The admiration for an individual rarely materializes anymore in this very mundane world that we live in today where the “I” power continues to reign supreme in our self-absorbed world, but every once in a while, we come across a person who is at least a portion of an embodiment of unsurpassable degree of excellence, if not at all perfect, who is worthy of acclamation, at least on my standards. Humble, patient, forgiving, generous, loving, smart, amusingly funny, self-possessed, selfless, grudge-free attitude, God- fearing are just a few traits that I can describe my beloved Tata. He has taught me so many great things in life and has inspired me in so many different levels. His influence made an impact on my many critical decision-making positions without ever compromising the moral principles he passed on to us that we hold dear in our hearts; discerning course of action based on principle rather than from the point of view of expediency. His legacy towards the simplicity and the basics of life has always been four-fold in its proper order: First, love God; second, love your mother/father/spouse/family; third, love your neighbor; fourth, love yourself. He has been very consistent on living this life. He lived what he preached. He strived to be in perfect union with God and lived a life in accordance with God’s teachings, but like every God’s creation, by virtue of our human nature, still fell short without fully reaching its perfection because he acknowledged the fact that flawlessness can only be attributed to God. Putting one’s life for a friend is the very core of his being next to his high regard for God. He is the kind of person who cheerfully gives something without expecting anything in return, and wishes to remain unnoticed not anticipating any accolade of special acknowledgment or favorable recognition.
As I was growing up, being the typical selfish, immature, attention-seeking young person that I once was, I never really fully understood this not until later on in my adult life. He instilled in me an attitude that calls for a deeper desire for God and a selfless act of love towards others. A few years before my Tata’s passing, I was given the rare opportunity to look deeper into my faith, thus, I was able to freely talk to Tata about God and the Scripture with more profoundness and utmost interest. His favorite bible story was St. Paul’s journey to conversion. He knew the full account of events on the chapter. I remember him telling this story when we were little, but I never really paid attention to it then. It was later on that I realized what he meant that just like St. Paul, we are always a new creation in the face of God whenever we seek forgiveness and humble enough to ask for it.
Although I am feeling a profound sense of loss, and a bit nostalgic as if a part of me is missing, I am inclined to hope for a future after this life ends as God promised before the world began.