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.