The Patriarch of a Family Lays To Rest…

Posted: April 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

Silence settles in the living room of the house I grew up as my grandfather is wheeled out on a stretcher, surrounded by our family with tears streaming down our faces…

Last night me, my brothers and my sister race back to our hometown of Pittsburg, CA after hearing the news that our grandfather of 97 years just took his last breath. My grandfather, king in our family,  the very seed that has sprouted a family tree that boasts more then seventy children, grand children and great grandchildren. My grandmother, the queen who once ruled with her strong Filipino accent and even stronger pinch when we were out of line, is now a shadow of herself in both size and somewhat forgetful memory, but is as eloquent as ever.

Upon returning home, we found that grandpa was still laying in his room, in his bed, so peaceful… just hours before, the elders performed the customary Rosary as we Filipinos do, its hard to forget the image of him laying there in the middle of the night, with a hint of light in his face, regal really… Lifeless even, this man was the strength of our family and was still handsome to his last moment.

My father, his brothers and sisters now face loosing a parent for the first time, it’s hard to see them cry… Through their sorrow, there still are many laughs and they wonder what to do now…

Us grandchildren talk about legacy… There are no willing of riches of wealth and property, rather we look at each other and the ones we are surrounded by and realize we are his legacy… Us, the family, this beautiful family that these two immigrants created in this new world of America, its amazing really, a full expression of the American dream.

Our family will move on as all families do… Rest in peace Grandpa, thank you for everything… It is important to recognize the greatness in our own families and I recognize the greatness in you. From surviving World War II to immigrating from our homeland to America. Helping to establish the first Fil-Am organizations in the Bay Area and being an amazing golfer who had actual Golf Tournament in your name in our hometown. I do apologize that none of your grandchildren, including myself, went into the military service and none of us became “the General” that you so much wanted, but you know, there’s always the great grandchildren. It doesn’t change the fact that we are all descendants of a great man… you, Grandpa… Rest in peace. Amen.

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Comments
  1. Rebecca says:

    “…its hard to forget the image of him laying there in the middle of the night, with a hint of light in his face, regal really… Lifeless even, this man was the strength of our family and was still handsome to his last moment.” Very nicely written, Dante. My condolences on your family’s loss.

  2. Luvelith says:

    My Condolences. It must be very hard for a family to lose a man of this importance. May he rest in piece and live on in dear remembrance.

    Maybe this isn’t the best time to say this, but you must be very lucky with a warm and loving family like yours. I fairly hope this makes you smile.

    Lots of strength, Luvelith.

  3. Todd Enrico says:

    I know it’s late, but I’m sorry to hear this.

    My grandpa on my dad’s side was kind of like yours, in that he made a giant leap from another country(Argentina) to the states. He didn’t speak much english when he first immigrated, but he was a skilled sailor, sail crafter, and carpenter. So he worked harder and better than most and carved out a firm place for himself and his wife, and their eventual children. All during a time when it was difficult to do so(it still isn’t easy these days, of course). I was and am very proud of him for being a shining example of how great cultural diversity can be in this country – it’s shaped my views on cultural acceptance and immigration. And I was very sad to lose him a few years ago.

    I don’t mean to sound self centered in talking about myself in an entry about you and your family, I only relate the personal info because I feel I can relate to your situation somewhat. And it can be helpful to know there are others who identify with you during tough times.

    I’m glad you’ve got so much pride because of your grandpa, I think that would make him really happy even if you never got into the military. I really respect your feelings about your family and heritage, your take on how you approach your work. I think that is as good a way to carry on your grandpa’s legacy as being in the military.

  4. Christina says:

    I’m super late to this post, but I stumbled upon your blog after your audio-post tweet; I’ve admired your work as “Ru-fi-o! Ru-fi-o!” and Prince Zuko, but never knew you had a blog.

    I am sorry for the loss of your grandfather. Three years ago, I lost my father at 53, and six months later, my grandmother at 75, so the death of my grandmother was kind of a double-whammy, but it was a different kind of thing to deal with. She was the ‘matriarch’ of our family, since she and her husband/my grandfather was, for all purposes but not officially, separated, and then died when I was two. She was a second mother to me, and I know all too well how the passing of a grandparent affects someone.

    When I was out for the week my grandmother passed away, one of my professors sent me an extremely kind email, and I think you might also appreciate what he has to say about his own grandmother:
    “The one wonderful thing that has happened for me is that she is still very much alive in my heart and there rarely is a week that goes by when I don’t stop and think about how much I loved her. I hope that time will also be good to you in that respect.”

    As he hoped for me, I hope that the months between this entry and my comment have been kind to you.

    I look forward to reading more of your entries, and definitely look forward to Korra and your so-far-mysterious character.

    –Christina

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