The morning I learned that President Cory died, I was crying so hard until I fell asleep again. It was so hard because she has been one of my heroines as I was growing up. I feel how her grandchildren feels and I know how hard it is to lose the one person that unites the family.
I didn’t know that it hurts more than what I was feeling that time until it happens to me. Same as President Cory, my Lola Paz was diagnosed with Cancer (September 2008). Actually, through it all, she didn’t now she has one. We all know how almost all cancer patients end up.. We know Lola will leave us soon. I just prayed to God “Thy will be done.” What ever His will, make it happen. We lift her up to Him. But He still gave us Christmas 2008, New Year 2009 and her 80th birthday, 23 days after New Year to spend with us.
Lola was fighting. I remember my 2009 and 2010 awards blog, she’s the one in my Best Family Member award (For Fighting!) Lola’s really strong for a small person like her. As what my cousin, Aina said in her eulogy, “My lola never backed down, she never gave in. She went home to the Lord with her head held high.” She was never afraid I bet, because she knows she was never alone, she has all of us, her family with her in this journey she had to take.
Lola again spent Christmas 2009 with the whole family (except me), New Year 2010 (except my family coz we were in my mom’s side) and her 81st birthday. They said she was not that good anymore, but she can still hear my cousins’ thank yous and i love yous and what nots for her. They said she was really happy that time. The next morning, she was having a hard time breathing. My titas and titos thought it was time. We all came to the hospital. I was the only apo there. It’s so hard seeing lola having a hard time breathing, oxygen pumped into her. It came to a point that her oxygen count can’t be recognized anymore. But she still fought. Her oxygen stabilized especially during the time that Tita Menie sang and was telling her to follow the light, to follow Jesus. Mom and I left the hospital since I had to go to school. I said goodbye to Lola. I kissed her twice (one’s for Aina, nagbilin kasi sakin earlier). I thanked her too. She did well for the rest of the night. The next day while I was in school, Mom called up and told me that they’re bringing Lola home — Home for her is Lipa City, where she lived all her life since she met Lolo. Upon entering Batangas, that’s where she had her last breath. She didn’t just come home to Lipa, she went straight home to the Almighty. I think that’s just what she was waiting; that’s why she was still holding on the day before. She just wants to go home. She’s now home.
Lola will always be missed. We will miss her good mornings, her SPAGHETTI (whom Joshua just named Pazgetti), her champorado, puto, La Paz (her own recipe), suman, soft boiled eggs, tilapia, tulingan and the list goes on. We will miss the random chocolates that she gives out to us, her beautiful singing voice, her encouraging applause together with her proud lola face as my cousins perform (too bad, she just saw me dance when I was younger, she didn’t even hear me sing; that’s why I sang for her in my eulogy last night; lola love each and every performance, so I’m sure she did loved my song for her too). Her clutch bag that she always bring even if she’s just inside the house, her flowery blouses, her orchids, her 100 peso bill every Christmas as we line up by age, her eye glasses, her kisses and her hugs. She just knows what would make each of her 16 apos happy. There’s so much to miss and remember from my Lola. I couldn’t even sum them all up with all my cousins had said in their eulogy, me kanya kanyang memories kay Lola eh.
But what we will all miss is how she encouraged us to follow our dreams. As what my sister, Rissey said in her eulogy, “May it be an impromptu dance number or a song number with missed notes, she loved us for it. It always put a smile on her face. I Thank her for believing in me, in believing in all of us and for supporting all of us.” Lola believed in each and every one of us, in what we can do. She knew we would succeed in whatever path we would take. She supported us all the way. Now that Lola’s gone, it will be just us supporting each other.
The four day wake was like a four day long party. The food was overflowing. We received many gifts of food as well. Visitors came, so many friends of Lola paid their final respect for her. Until today, we didn’t really know how good our lola was not just to us, but to everyone– from our next door neighbor to the baggers at South Supermarket (who also came!) to Mayor Gozos to all the relatives from the Sisons and the Reyeses and to the extended families of each of her children. We all remembered Lola Paz. We celebrated her life, her good good life. During the procession, I noticed how the neighbors gave her a standing ovation. From the houses that we passed by from our house to the gate of Catalina, the people living in those houses, stopped what they were doing and spent a couple of minutes outside their homes. See how much Lola is and will always be loved by everyone? It was a long parade. It was a most memorable parade I’ve ever been to. It’s for honoring our Lola Paz as we bring her to her final rest, her dwelling place with Lolo Ding.
Lola Paz may not be popular to our country, but she will always be our guiding star. She will always be our wonderwall. Thank you Lola Paz for all the food and the LOVE. Thank Lola Paz and Lolo Ding for welcoming me into this family. I’ll miss you and I’ll always love you.
Paz Sison Reyes
Best Lola in the hearts of 16 Beautiful apos
January 24 1929 – January 26 2010; 81 yo
*Am I hearing duets from you and lolo?*