Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I love you Lola...

Loving and Devoted

I don’t really know if there is a right way to say everything I want to say… or even if this is the right place... but I feel safe using this blog as a space to share some of the things on my heart at the time - even if it is "personal"... I’ll start by saying that my grandmother – well, she is just something else. My cousins and I – there are 16 of them, all close, all know each other well – could share hundreds and hundreds of stories about her… she was a strong one. She has an inspirational, faithful, and powerful woman. She was strict and as my cousins so eloquently put it – she made some great lemonade. Her 6 o’clock Anglus prayer time, making rosaries to store in her blue tin, insisting that ghosts would be out to get us at 6pm if we didn’t come in from the park, sneaking late night video games while she slept, going to the corner store with a blank check to buy a stick of gum and a twix bar, church on Sunday – and Monday, and Wednesday, Thursday and sometimes Friday, telling us to not be so happy (I think she really meant LOUD – because the cousins were really loud – we always laughed when she said that)… We shared so many stories this weekend, it was a side of my mourning and remembrance I actually neglected. I didn’t really know how to bring up all those memories of her… In truth I spent most of my time up here in San Francisco staring at picture after picture while putting together the dedication slideshow for her and our family – in tears at times… I think it just hurt to see my strong and fighting grandmother’s declining health finally get the best of her…

Here is a picture of her in 1939… beautiful..

She made a trip out with us to – I think - Sea World when I was a little boy. Here is my grandma with my cousins and there I am on the bottom left.

She was a traveler at heart. My mom, who had the duty of caring for her administrative details in the past few years and really took the time to care for her and visit her almost every weekend, was able to go with my grandma on a pilgrimage in 1988 to Italy. I know my mom loved her so so much…

My auntie said that she loved all her grandchildren equally – no matter how much she saw you, or how often you visited. Here is a legendary picture – the one with all of the cousins in 1997 on her birthday! Jesse and great grandchildren Kaylin and Jelani weren’t born yet…

Here is a picture that I never actually saw until now… I know I had the blessing of being able to spend a lot of my time in my childhood knowing her and it all started from the very beginning…



My grandma really did love all of her grandchildren. Here are some of us on her often pictured stairs…

and nowadays… with the number of cousins growing (and just us growing too – we can’t fit three to a step like before) we can barely fit in the picture – only 11 of 16 cousins are pictured and we’re missing a great grandchild Kaylin too…

She always prayed for us. I think, though, I had this small feeling of sadness in these last few years for not visiting as often as I could. But, I know that no matter what, she always had all of us in her thoughts and prayers…

Even though she wasn’t able to speak or say much as her health declined, I know that she could still feel us there. You could still tell she was upset when we were too loud, haha.. and if I could just look at her and smile, she would try her best to give a smile back.

I hope I’m just making her proud in heaven. I just really wish I could put a good piece together for her – to really take the time to write something… I don’t have a piece written, but as is my way these days.. I do have pictures, and for me – as I am now – this may be the best way that I honor her memory. I may not have written something, but my cousin Kaye Kaye (who may arguably be the closest to her) wrote one. It was an incredible piece that she shared with the family - it was really good – the kind that you start to listen to while you are staring at the floor then end up with your head up shedding tears with her… Here is a picture of my cousin Kaye Kaye and my grandma…

She was, by all sense, raised by grandma along with her late father, my uncle Marc. Being raised by grandma must have been both a blessing and difficult. The first for just growing with grandma and second - for living with grandma! She was strict – it almost seemed that she picked on Kaye. She lived with her as part of her fulfillment of a promise by her dad to my late grandpa to take care of her til the end… and although other cousins were over the house, she was always the one to take the brunt of the chores and the constant requests for help… In grandma’s way, it was lessons learned - what my auntie Josie called “tough love”. Indeed – with love being the operative word.

I don’t really know what to do with myself still. It is surreal. It has been hard to hold tears back at the most unexpected times. We have been to Lola’s house a few times already and I still feel like she is still there…

I was honored to be able to be a pallbearer for grandma at Skylawn Memorial. We had her service at Immaculate Conception Chapel with Father William who has been with our family and my grandma since the 70s. She has a really beautiful plot right next to my grandpa overlooking a valley with a view of the ocean just a few miles away… I hope to visit soon.. and often. Lola – the woman who I knew exemplifies faith. She is faith. She lived it. I know it was because of her prayers and thoughts that my entire family has been lifted up. She was so strong in her faith – she pushes me to be that much more… She strengthens my faith… I’m gonna miss her – so much.

Goodbye for now Lola. I love you.

5 comments:

Melissa McClure Photography said...

This is a very touching memorial to your grandmother. I've been through something similar recently. Thanks for sharing what's in your heart!

Anthony said...

my thoughts and prayers are with you and your fam, daniel. this was a beautiful entry in remembrance of your Lola.

Melissa Koehler said...

Wow, what a woman. She is dancing in heaven for you and your family Daniel. God put his angel on earth to take care of your family and love you all. Now, she is with him in heaven smiling down on you. How wonderful that you had a chance to be shaped by such a woman of God. What an inspiration to all of us. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Big hugs

Jasmine Marie said...

Beautifully written Galang. Wow.

It was also fun to pick out which one was you in the photos. :)

BARBIE said...

I LOVE YOU DANIEL! LOLA WOULD BE PROUD AT WHAT YOU HAVE PUT TOGETHER IN MEMORY OF HER. KEEP YOUR HEAD UP OKAY. YES, I KNOW I HAVE TO SEND THOSE PICTURES TO YOU. AS SOON AS I DOWNLOAD THEM I WILL SEND IT TO YOU.
LOVE YOU,
COUSIN BARBIE