Mom’s eulogy

Posting the eulogy I wrote for my mom. Disclaimer, this is not the exact one I delivered during the funeral.  I didn’t exactly finish the eulogy, so I had to say things on fly. In fact, the day of her funeral, I was panicking  and freaking out because I was only half way through. I think I was feeling pressured because not only do I detest speaking in public but because my mom had such a vibrant, loving personality, and I was afraid that I couldn’t really encompass  the kind of person she was with just a few words. In any case, I tried to reconstruct the things I said from memory the best I can. Best efforts I know, but I still feel this does not do justice to how good and wonderful my mom was.

Before anything I just wanted to thank everyone for the love and care you’ve shown mama. It’s really heart warming to see how she was doted on by the people around her.

Saying goodbye to mama has been bittersweet. On one hand, there’s a sense of happiness and relief. Happiness because she’s now with my dad, her forever crush. We know that losing papa took a toll on her, and although she was surrounded by people who had deep affection for her, we knew that deep inside, she was always longing to be with my dad.

Relief because her suffering has finally ended.  As you all know, my dad battled with a long painful illness. When we found out that my mom had liver cirrhosis, my one prayer was that she be taken quickly and painlessly, and she doesn’t suffer the physical, mental and emotional turmoil of someone with a chronic illness. When she passed away, in a way, I was very grateful. Because although I knew she was in so much pain, she did not suffer for very long. Not only that, but we were blessed with the opportunity of being with her and telling her that we loved her one last time. It gave me comfort knowing that when she died, she was at peace.

Despite all these things, I’m heartbroken. She was such an integral part of my life that I can’t imagine going on without her. I will miss calling her everyday, talking about nonsensical stuff like showbiz chismis, my latest domestic escapade or her latest social booboo. I will miss having her stalk me online, checking my facebook everyday or demanding that I write something new in my blog. I will miss going home on weekends and helping her with candy crush stages she could not finish by herself or teaching her how to do certain things with her phone or ipad (sidenote: she never remembered any of the tricks I taught her).

At the same time, I’m  feeling a bit wistful. I’d like to think mom lived a full life. She married her one true love, had (in my biased opinion) awesome children, had a good career and was surrounded by great friends and a loving extended family. The one thing she wasn’t able to experience however, was to have grandchildren. This really makes me sad because I know she would have been a wonderful lola and would have spoiled our kids rotten. It’s also a shame that my future kids would not have the honour of meeting such a remarkable, engaging and fascinating person.

I was thinking about what I would say if my son or daughter  asked how their lola was like. So I tried to come up with a few of mama’s most distinct traits, all of which in my opinion, encompassed who she was as a person.

She was fashion.

For as long as I could remember, mom had a great love affair with clothes, shoes and bags. No matter what the occasion was, she made sure that she looked chic and put -together. She was always in tune with trendy styles and was not afraid to wear clothes that would be perceived to be pang- bagets. Mom was so meticulous about her appearance that, even during a life-threatening emergency, she refused to leave the house without blowdrying her hair.

I remember accompanying her to the hospital during her scheduled checkups. She would usually be in a slip dress, colorful flipflops ( she couldn’t wear shoes anymore) and big shades. I would be in leggings and an old shirt, carrying her bag. I seriously looked like her yaya.

Mom always took pains to look her best. She always looked beautiful. But whatever beauty she projected outside, really could not hold a candle to the beauty she had inside.

Mom had new EQ when it came to new clothes, bags and outfits. She would wear them even if there was no occasion. She refused to step out of the house unless she impeccably dressed

Mom had no EQ when it came to new clothes, bags and outfits. She would wear them even if there was no occasion. She refused to step out of the house unless she impeccably dressed

She was also melodramatic.

This was I think one of the most exasperating yet one of the most endearing things about my mom. She had a way of exaggerating even the smallest of pains and magnifying the most trivial of hurts.

She was really a very emotional person and would even cry while watching her telenovelas. I would never forget this one particular moment. I was in college, I was coming home from school. I saw mama sitting on our front porch. She didn’t bother turning on the lights, so I only saw that she was crying when I was right in front of her. Alarmed that something was terribly wrong, I dropped my bags, sat down beside and immediately asked her what why she was upset.. At first, she wouldn’t tell me. But after a lot of urging, I finally got her to ‘fess up. Ang sabi nya sa kin, “wala, iniisip ko lang kasi, papano kaya kung katulad tayo nung mga squatter dun sa sine na pinanood ko.” Kakainis di ba??

