Goodbye-A A +A
Saturday, September 7, 2013
ON SEPTEMBER 5, I had the opportunity to visit Magalang, what an unforgettable seven hours.
In my next week column I will share with you the purpose and details of my visit to the Banal na Bundok in Magalang. But for now let me dwell on my conversation with Bing Feliciano while I was there.
Her profound ideas on the passing away of persons she loves touched my being. May I reprint here her story as she calmly expressed these thoughts.
"Two women, so close to my heart, passed away recently, just a month apart from each other. We were prepared for Mama's passing. After all, she was already 102 years old and she lived a full life. It was only early this year that her health began to deteriorate. On several occasions we thought she would go but she hanged on, obviously waiting for a dear one. That dear one was my eldest sister Cherrie who is based in Chicago. It was a dying mother's wish to see her daughter one last time.
My sister had been sick with lupus for many years and in 2012 it attacked her again. She could no longer come home as she had been in and out of the hospital and comatose weeks before she died.
My mother's geriatric doctor couldn’t believe how she survived without nourishment for several days. Her weak, thin body also rejected medication.
A couple of weeks before she passed away, she clearly uttered the words "NOT YET" when she heard us sobbing and saying goodbye. It was only when we became honest with Mama and told her Cherrie couldn’t come as she, too, was fighting for her life did she peacefully joined her Creator. The day she passed away, Cherrie woke up briefly. Mama "dropped" by before she finally entered the Kingdom of Heaven.
A close relative mustered enough courage to whisper to Cherrie that Mama couldn’t wait for her any longer. She had suffered enough. Upon hearing the sad news, tears rolled down Cherrie's cheeks. Cherrie's end came a day before my younger sisters and I arrived. She wanted to spare us the pain of seeing her struggle. It was heart-breaking for us.
Our three week stay in the United States taught me a lot of things.
First, we must value family and true friends for they will be the ones who will be with us in difficult times. From them we can draw faith and strength.
Second, we should be reminded again that what matters in this life are how much of our talents, gifts and treasures we share with the poor, the lost, and the lonely. Are we making a difference in somebody's life? To whom much is given, much is also expected. Let us be good stewards of the Lord's bountiful blessings.
Third, as we travel the road to our final destination, let us not just look forward but let us also look behind us and help those who stumble and fall and those who have lost their way.
And lastly, let us not grieve forever for losing a loved one for our departed are in a better, more beautiful place where there is love, peace and eternal joy. I now value life more and enjoy the simple blessings that come my way. Each day is a gift, each breath is pure joy, each smile is a treasure, and each flower is a miracle.
We live on borrowed time so when I open my eyes as a new day dawns, I gratefully thank the Lord for the wonderful gift of life."
Salamat for your insights, Sister Bing. Namaste – I honor the goodness and goddess in you.
Blessings for always to all our dear readers. May you also open your heart of courage as you say goodbye to your beloved family members.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 08, 2013.