "My wife makes all the money and I spend it. She spoils me rotten." Theirs was a special partnership that worked well because its foundation is their shared deep faith in God.

After the final blessing, I, as the eldest, had the opportunity to provide a short eulogy about dad. I shared how my father lived a life of devotion to God, his family, and others. His generosity was remarkable; his intellect, astounding; his care for his family, exemplary. Most of all, his love and devotion to mom was extraordinary, second only to his love of God. Dad did not like to dwell on sadness, tears, and regrets. I reminded our guests that if dad were around, he would tell us that it's okay to miss his some but then let him go and rejoice because he is with our heavenly Father. He is in a much better place now, bound free from the shackles of sickness, misery, and other worldly concerns. A sense of peace and serenity enveloped me as I reflected and shared this memory of dad.

I then glanced to mom and told her, "Mom, dad will be eagerly awaiting the day when the two of you will be reunited in the kingdom of God. He is preparing a special welcome banquet for you for that day when God will deem is the day for you to join dad. Until then dad wants you to take care of yourself, not to mourn, but enjoy everyday of the rest of your life on earth. Just remember his last words to Sophie (my sister) prior to his fatal surgery was 'Go and feed your mom for she has not yet eaten. Don't let her go hungry. Take care of her.'" See, even in his last hours, mom was all he could think of. I'm sure such is his main thought now even in afterlife." Theirs was a pure love that knew no bounds - neither distance, time, space, nor materiality can sever the love they share.

(last photo courtesy of Vic Magsaysay, a talented photojournalist friend)

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