Travel Log: Our Philippine Homecoming…One Year Later / Remembering Lolo Ado

Last November 18th marked my Lolo Ado’s 20th death anniversary. It has been 20 years since he’s gone…20 years since he’s been with the Lord.

I was just 10 years old when he passed. I was in fourth grade then. My mom has just given birth to my youngest sister Kara. Daddy–as he liked to be called even by us grandkids–in his frail condition, still managed to visit us at our townhome in Valle Verde, climbing 40+ steps to see his last grandchild before he passed.

He was a gentle guy with an authoritative flair about him, one whom you know wouldn’t get mad but you’d be right not to disobey anyway. He had a great big pot belly. We always joked that he swallowed a whole round watermelon that’s why his stomach was that way. And he always asked us kids–two to three at a time–to sit and weigh down on his legs whenever he did sit-ups, not that it did much help to his belly…LOL.

As I look back now on the days leading up to his death, I realize that, like any other, it all just came too soon…the sickness, the hospital days, the passing. They took him home from the hospital after a while. He laid on his bed during his final days, guarded by a butterfly on the wall that departed only when he did. On the night before Daddy died, I remember standing by his bedside alone with tears streaming down my cheeks, knowing the inevitable, just not knowing when it would come. Then one by one the rest of the grandkids came into his room, all six of us, followed by his kids. We stood around him in silent, solitary tears for what seemed like ages. Finally, Tita Maila broke the silence and gently said, “o…magba-bye na kayo kay Daddy.”

The six grandkids fell in line and one by one and gave Daddy a kiss good-bye. The next day at morning, right before I went to school, I heard that he passed.

We don’t always get the chance to say good-bye to the ones we love. So as I recall that one sad night from the recesses of my memory, I smiled (well…I cried a LOT first, then smiled).

I smiled at the chance he gave us to say good-bye.

———————————————————————-

I have not published these photos anywhere else, but here are some snapshots of when we visited Daddy’s grave while we were in the Philippines last year…

Daddy Ado is Miguel’s great-grandfather. We visited him with Lola Vering and Kuya Terry’s family while we were in the Philippines last year.

We love you, Daddy. Your memories remain in our hearts forever.

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