Eulogy for Daddy (from August 2015)

I came across this eulogy tonight, while going through and cleaning up old files in my laptop.

I wasn’t supposed to deliver the eulogy; that was up to my eldest sister. But on the day of the funeral, my mom asked me to say something about my dad. How could I say no? I wrote this in less than an hour before heading to the funeral home while eating breakfast. I couldn’t even print it out, so I held my iPad while reading it out loud. What’s more, I couldn’t even read it without crying. But I did what I could, given the circumstances.

I thought I posted it here before, but as it turns out, I didn’t so I’m sharing it now.


Good morning. Magandang umaga sa inyong lahat.

For those who don’t know who I am, I’m Cecile, the third daughter of Melencio and Andrea.

Now that we’re here to say goodbye to my daddy, my mom’s husband of 47 years, naisip ko na gagayahin ko ang public speaking style ni Daddy: a combination of English and Tagalog.

Honestly, I’d rather be somewhere else than here. Then again, I’d rather be here than somewhere else.

Sino ba si Mel? For me, he was our father and my Daddy.

Daddy was an intelligent man. Mahilig magbasa. Mahilig matuto nang bago’ng bagay. Kaya siguro mahilig kaming magkakapatid magbasa at mangolekta ng libro dahil siguro naimpluwensiyahan kami ni Daddy.

Daddy valued education above all else. A grade of 99 per subject was low for him. Perfectionist? Maybe, but I saw it to mean that he believed that I was capable and capable of more. No one, after all, rises to low expectations. I was only too willing to rise to the challenge. Familiar ba kayo with the Abba song “Hasta Manana”? I am, thanks to my parents. I remember distinctly that day in our place when Daddy and Mommy taught me the song and made me sing it over and over again until I got it right.

Daddy was a family man. Not only of our family, but of the family where he came from. Si Daddy ang naging tagapagtaguyod ng pamilya. Tinulungan ni Daddy ang mga magulang niya at napag-aral niya ang mga nakababatang mga kapatid.

Pero tumatanda ang tao, nagiging masakitin. Every time he underwent surgery, I always prayed to God to give Daddy some of my strength, so he can make it through. But this time, there was no surgery and no prayer to be heard.

Daddy, I wish I took care of you until your very last moments.

I wish when it was time for you to go, I was there to give you the strength to face death. But death can be a friend or a foe, and I only hope that death was kind to you.

My sisters and I might’ve lost a father, but Mommy lost her husband, her best friend and her companion for 47 years. Pero ‘ika nga, “To live in the hearts of those we love is not to die.”

And so I’ll finish this by saying Daddy, you lived a good life. You helped so many people. We love you. We miss you. “Hasta manana”, Daddy. Till we meet again.

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“Let go of what doesn’t serve you anymore. What is for you will never pass you.”

Some days, life has a funny way of surprising me with mysterious messages that are quite on point with what’s going on in my life. A former classmate (an intuitive healer) has Facebook Live videos every now and then. I don’t know what prodded me to watch her online, but it was a good thing I did. Her topic was how do you know if you’re on the right path. Basically, her idea was that if you feel a sense of relief upon deciding on that path, then it is the right path.

Honestly, no matter how educated you get, no one teaches you how to know when you’re doing the right thing for yourself or not. Sure, there are many people who’ll tell you what to do, but they’re not particularly concerned with what’s right for you. They’re just spouting off socially acceptable “right” advice.

Which leads me now to the message that stuck with me after watching the video.

“Let go of what doesn’t serve you anymore. What is for you will never pass you.”

 
I was like, “whoa!” when I heard that. I get it. How can you get started on your path if you keep lugging around baggage from the past? Those things will keep holding you back, preventing you from moving on to a better and brighter future. If you’ve been feeling stuck, then unstuck yourself. If what you have now doesn’t serve you any good, then chances are, those things are what’s holding you back. Let those damn things go.

Regarding the second line of that quote, it’s a test of your faith – whatever will be, will be. There’s no need to worry. There’s no need to be afraid. Whatever you want – be it a person, a relationship, a situation – it will find its way to you if it’s meant for you. Even better, it will never pass you by. The opportunity will see you, say hi to you and wait for you to grab it. I like that.

 

Is my heart open to God’s surprises?

Thanks to technology, I watched Pope Francis celebrate Easter Mass early today. His homily was supposedly unscripted, which is impressive to do on such an important religious occasion. This struck a chord in me:

“The surprises of God put us on the path, they put us on our journey without waiting.

Is my heart open to God’s surprises? Am I able to go with great haste or do I hang back and say, well I’ll check it out tomorrow? What is the surprise saying to me?”

Having an open heart sounds easier said than done. Opening your heart is a scary thing to do because you don’t know what other people will do to you. Openness requires trust – trusting others to treat us well and be worthy of our trust. Those things aren’t guaranteed when you open your heart.

I think most of us live our lives guarding our hearts for various reasons. Maybe people have disappointed and hurt us before. Maybe it’s easier to close your heart than to get hurt again. Maybe being vulnerable is just a tad too difficult to deal with.

But Pope Francis asked the right question. If our hearts are closed, then we wouldn’t be about to hear what God is trying to tell us. If we can’t hear what He’s trying to tell us, then we can’t even get started on our respective journeys. We’re all basically puttering around in busy-ness that leads nowhere.