Everybody was so busy. It was already 6:00 in the morning when I woke up for lolo’s interment. Our housekeepers were rushing lots of things inside the kitchen. The cooks were so busy doing the foods. I went to our living room where lolo’s resting bed is placed. Standing right beside it was a soldier saluting for my Lola who is watching lolo’s peaceful face, and though we are couple of meters away from each other, I can hear what she’s saying. It was a message full of love, and words with a hurtful goodbye. Before I get the chance to come closer to lola, I already heard mama’s voice, telling me to start preparing for later’s ceremony.
While I am dressing up in my room, I was thinking about what would happen after 30 minutes. We all knew this day was coming, but now that it is here, I am not any more prepared to say goodbye. When I think of my grandfather, his life, and how he affected those around him, I am reminded of a quote that so adequately defines this man, “The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions.”
Everybody have witnessed Grandpa’s passion for many things and the happiness derived from them, whether it was landscaping, watching movies, causing laughter with corny wit, or being around his children and grandchildren. His enthusiasm for life, and strong heart and soul, taught all of us how much we could get out of life from following his prime examples.As one of his grandchildren, I grew up spoiled under a devoted grandfather’s attention. I believe several of us can remember specific and special moments with him, those memories we will hold dearer now that he is gone.. Some recollections have become memories, when we were little, grandpa used to feed us with frozen riped mangoes. Lagi siyang may katabing pamalo na panakot sa aming mga apo niya. When he’s not doing anything, he would always remember his old days when he was still the commandant of the BCHS. And once he started talking about it, it means that you won’t have to get the chance to stand up on your sit within a couple of boring hours. Everyday, lolo will check his beautifully made garden. Then he would watch every movie he loves in front of his television the whole afternoon. When he is not busy, he would play board games with us . It is always fun to play with our lolo. These and many more are everlasting memories to carry with me, and I will always thank him for showing all of us what being a parent and a grandparent should be like.
I was thinking about many things that moment, I didn’t noticed mama’s voice calling me again to remind me that the sponsors and officers who will assist in lolo’s interment has arrived. I was talking to Col. Aquino when I suddenly heard my aunt shouting. She was once again crying for her father’s death. I tried to look around around our house, lola is crying too, my mother is trying to hug my aunt but I know sadness is telling her to just cry and shout too like everyone else in the house was doing. “Labas na tayo” were the only words I have to say to stop everybody from crying. We all went outside and from there I saw everyone weeping and mourning for lolo’s death. It was a long line. A line with aching hearts, a line with crying eyes. Ito na siguro yung pinakamahabang hatid na nakita ko, lahat ng nagmamahal kay lolo, naroon. Lahat sila, nagluluksa.
Lolo’s hearse was beautiful. It is made of glass with arranged flowers on the side. It was surrounded by the officers and sponsors of the BCS. In front of it was another vehicle with a singer and a pianist.The soldiers and the band members formed their position in front of the line. This is it, from the road I can see lolo’s coffin carried by men in white uniform. When they placed him in his hearse, I heard my aunts and uncles’ loudest scream .. “PAPA” .. It was a short word, but I can feel the pain from it. Then I heard my cousins .. “LOLO” , it was a cry of loneliness and mourning. It is hard to say goodbye to our Lolo, Papa to his children, and Noli to most.
Even though we all feel the pain of parting, I hope today is about celebrating a life, Noli’s life, well lived. My Grandpa was a humble man; he never liked to be the center of attention. In life and now in death, he wouldn’t want us to focus on him. He wouldn’t want us to focus on the sadness of his death, but instead focus on the happiness in our lives. He would want us to appreciate each other and our future.
Di ako makaiyak nung nakikita kong nililibing na si lolo. I wasn’t focused on what’s happening that moment. Everbody was crying but there was only silence in my mind. I was thinking of what to do when that day is finished. I don’t know if it is a wake up call or a beginning for all of us. Like what I said, everything happened instantly. One day, I was with lolo, then the other day he was gone. If I have to face the word “acceptance” once in my life, no thanks. I am happy to have my own belief that my Lolo Noli is still alive, my Lolo Noli is still with us.
“kung andito si papa, sigurado masaya siya na nakikita tayong magkakasama at kumpleto”. Those were the words I heard when I finally focused myself on the ceremony. It was my uncle Rey talking. After hearing it, I cried. Ansakit lang kasing isipin na yung nag-iisang request ni lolo buong buhay niya na makita kaming magkakasama at kumpleto, mangyayari lang pala kung namatay na siya </3
Weep not for me though I am gone into that gentle night.
Grieve if you will, but not for long upon my soul’s sweet flight.
I am at peace, my soul’s at rest
There is no need for tears.
For with your love I was so blessed.
For all those many years.
There is no pain, I suffer not,
The fear now all is gone.
Put now these things out of your thoughts,
In your memory I live on.
Remember not my fight for breath
Remember not the strife.
Please do not dwell upon my death,
But celebrate my life.
Lolo, mamimiss ko yung mga oras na nagyayabang kayo sakin about sa platoon niyo noon. Yung palo niyo na sobrang sakit, salamat pala doon, kung wala yun, tarantado pa rin ako ngayon. Lalo na yung paghingi hingi ko ng mga candy niyo, hahanap hanapin ko yun. I know that you also don’t want to leave us this early, but i understand lo, I know you’re tired. Ako na ang magpapatuloy ng mga naiwan niyong bagay, you molded me to what i am today. Kaya gagayahin ko kayo, babawasan ko lang ng konti yung pagiging strikto :) I love you lolo. Pag nagkita tayo dyan, I’ll make sure that you’ll salute me for my success. That’s a promise lolo.
Be free now grandpa. We’ll be okay. Thanks for everything. Till we meet again ♥
in loving memory of
MANUEL FERRER MELCHOR
February 9, 1941-September 25, 2011