That Wednesday morning my dearest Ima recalls
Pacing back and forth, and in & out of the hall, you took that call.
Little drops of rain began floating down, and we cheered
Never would have imagined that later we will be drowning in tears.
You said, “Let me play with little Bianca and stay.”
But you grabbed an umbrella instead and started your day.
You were rollin’ and reluctantly hit the road, I was told.
Arousing feelings of helplessness and uncertainty filled the air,
Extreme anxiety and deep sorrow we dared not to bear
As we dealt with the news of an unfortunate fate
The premature taking of a life so amazing and so great.
The tragedy has pierced my heart and shattered my soul
And divided a field what used to be whole.
My tears weighed a ton and my heart so heavy
With the loss of a brother whom I loved so dearly.
I’ll spend forever wondering what might have been
If you stayed that day I can’t even begin to imagine.
Great memories of you are all I have
And the occasional dreams that our Lord allows me to have.
I grieve for thee, Lazaro my brother
You were my great delight sent from up above by our Father.
Yes, I mourn and struggle with the tragic loss, and I strive
But it’s GOD’s love that keeps me strong and alive…
Who speaks to my soul, and sings to my heart.
Our beloved Lazaro with little Bianca, Set and Paolo
Can't Cry Hard Enough by Williams Brothers
Dance With My Father
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.
Losing family obliges us to be reintroduced to our own and to regain them all over again. It is both a chance of embracing an unexpected change with an inclination to hope or give in to the negative forces the situation brings and stumble and fall into pieces and can never recover. This occasion presents an opportunity and implies a power to choose freely whether we live gracefully with the injury or allow such loss to quantify its despairing and pessimistic effects it carries. Experiences in our lives can attest to this. Our relationships, associations and acquaintances — not to mention of course the crowds of the world within our grasp, are not the sole remedy to this but can somehow help us recognize the fact that we are burdened with anguish and can alleviate the extreme emotional pain that we are feeling. Very often than not that we turn to our loved ones when we are deeply affected by such grief. This is the time we lose sight of our inhibitions but rather be free from confinement and just be honest and scream it all out loud what we truly feel. In the end, it brings some relief and a gradual sense of ease, and it creates a common bond that is based on a much deeper ground. A deeper understanding of the grieving process emerges without fully accepting its impact as it unfolds. On the other hand, it is unfortunate if the other side is completely out of touch from the reality of things. This could emanate from a variety of reasons: consciously escaping from reality because of unreadiness to face it, emotionally non-viable, insensitivity or maybe simply clueless about the situation. I for one become dubiously oppositional, doubtful, agitated with a twinge of annoyance when I am faced with such (negative) resistance of whatever cause. I have a tendency to be narrow-mindedly moralistic and question the character of the person. I intend to work this out because this is not the kind of person I want to become and certainly not the kind of person that God wants me to be. I am thankful that God has given me the wisdom to acknowledge this flaw and to make it right.
Losing family is such a multi-faceted discovery in itself. It is serendipity in a sense; discovering things by accident. We obtain sight of our weaknesses and strengths as we relate with our family, friends, others and most of all with God at a time when we least expect it. It is partially about exploring the options we never knew existed with more openness and candor that permits us to engage in causes that really matter most in life. Our perception of our whole being becomes more evident and meaningful as we make life-changing decisions based on truths not on relativistic ideals. It is an avenue that motivates us to acknowledge and believe in the presence of a divine existence allowing ourselves not to be deprived of a life of peace and tranquility.