Birth, Illness and Death musings

this week from September 19 to 27, all our mobil fones were buzzing to serve the newly born, the ill, the dying and the families of  BID (twin babies, ill friend, a dead parent ).it was a revelation that cell fones were the mode for communicating to all, inside and outside our community.

minette and yeyi  dela torre welcomed their twins on september 19. they named the twins Edric Raziel and Yohan  Zuriel after archangels. ed, ayen and i had a joyful time trying to remember the names. ayen downloaded the twins’ photos as our cpu screen image and we see them everytime we open ed’s cpu. they looked very much like yeyi. “our chinese heritage is showing in their faces” remarked ayen.

on sept.23, tuesday, i went with gerry and sally bulatao to vsist oca francisco in makati medical. oca was  trying very hard to receive us, walk and sat with great effort beside us.he had been in dialysis for three months and being away from all what he loved – political and economic work – made him very miserable. we talked but he could only nod and i told him to ” arouse, mobilise, organ-ise his kidneys and organs to recovery.” i didnt tell oca what ed said in his recent blog about holding a tribute when he dies. that was pancho lara, another friend who visited oca after us, and pancho was quoting conrad de quiros  who was asking pancho to  write in his column about oca.  after the visit, i asked pancho to help and we are now texting people to participate in an auction fundraising on october 3 in bantayog ng mga bayani for oca’s kidney transplant.

then on sept.25, the dapilagas’ mother, agang dapilaga ,crossed over and everyone in my extended family was in grief. agang  died of complications from breast cancer. the dapilagas are our extended family : judy, josita , jovy, jocelyn, jose jr. and rio dapilaga have been with us, one by one ( not all together) since we came home in the early 90s. judy, their eldest sister, had been our housekeeper during martial law in 1975 and she got married only when i left for europe in the 1980s. when ed and i came back with ayen in 1991, judy brought jovy, then jocelyn to help us settle in quezon city. jocelyn became ayen’s second mother and she has served us for 17 years now. when one would get married, they saw to it that we had always a housekeeper and that ayen was never left alone in the house when ed and i would travel overseas.

reflecting on the three decades of being served by six dapilagas, they really are our second family. now that their mother is dead, all of them are going home to dumarao, capiz  to bury her.  the remarkable thing is the way they all communicated with each other, sibling to sibling  via mobile phones. agang also would listen whenever they called her.. when she died, all the children felt it and they started grieving which we call “ luksa at lupasay“, crying loudly and physically trashing themselves on the ground.

agang’s bilins were not directly logged with her children, she chose three women, two  who not blood relatives, to carry out her final wishes. jocelyn is getting the bilins one after another by sms and this will entail her going over the pillows that was agang’s time deposit accounts. it was agang who saved up for her funeral and she color coded the pillows. the black pillow contains the funds for her funeral, according to janet, another yaya that jocelyn brought to us in 2000 when our household needed two women to run. janet  became an OFW later, then got married  and went home to capiz again. agang chose janet to execute some of her bilins. each day, janet watches over the box where she put all of agang’s pillows, waiting for the dapilaga women to return from quezon city to open the pillows. jocelyn estimate that those pillows contained all her savings since the 90s. i hope it runs to at least a tidy sum for the dapilagas since just their fares will cost P20,000 ( roro fares P2500 plus). bless agang for her foresight. i will blog about the pillows when they are opened soon.

so what can i say to close this blog? am blest with all these birthing, getting friends to recover, and final crossing. i look at what my life’s lessons are.  i know that death is the remarkable event all of us have to face. when my father got sick two weeks ago, i told my siblings to pray for more time for him. i myself pray for more time for my parents, Iba, Flotie and Adang. as a parent, i know they have fulfilled many of their mission but time with them is valuable to us. they give us a perspective on life.  they point to us a legacy larger than our present while the newlyborn challenges us to expand our dreams.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Babaylan, Lifelong learning, Spirituality

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