By Reni M. Valenzuela
Here is my text to my eldest child just last Thursday, Nov. 2 2023, All Souls’ Day:
“Anak, baka sa Sabado or Monday na kami makapunta ng Mama mo sa Libingan ng Mga Bayani, kasama mga kapatid mo. (Son, your Mama and I together with your siblings will perhaps go to Libingan ng Mga Bayani - Graveyard for Heroes - on Saturday or Monday).
Salamat nga pala sa pagdalaw ninyo ngayon sa puntod ni Daddy (Thank you for visiting the tomb of Daddy today with your family). He’s a World War 2 hero, with gunshot and deep shrapnel wounds in his legs, thigh and body. He had always a story to narrate to me behind each wound.
Please tell your children, my grandkids, that Lolo Rocky is not perfect as a father and husband but he’s a great man.
For nearly two decades since he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ, he had his Bible beside his bed to read -- while still in the country until he and Mommy migrated to the US in the late ‘80s up to the time he died.
His calling my name “Reni” three times in his deathbed, five meters away from him, just a few days before he passed away in their QC house when our family (with you as a young teen then, your mama and your younger three siblings) visited him -- still echoes in my mind and spirit.
And that made me teary-eyed each time I remember him until now, even long after he died (in 2001) -- for a reason that pained and pains me. I missed and failed loving your Lolo as I should.”
Love is the one act in life we don’t delay doing.