Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Eulogy that was said at your Viewing

Richard Bach quoted: “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.”

Such a magical and whimsical quote, yet with deep significance at times like these that we all can understand. I can imagine Auntie Aida as a caterpillar that enjoyed life and was always full of smiles even when times were tough. Auntie Aida probably knew her time as a caterpillar was over, so she prepared her cocoon for her transformation into her next figure. God called upon Auntie Aida because he loved her so much which then began her new life as a butterfly. Flying through the eternal meadows of beautiful flowers alongside our grandparents, Auntie Girlie, Uncle Balong and many other loved ones who have gone before us.

If you asked anyone that knew Auntie Aida what their favorite memory of her was they will all say the same thing: Her smile and she was always so happy. It’s so good to know that someone you loved so much was loved by a lot of people all because she was so optimistic and enjoyed her life.

Many of you know that Auntie Aida did not have any children of her own however she became somewhat of a surrogate mother to all of us 13 nieces and nephews as well as her many godchildren (myself included). My sisters and I were blessed to be able to be raised by her as she lived with us all of our lives even in the Philippines. She helped us with homework, taking us school shopping each year and even signed us up for ballet where she was the one who came with us to each class.

She also introduced us to the movies which we now are avid movie goers just as many of you probably are. She took us to our first few movies: Bambi, Aladdin, and Willow.

One of Kristine’s favorite memories that includes Auntie Aida is when Kristine was about 8 years old and she was wearing a retainer to help straighten her teeth. Kristine, like most children, hated her retainer and she somehow eventually convinced my mom to take her retainer out, with a butter knife. After the retainer was out, Kristine then would not stop crying and complaining because of the pain from taking her retainer out so Auntie Aida told her that if she were to try to calm down she would take us all to go watch Aladdin at the theaters later that afternoon. In the movie there is a scene that shows the evil villain Jafar with mean pointy teeth grin. Auntie Aida leaned over to Kristine and whispered to her: “See if you don’t wear your retainer your teeth will look like Jafars.” Needless to say when we got home Kristine put her retainer back on.

Another fond memory of both me and Raymund was the time we were able to go to Disneyworld with Auntie Girlie. Oh the four of us just kept laughing and laughing. We were in line for the Haunted Mansion ride and the part where they turn off all the lights, Raymund and I screamed like little girls for fun, and Auntie Aida pinched us both. For those of you that have been pinched by Auntie Aida you know how it was. Kinda painful but also really funny.

Just a little less than a month ago I got married and unfortunately my mom nor Auntie Aida was able to attend my wedding as Auntie Aida was in the hospital. As hard as it was for me, I am sure it was hard for both of them to know that they wouldn’t physically be there with us on our wedding day. I luckily hired a videographer to film the wedding and play it live stream online for those that could not make it to watch. When I came back from the wedding I showed Auntie Aida some clips from the wedding and a few photos that I had and she was all smiles.

I never imagined my wedding day without Auntie Aida, not to mention having her no longer here with us for the last two weeks. But I got through my wedding day and these last few weeks just as Auntie Aida got through her suffering. It’s very calming to know that she is no longer suffering or in pain. She’s actually feeling the opposite. My niece Nevaeh just told me today when she saw me sad, “She’s very happy now. Don’t be sad Auntie Mikee. Auntie Aida is happy now.” Isn’t a child’s outlook on life so real sometimes? Auntie Aida is happy in God’s embrace surrounded by all of our other loved ones that we also miss dearly.
Auntie Aida, we miss you so so much, but we will see each other again, in paradise. 

Letter #3

I was having a few good days the last week even with it being your 1 month death anniversary, but a rush of emotions just came over me and I am just so beside myself.....  I wish I could just hug you one more time and just sit and talk with you and make jokes with you just like we always did.

I went to church on Sunday and they sang a song that reminded me of you.

You shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thirst. 
You shall wander far in safety though you do not know the way. 
You shall speak your words in foreign lands and all will understand. 
You shall see the face of God and live. 

Be not afraid. 
I go before you always. 
Come follow me, and 
I will give you rest. 

If you pass through raging waters in the sea, you shall not drown. 
If you walk amid the burning flames, you shall not be harmed. 
If you stand before the pow'r of hell and death is at your side, know that 
I am with you through it all. 

Be not afraid. 
I go before you always. 
Come follow me, and 
I will give you rest. 

Blessed are your poor, for the kingdom shall be theirs. 
Blest are you that weep and mourn, for one day you shall laugh. 
And if wicked men insult and hate you all because of me, blessed, blessed are you!

Its a song that made me miss you terribly but also a song that hit me and told me that things are okay, and that you and the Lord our God is with me always.....  Especially when I need you both the most; you're there.......

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Note from Mommy

This was a note from Mommy:

I love and miss you terribly. Please come and visit me anytime. Love you. Say hello to everybody: Papa, Mama, Manang Girlie, Tony and the rest of our family and friends who have gone ahead of us. Love you all. Please pray for us all who are still here on Earth. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Letter #2

I made brownies last night and it made me remember your last birthday shortly before you went to Stanford. We wanted to plan this beautiful elaborate birthday party for you, maybe a super nice dinner or something, but you were sick so we had to just put in on the back burner.

I had seen a recipe online for Ranch Pork Chops and since Kris isn't a pork eater, it was the perfect time to make it, for your birthday at home!! It was just you, me, Mommy and Nevaeh at the house and I brought over all of the fixins for your special birthday dinner: Pork Chops, green beans and also carrot cake and brownie mix!

What a bad influence I am bringing over a carrot cake and brownie mix knowing your diabetic, but a little bit wouldn't hurt you. Plus it's your birthday! I decided to make the brownies a little more special, remember? I made caramel coconut brownie and Nevaeh got so mad because she just wanted plain brownies. We had so much fun that night.....  Nevaeh helped you blow out the candles at the carrot cake and then the pork chops were so yummy!!

I am glad I did that for you for your birthday. You seemed so happy even though you were still a little sick after just getting home from Washington Hospital. The four of us enjoyed the meal and hanging out.

It makes me upset and sad and heartbroken that I will never be able to make you dinner or a dessert or share a birthday with you. There's so much still that I want to share with you. So much.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Letter #1

Dear Auntie Aida,

I was just on Yahoo Chat with an old friend and he asked about you. It has been almost a month since your body left this earth and the pain of missing you is still very much there. Every couple of days I can't but not think of you for the majority of the day; sometimes to think of happy memories but most of the time it's a sad day when I wish you were still here.

I don't know why I started this Blog/Letter writing to you, but maybe its to help me and other family & friends. Maybe its to say things that I have always wanted to tell you but never did. Maybe it's to remember the memories we had. Or maybe I truly believe that you are reading these letters. I don't know why, but so far its helping a little.

At this point I don't know where to begin, but just know that I miss you more than words. I try so hard to comfort myself and tell myself that you're no longer in pain & suffering, but that we are suffering here on Earth and you're in Paradise. Yet those words to myself doesn't stop me from missing you.

Aside from your bright & welcoming, smile the thing that I remembered vividly about you and also admire about you, is how you were also so composed & calm. My emotions get the best of me at times and I don't know how to deal with them, but you, you weren't like that. You were always so calm (of course not when we got in trouble by you! LoL) but with happiness behind the calmness. Constant happiness at that!

I remember your laugh too.... You would laugh at anything and everything, especially at your own jokes or when we would make fun of Mommy / Auntie Girlie with their FOBish accents. I never thought of you as an "oldie" but more like a Homey, which could be why we shared so much more laughter together than I did with the other "oldies".

If there is one thing that I learned from you, is that life is what you make of it. So if you want to be happy, you put that smile on your face and never let it leave......