Sunday, November 4, 2012

Some Quiet Time at Manila Memorial Park

It was a Sunday.  The family decided to go to Manila Memorial Park early this year to avoid the traffic and the awful crowd.  We wanted some quiet time with our loved ones that had gone ahead of us in the afterlife.  Upon arriving Manila Memorial it seems that a lot of families had the same thinking and were also visiting their dead.  It was not crowded though, there was still some peace and quiet.  

As we sat there, we did some clearing with the cleaning lady first.  I took pictures of the surroundings after the candles and flowers were placed.  Taking pictures was my way of distracting myself from getting emotional.  Even after so many years I still struggle to hold back tears at the sight of my parent's final resting place.  Another way for my to draw away from getting all teary-eyed is to talk about fond memories I have of them. 

That time I relayed memories I had of Dad, that one time I experienced the ultimate test of patience waiting for him to pick us up at the Magallanes theater after watching Voltes V.  He was terribly late because he had to do emergency C-section to one of his pregnant 4-legged patients.  Did I ever tell you my Dad was an awesome veterinarian?  We owned a pet clinic in Pasay City in the 70's.  My early childhood memories were mostly of that clinic since the 2nd floor was where we lived.  Oh well, I miss Dad.  I also miss his awesomeness and his extensive stories.  Galing kaya niya magkwento.

As for mom, well, she was awesome as well, but in a different light.  My mom was a pharmacist, had very good taste in clothes (which I did not inherit unfortunately), and she was wonderful in the kitchen.  My mom had quite a temper which we all are scared of, but we loved her dearly.  If we needed something, the easy route is always through mom, Dad was so hard to convince. My best memory of mom was her love for roses, she took care of a lot of them.  I also remember her for her really good chicken curry and Banana Nut Cake.

Going to the cemetery is not all about bringing flowers, lighting candles and saying prayers for the dead. Its about remembering them at their best (kadalasan yung masasaya), remembering them and passing on stories of them to our kids and grand kids.  Doing this makes them live on in our hearts.  My Dad and Mom did the same thing when they relayed to us stories of their parents who had already passed on when we were kids.  This time its our turn to relay the stories.  After the stories, there's always the silence...and then, saying good-bye. 

(Sigh) For my friends and relatives who "Liked" my posting of my parent's tombstones in Facebook, my thanks to you as well for giving me a piece of your mind.  It is endearing that my parents had one way or another touched your lives too.  May you continue to keep them in your memories and in your prayers.  Once again...thank you.

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