Monday, January 30, 2012

A Rose For Tatay

Dear Tatay,

Mel was so busy with her kids and everything else that she didn't get the rose petals her mom wanted to put in your casket. But there were some there when we said goodbye to you today.

I don't know if you remember me telling you so, but when Nanay died, we planted an "Aloha" tea rose outside our house on her birthday.

This November, when we thought its bloom was long over, a rose appeared. It started opening around my birthday.

Slowly, but surely it began to open. A week later, on the Man's birthday, it was still opening.

It finally bloomed around Christmas. With the cold/warm periods, it didn't bloom well, but it bloomed.

Last night I cut it off the plant. I tucked some of the petals in the envelope with the message JR wrote for herself and SC:

"You are now in a safe haven with Nanay at your side. But remember that no matter who you're with, love is there with you."

And I tucked the rest in with my note and with a picture from my wedding, January 30, 1994.
The one with the whole family, laughing and happy and together:

"Eighteen years ago today I became a member of your family. But I already loved you all. And I always will."

We'll plant something for you, Tay. I haven't figured out what yet. It won't be a rose. Tea roses are for Nanay--for their sweet fragrance that we all associate with her.

No, your plant needs to be something less sweet and more sturdy. Something that perhaps isn't lovely, but is strong and resilient and useful. Perhaps even fruitful.

I love you, Tatay. Thank you for the gift of your son. Thank you for the gift of your family. My family too.

I am very proud to be your daughter in law. To be the mother of your granddaughters.

I hope that I can raise them to be women you can take pride in.

Paalam Na,



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