Last Saturday early morning, we were all awakened by Mike’s voice in the living room. One by one, we went out of our rooms to check what it was all about. It was me first. Then, Arielle. Then, Kayla. That was before 5:30 a.m. He was talking with his sister in the U.S. Mommy’s gone. Lola’s gone. She passed away, January 25, Saturday, 3 a.m. (Philippine time). She was diabetic and a mass was found in her kidney. It was cancer.
We knew Mommy/Lola was getting weaker and was in her old age. She was in her late 70s or early 80s. We were praying hard for her to get stronger and for her healing. She’s been in our daily prayers ever since we knew that she wasn’t in the pink of health these past recent years. We were even planning on flying to California when we found out last week that her organs were already failing. Mike had expedited the renewal of Arielle’s passport. It was going to be too expensive but Mike wanted all of us to go. He knew that this could be our last chance to see and be with her. Last year, he went on an emergency trip and was able to spend a few weeks with her when he learned that she was getting weak. That was his last opportunity to be with her. But she had gone too soon. She took her one deep breath and that was her last. At least, God answered our prayer to spare her from pain and suffering.
I had a WordPress workshop that day by TheHappy Wahm and The Technie Mom and to be honest, I wasn’t able to fully concentrate. I don’t even know if I remember everything we discussed that day. My mind was just floating. Everything felt and still feels like they are floating.
During breakfast, I tried to lift up everyone’s spirits and the only way I knew how was to tell them to think of their fondest memory of Mommy/Lola. Arielle remembers Sunday lunches with her and other family members gathered around the table. Kayla remembers her reminder to drink milk and eat crackers during snack time. Mike and I will not forget how she took care of the girls when they were still babies, especially during bath time. She was very hands-on. Those memories made us laugh and smile, lifting the burden off our chests. Another fond memory of her was our conversations about food, recipes, theatre, and musicals. She really loved talking about those! (As I write this, Arielle just posted a recording for her in SoundCloud, especially dedicated to her. Mommy was so, so supportive of Arielle in her theatre endeavors and dreams! I can tell that Arielle is really missing her so much already.)
We are trying to cope with the death. Mike seems to be able to handle it well, except when I catch some moments of him quieter than usual. Arielle cried during mass yesterday. She said she could hear Lola singing. She really cried. Kayla seems to be okay…for now. And I am in a daze. She was a good mother-in-law. Very caring. Family and God have always been her priority.
Mommy will be cremated and we are waiting for her ashes to be brought over this February by Papa and Mike’s second sister. Life goes on, but this time, with much grief and sorrow, heaviness and bittersweetness in our hearts.
Mommy’s passing taught me these life lessons which I felt deserve space in my 365 notes challenge. It is especially inspired by Mommy.
Mommy/Lola, thank you for all the care, love, and support you’ve given us, especially to Arielle and Kayla. You gave them overflowing love with all your heart and with your selfless hands. Thank you for the wisdom and lessons you have imparted to each of us as a person and as a family. WE LOVE YOU and WE WILL REMEMBER YOU FOR THE HAPPY MEMORIES WE ALL HAD WITH YOU. Your life story was a good one! Rest in peace and smile down on us, ok?