This is the piece I delivered during my father’s necrological rites- Roxas City, Philippines (January 19, 2008)
It is not easy growing up and sharing the attention of my father to his work and the community he is passionate to serve. We grew up asking why his time outside home is always seem more important, and why between us and other people, he always seem to prefer to be with the later. We grew up keeping this question in our thoughts and in our hearts even from my earliest memories.
When I was a child, about 4 years old, I saw for the first time a helicopter. It was a rare occasion that I was with papang because it was mamang’s graduation day. We were in the middle of an excited crowd, among people anticipating the arrival of the helicopter. He spoke with his students and other people we met as we continue our way through the sea of strangers in my child’s eyes. I feel so small holding on to his hand, when suddenly we heard loud sounds mixing with the noisey commotions of the crowd signalling the arrival of what we have waited. The people around us was in chaos. Papang, so absorbed talking to people forgot about me and my tiny grip lossing me in the crowd. I was scared crying as I drifted in the turbulent ocean of strangers. I have vague memory how I was found in that middle of chaos, but the memory would always haunt me til these days.
We understand growing up that we will never have the full attention we yearned from papang - our family always have to share him with his world outside our home. And between us and them, our family always have to take the back seat in his life. Perhaps the reason for my wanting to achieve something is my unconcious effort to catch his attention.
I always consider papang as the sky in my life – distant, but is an authority. I think this is true for all of us his children. We strive to be better persons because we don’t want to fail him.
As I listen to the inspiring words from voices of the different organizations he took part and people he worked with and served, I am beginning to link his absence in our life growing up to the time he spent with some of you present today – you are his world outside our home. I understand.
As I look at the crowd now, I remember again my first view of the helicopter. I now have totally lost my grip to his hand. But I’m not scared and I don’t feel lost anymore. I feel not alone anymore with your presence.
On behalf of Mamang, who is most affected by this lost and our family, I would like to express our gratitude to all of you for honoring my father. We believe he is more than deserving with all his sacrifices to be true to his calling for service – even if we his faimly is part of the sacrifices.
Thank you for being with our family to honor the man who forgets his family and even himself all in the genuine spirit of service. It did not make us rich but as I look around, I am grateful that our family is blessed with many friends. I believe papang from above is watching and feel fulfilled with his life’s journey.
Thank you for all your precious presence here today to share our sorrow. All your kind gestures lighten our grief. We find comfort in your kind words, and warmth with your presence in this moment of cold.
Thank you to our family and relatives to share express our love.
Thank you to all the priests who offered masses. I can imagine how happy papang must be somewhere watching. The masses offered has delivered him door to door to heaven.
Thank you to all of you who are here present to be with us to send him off to the place where he would be reunited with God he loves.
Thank you to all the people who for some reasons were not able to make it here today, but are with us in their thoughts and their prayers to ask God to welcome Leonardo D. Jamora’s arrival in his arms, in his love, home in heaven.
You must go on, and I must go.
I would be near, I would never leave you.
I would be the brilliant star to guide you.
The breeze to kiss you.
You must go on, and I must go.
Finally, we would like to thank God for giving us the treasure that is papang – now that we are about to return him, we appreciate more the gift. The people gathered here are living proof how much hearts were touched by his life.
Please don’t forget papang. His immortality lies in the memories that you would keep alive in your hearts.
AM00000050000001529 10, 2007 | Categories: Death, diary, Essay, family, Father, Journal, Leonardo D. Jamora, life, Memoir, memories, moments, necrological rites message, Papang, Personal, Poem, Poetry, Sad Poems, thank you, Thoughts, writing | 16 Comments