Thursday, May 03, 2007

In Memoriam, My Loving, Caring, Gentle Grandfather

Another death in the Family. I have attended funeral's before, but it was always the funeral of a friend or a friend of the family. My grandfather passed away last week. To my grandfather, I love you, and I will always remember you.

My grandpa is the first of my grandparents to move on.

He had seven children and a lot of grandchildren. We all respect him very much. I don't remember my grandfather ever scolding me. What I remember most about him is this: When I was a little kid, about eight or nine years old, he would put oil in my hair and brushed it neatly. He said I looked more handsome like that. He combed it and parted my hair, and it looked like a Jose Rizal hairstyle. Of all my fond memories, this is the one that sticks to my mind the most.

Even when he was already tired, weak, and old, he managed to motivate himself to go back to the US just so that he could finish the immigration of two of his kids. Three of his children were already in the US. My mom, his second child, was brought through the US through my dad. His second daughter made it to the US over 20 years ago through marriage. And almost 20 years ago, his youngest child, my uncle made it to the US through petition. He had four children left in the Philippines. Two were not eligible because they were already of age with families. The other two, he went back to the US to petition them and complete them.

About three years ago, he came back to the US to complete the petitions. And two years ago, I came back to the Philippines to bring him home. He was tired. He was ill. He could barely walk. He was already wheelchair bound. He wanted to rest. As much as he didn't want to travel to the US anymore because of his illness and his physical condition, he agreed to go back. In one year, the paperwork for his two other children were completed. I brought him home to the Philippines. This was my second trip back to the Philippines in twenty years. I was really really young when I left. Although two of his children didn't make it to the US, all his children are living comfortably. And with my grandmother, they created a happy little empire, with lots of healty grandchildren. I am the second oldest of them.

The whole family is reunited for the first time in over 30 years, unfortunately, without my grandfather. 18 People from the US, his children and grandchildren arrived a few days ago. It was a reunion for the whole family, a combination of grieving and rejoicing. And when the grieving is done, they decided that they are going to celebrate my grandfather's life. To celebrate the good man that he was. I myself will celebrate his life. I know that when I brought my grandfather a couple of years ago, I know that his illness would catch up to him. I let him know that I loved him very much, and we always talked about his grandchildren and his children, and how they happy they are, and how he was a big part in that. He just smiled and was silent.

At first, I had mixed emotions. I wanted to cry for the loss of my grandfather. But I know that I also prepared for his departure. I let him know how much I loved him and how I appreciated him as my grandfather. I know he knows I loved him.

So I will grieve for his loss. But I will do more than that. I will celebrate his life. I will let others know how good of a man he was. I will honor him in many ways through my projects. He will be remembered. I want others to be like my grandfather. He put others before himself. He sacrificed for the sake of his children.

I love you grandpa.


snglguy said...

Sorry to hear about your grand dad, dude. My deepest condolences...

Nice to see you back, btw.

AL said...

Sorry to hear about your grandfather. I hope you are coping well with your loss.