Seriously though, mom was the kind of person who wore her heart on her sleeve and more often than not she would let her emotions get the better of her. I think being melodramatic however, was also the reason why she was such a good person. She had a strong sense of empathy, and could feel the pain of people around her, and because of this, she always found it in herself time and time again, to be there for those who needed her.

With my dad. It was amusing how she would still get kilig with my dad even after almost 3 decades of marriage (they  celebrated their 30th before my dad passed). It was even more amusing because my dad was totally deadpan and didn't exactly do a lot of things to merit her school-girl giddiness. But in her mind, they were Claudine Barretto and Rico Yan. Hahaha.

With my dad. It was amusing how she would still get kilig with my dad even after almost 3 decades of marriage (they celebrated their 30th before my dad passed away). It was even more amusing because my dad was totally deadpan and didn’t exactly do a lot of things to merit her school-girl giddiness. But in her mind, they were Claudine Barretto and Rico Yan. Hahaha.

She was supportive.

Mom was my very own personal cheerleader. It didn’t matter what the endeavor was, whether it was finishing a masters in psychology, starting a business or even becoming a housewife, she was proud of me and would brag about my “accomplishments” just the same.

It would get a bit embarrassing because they way she boasted about how I picked the “perfect” color scheme for my house, you would think I had won a Pulitzer price or had invented the cure for aids.

She was such a supportive mom and was just happy to see us happy. I think this is one of the things that I will miss about her now that she’s gone. I will miss the security of going through life knowing that whatever happens, I would have someone cheering me on.

Mom showing off our house. I later found out that she was bragging to everyone about how brilliant I was and how I had turned into some model housewife overnight. Mom seems to think everything I do is brilliant, so now I think I'm the sh*t even though I have nothing to show for.

Mom showing off our house. I later found out that she was bragging to everyone about how brilliant I was and how I had turned into some model housewife overnight. Mom seems to think everything I do is brilliant, so now I think I’m the sh*t even though I have nothing to show for.

She was generous.

Mom was such a giving person. I  remember a conversation we had once. She explained that although she was grateful that we’re comfortable, the sense of happiness she had was incomplete because she knew that some of our relatives were struggling. So she would extend help as often as she could, because she couldn’t stand seeing her loved ones have a hard time..

Her generosity extended even to people she’s never met. On more than one occasion, mama would pay for some random stranger’s medicine or groceries just because she saw that they didn’t have enough money to pay for their purchases. I guess you could say that she was the kind of person who wanted to lift people up along with her

Vacation in Palawan with the rest of the clan. Mom refused to take vacations without the rest of our extended family in tow (even if she had to make everyone libre, present boyfriends/girlfriends were always included) so we always ended up monopolizing the whole plane and resort. For this particular trip, we had to ride a small, commercial airplane. There were only 2 passengers who were not part of our group.

Vacation in Palawan with the rest of the clan. Mom refused to take vacations without the rest of our extended family in tow (even if she had to make everyone libre, present boyfriends/girlfriends were always included) so we always ended up monopolizing the whole plane and resort. For this particular trip, we had to ride a small commercial airplane. There were only 2 passengers who were not part of our group.

She was funny.

No matter how bad things got, mom never lost her sense of humor. I think this came from the fact that she just embraced herself and embraced life, no matter what her circumstances were.

For instance, she would be the first one to laugh at herself whenever she made a mistake. I remember how she used to entertain us with stories of her probinsyana booboos when she first came to Manila. She was just so comfortable with herself and her fabulousness that she would be the first one to find amusement faults. This trait really endeared her to everyone, and those who knew her saw her so-called “flaws” as charming and quirky instead of offputting.

When she got sick,  we derived strength from the fact that she remained upbeat, and would still joke around with us. I remember in the ICU, we were given the news the mom needed another pigtail. (A pigtail is a contraption used to manually drain liquid from certain organs in her body). Much to our surprise, mom was very game for the second procedure, and even claimed she needed a new bag, and since we weren’t inclined to give her one, this would have to do.  It was incredible seeing that even during the most trying moments, she still found the strength to laugh and entertain us with her antics.

Playing candy crush while getting dolled up for our wedding. :P

Playing candy crush while getting dolled up for our wedding. 😛

7. She was brave.

Ok, so those of you who knew her very well would understand that brave isn’t usually an adjective you would use to describe mama. To use a word from Quezon, she was panglawin, in every sense of the word. She would get nervous over the littlest things, and her blood pressure would shoot up if she had to do routine medical tests. I remember this one instance where she almost had to be confined because she couldn’t handle the pressure of going through a CT scan.

