Thursday, April 30, 2015

Dear Lolo Nanding,

It's been a year since you gone up to heaven.

I keep this day close to my heart not only because it's a day before my birthday, but because it's the day our Lord took you away. He took one of his angels back home.

I remember being very optimistic, saying that I want to have a breakfast celebration in our chapel after the Sunday mass, and I wanted to because I looked forward to seeing you there with us, eating pancit and toasted siopao. I know how it would be, you'd make sure that everyone had a plate first before you got one for yourself, and you'd offer the choir some juice packs because that's just how you are: considerate and kind to a fault.

I've never lost anyone close to me, and if ever I did, it was mostly just unsaid goodbyes and slowly dissolved friendships. You were the closest thing I had to a lost loved one, and I remember crying over my coffee when I heard that you went on your way to face God, and I cried again when I saw you in your peaceful sleep.

I keep this day close to my heart because I feel like I've lost a part of my family.

But it's true. In the chapel, we weren't just friends, we were all one big happy OLA family, and you and Tita Zeny were our parents.

One day I remember very fondly is the feast day of the Sacred Heart, and how we all gathered at Tito Ed and Tita Ditas' house and celebrated the day together, eating, drinking, exchanging stories, playing Dota, and so on. I know how it would've been if you were there. You'd be with the men, listening to their different stories with a glass of juice in hand, or perhaps looking at what we kids were doing, playing games with animated heroes swearing at each other. I also keep that day close to my heart, because it was wonderful.

You were the best example of the silent worker. You weren't commissioned, but you worked like you were. Your left hand never knew what your right hand did, you never boasted or demanded attention, and you were happy with looking after everyone. Yet silent as you are, your departure was heard loud and clear.

I realized that even in my silence, I can work and make a difference. I know that because you made a difference, even in your wordlessness.

Every Sunday at the chapel, my eyes still wander over to where you've always seated, and I remember how I'd always walk over after mass and do mano po to you. I also remember how you would grip my little brother's shoulders with you bright smile that we all recognize.

I know that it's been a year, but Sundays are just not the same anymore.

But I know that you're somewhere good, somewhere safe, where no pain and hurt can reach you, and you're looking after us like you always do, with your warm and kind smile and your silent approval.

You can be the light wind that touches our face, or the sunlight that touches our head.

We miss you, Lolo Nanding. We always will. Please continue to look after us like you always do.

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