Her Life...

On Tuesday, November 16, 2011, my grandmother, Oliva L.G. Taijeron, was called to her eternal rest. At 9:30pm, she took her last breath and left this life for a new, more beautiful life. She is now praying for us, her family, as we go on living our lives here. She will be interceding for us as we continue on our journey knowing that we are on a pilgrimage to an Eternal home with all our ancestors and most importantly, our Creator.

My grandmother lived a beautiful life. She was always so strong and independent. I will always remember how we couldn't ever track her down by calling her on the phone because she was always outside in the garden messing with one thing or another. She did that for as long as she could.

A few months ago, I wrote about my grandmother. I don't even remember why I did it but I am so happy that I did. She was a fighter. Very stubborn, like my mother... like me. She made for many sacrifices in her life but never complained about having to do so.

I will always remember the days when she would bake bread and we would sit with her for hours. Mixing, kneading, rolling, basting. Those are the days that I will miss. The days when we would sit around and just listen to her talk about anything at all. I remember typhoons at her house. We would sit around the dinner table and make typhoon donuts. Again, kneading, rolling, pressing, cutting. Every time I think of her, I pray that I will remember these things until the day I join her in eternal happiness.

My grandmother, a creature of habit. Every morning, she would wake up and she would have a bathroom routine. It was something that we never really appreciated in our youth. But, today, I look back at it and see how cute it was. After that, she would have her breakfast. It was always two items. Cream of Wheat and toast. Oatmeal and toast. Toast and an apple. There was always the smell of toast in the morning. Her coffee, one teaspoon of instant Sanka, one teaspoon of sugar, one teaspoon of cream. It never changed.

The last memory I have before she had her accident was at my uncle's funeral. I made her a cup of coffee. One sugar, one cream. She sipped it with a spoon and I thought it was the cutest thing I had ever seen. Then, when she had had enough, not mindful of what she was doing, she dipped her fingers in her cup to wash them. She had forgotten that it was coffee and not water. I remember being saddened by that. But, now, I look back and smile.

I have regrets about her last few years with us. I regret that I didn't see her as much as I could have. When I last saw her before the accident, she had a look of confusion on her face, as if she wasn't quite sure who I was. But, I know that she was losing bits of her memory and it was quite possible that she didn't remember me. What mattered yesterday was that I knew who she was and that I loved her. With every breath that I saw her take, I remembered one more thing.

I was in the room when she took her last breath. I saw her stretch and she opened her eyes a tiny bit. I knew, at that moment, that she was gone. I had come to terms with the fact that these were the last moments we were ever going to spend with grandma. The feelings were overwhelming. I was sad and happy at the same time. Wait, no! Happy is not the right term. I was elated! She's now with my grandfather, the man that she loved until her dying breath. They are our angels who are praying for us. I'll tell you this, my grandparents are definitely strong! They made it through their final battle and are now able to rest in eternal happiness with half of the children there with them! I know that one day, I will see them again and they will be more beautiful that I could ever imagine.

So, you go grandma. You join grandpa and, please, pray for us. When our last scrutiny comes, join us in the fight. Remind us that God loves us and always will. Remind us to ignore the lies. Until we see you again, rest. Be happy with the saints and the angels. Know that we loved you. Grandma, you were beautiful all the way to the end. Do not fret, your hair was perfect! I am happy to have witnessed your last breath and to have been your grand daughter. I will always love you and I will always remember everything you taught me.

Eternal rest grant unto her, o Lord... May she rest in Peace.


I'm Finding...

That it is so hard to trust in the Will of God at the moment. There has been so much happening in my life lately that it seems that the 'problems' are piling up. Just when I think one problem is at it's end, it comes back with vengeance and bites me in the ass. Then, as if that's not bad enough, a new problem arises. But, there's one thing that is a constant... Life always keeps me on my toes.

Since I last posted about wanting it all to stop, it has stopped. You know what? I'm not happy about it. I thought, if this situation no longer existed. If this man just stopped the foolishness... if I didn't hear from him ever, I'd be OK. I'd be happy. I'd be able to put it behind me and move on. But, along with all of this comes the task of having to avoid him... having to sever the friendship. Now, I find myself missing the very thing that I can't have. It's difficult to accept that he can't be there anymore. Definitely not in the capacity that he was. But, it is a reality that I must face. A cross I must carry. The cup that I wish to pass from me.

To add to everything that has been happening. Yesterday, I received news that my father has a condition in which his heart is beating twice as fast as it should. We're not sure what is wrong with him. But, the doctor says that if it is not fixed, my father is in danger of having a stroke. This news was enough to get me to start doubting everything all over again. And, of course, the first person that I wanted to turn to, I couldn't. So, I turned to my girls and my community. Before I went to my community, I didn't realize how much it had bothered me. But, when I started sharing about it, I felt so destroyed. I felt sad and angry.

Why is this God that loves me doing these things? Why the constant struggle? Why the constant reality of death and sickness? Is it not enough that I am trying to give up my old life for him? Is it not enough that I am trying to let go of this man who he has obvious called?

But, I am taught that the pain, suffering, sickness, all of it, is in order to bring me closer to him. It's hard though. The other side starts to play games on me. He whispers in my ear, 'Your God doesn't love you! If he did, he wouldn't cause these things to happen.' It is so easy for me to just turn my back. To walk away. To live my life angry at the God who created me. It is easy for me to believe the lies of the world. It's easy to say no more, I can live the way I want.

It is easy for me to ask him to take this cup from me. Not so easy to tell him 'not my will but yours be done'. I wish I knew how to embrace the suffering. I wish I could understand what it is I need to do. I wish that I could look at him as a loving father who will do nothing to harm me. To believe that, just as he raised his son from the depths of hell, so will he raise me from my suffering. I suppose that's why I am where I am... To begin to understand his love and the grace of suffering. To walk in his footsteps. To carry my cross as he carried his. He too begged his father to have mercy on him. But, he accepted his father's will and in return was glorified.