But we saw a different side of her when she started taking a turn for the worse. Everytime the doctor told us that certain major procedures had to be done, Det and I would freak out, because we had this idea that mom wouldn’t be able to handle it.

There was this one particular instance that she had to undergo dyalisis for 48 straight hours. If you knew mom, you would know that just the concept of dyalisis was traumatizing for her, because she saw my dad go through it for many years. We were really scared that would be the death of her. But she shockingly she was able to cope with it with as much grace and humor as she could muster.

I think at the end of the day, she gathered up enough courage to go through all these medical processes because she wanted live. More accurately, she wanted to live for us. And that was one thing remarkable that we realized about mom. That despite her natural tendencies, she was willing to bite the bullet and brave anything for the people she loved.

Sometimes I think that maybe that’s why God gave her such a painful illness. Maybe she had to realize her own strength. It was comforting knowing that before she passed she was able to overcome a lot of her fears, and was able to realize that she was stronger than she gave herself credit for.

This was shortly after my dad passed. Mom thought it would be a good idea for the 3 of us to take a quick vacation. Little did Det and I know that dad's chronic illness had taken its toll on our finances and that mom's business was in trouble. Even though we were adults and could perfectly handle these things, she  wanted to shield us from the burden as much as she could. So she took us out anyway because she felt we all needed it.

This was shortly after my dad passed. Mom thought it would be a good idea for the 3 of us to take a quick vacation. Little did Det and I know that dad’s chronic illness had taken its toll on our finances and that mom’s business was in trouble. Even though we were adults and could perfectly handle these things, she wanted to shield us from the burden as much as she could. So she took us out anyway because she felt we all needed it.

She was loving.

Mom did not only make connections with people, she built relationships. From her immediate family, to her cousins, nephews, nieces, apos, friends, down to the people she kept business relationships with, mom was loved by everyone. She treated the people she dealt with a genuine warmth that was neither customary nor expected. And that’s why people loved her.

The day she passed away, despite her suffering, mom still had the grace to ask us for permission to let go. Infact, she only allowed herself to after we reassured her over and over that we were going to be fine. And that she didn’t need to worry about us any longer. In the throes of pain, she apologized to US for not getting better. It just showed how what an amazing she really was. Even in her last moments, she was thinking of the people she loved

Mama, I just want to reassure you again that Det and I are fine. You’ve given us all the love, care and support we could ever ask for so it’s now time for us to go off on our own. Please know that we will always keep the lessons you taught us close to our hearts. We will be brave because you taught us to be brave. We’ll keep our chin up because you taught us to laugh through adversity. We will love and respect everyone around us because you taught us to care genuinely care for people.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank certain people who were there for mama every step of the way. I was a trying to come up with a list but it became so overwhelming. she loved all of you so much, and each one of you made her life so much fuller, so much happier and so much more complete

(Commercial: The list was seriously very long. And i remember I was blubbering my way through it, but just in case you’re all reading this, again, thank you. Words cannot express how you all touched mom’s life. Now I fully understand that your bond with with her went deeper than formal titles/roles of brother, cousin, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, friend, business partner, client etc. . Cliche as it sounds, you were everything to her. And she lived a full life because of all of you).

With that, I would like to invite everyone to join us as we say goodbye to mama.  I know this is a devastating time for not just for us, but for everyone here. But let’s take a page from mama’s life and find joy and humor in this occasion. Instead of focusing on her loss, let’s all celebrate her life and remember all the funny, happy times we had with her.

Mom's cover photo. Taken at their company's 10th anniversary. (It was the nineties okay?? Do not judge my Chinese hostess look. It was very chic at that  time. Looking back, even my brother and dad looked hopelessly outdated. Only my mom looked perfectly timeless. I guess that's why she chose this as a cover photo. Hehehe)

Mom’s cover photo. Taken at their company’s 10th anniversary. (It was the nineties okay?? Do not judge my Chinese hostess look. It was very chic at that time. Looking back, even my brother and dad looked hopelessly outdated. Only my mom looked perfectly timeless. I guess that’s why she chose this as a cover photo. Hehehe)

Even mom’s funeral was a testament to the kind of life that she lived. Everyone was emotional, and the place was filled with people who were not only paying their respects but really who cared for her and were genuinely grieving for her loss. But true to mom- form the emotions were diffused when we started playing ABBA. 😛  In the end, she got exactly the send -off she wanted- one that started off with a lot of drama but ended with quirkiness and good vibes.

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