Hi. It has been eons since I’ve actually written something here and it has also been weeks since I’ve also attempted to write now but can’t seem to get my head straight without being a little too emotional. I even chicken-ed out when they asked me to say a short testimony since I know myself too well, I surely know that I’d just cry like a baby and hyperventilate in front of everyone. Now that wouldn’t be a good sight to see, don’t you think?
Hi, Tita Liling. You wonderful person, you. When Andrew first introduced us, we were already dating for a month or so— I met you at Mandarin for the first time together with Kuya Rocco and Kuya Anjelo. Well like for most first times, I was nervous and didn’t eat a thing because I gave that “I already ate” excuse. Awkard moments? None. We talked about shoes—how difficult it was to find our shoe size and we could never share our pairs with our sisters. From that day on, again, for most first times, I wanted you to like me all the way because yes, I kinda had a huge crush with your son.
Then there were already several invites for family dinners at your house and you entertained me more often than Andrew did. He admitted how he doesn’t know how to take care of his guests, true story. That was a good thing though because it meant more quality time with quality (plus funny) conversations with you. You also never forgot to always let me bring home some food after every dinner. I never go home empty handed! Even if there weren’t any occasion and I would just stay at your house, you never failed to let me bring fruits, vegetables, and more food. My Mom would then be really happy in the morning to see what I brought. Thank you for that.
The things we had in common were again, shoe size! We both have the same pair of gold sandals from Suelas and we didn’t even buy it together! We also have the same pair of Parisian shoes, yours were gold and mine’s black. We also have two bags of the same brand and style which again was a coincidence. We appreciated and complimented each other’s wardrobe and we’d enjoy talking about good finds from thrift shopping! I enjoy every bit of detail on those conversations and laughter.
Then there was mornings at church. My first time at Victory was with your family and I will be forever grateful for that. Without the faith that I have now through my walk with Christ, I will still be empty by now I guess. I will never forget the time when it was my Mom’s first time to attend service and it was just the three of us and after church, you were just talking to Mom while walking and holding her hand. That was a pretty overwhelming sight to see. I feel bad Andrew wasn’t there to witness it though.
Then there were our intimate conversations and prayers. I experienced my first prayer of healing through telephone conversation, you told me to lay my hand on my head and by the grace of God I was feeling a whole lot better the day after! You also prayed that I didn’t need to get my tonsils removed and true enough, I never experienced tonsillitis up until this day. One time, Andrew and I experienced one of our bumps in our relationship and all he wanted was to let you pray for us both. The three of us prayed for each other that night and it was powerful. I will miss that. I really don’t know how I’d survive this relationship without you, Tita. I know God is there, but you were always physically there to remind me/us about the essence of all this. I just pray and hope this will work.
One of my unforgettable moments with you to name a few was when I never expected you’d say “I miss you” with an enormously tight hug after not seeing each other at church or at your home for the longest time. And of course, that night when I went to your house since Andrew was going home late and I needed help from you through council and prayer. That night I just cried my heart out to you and you helped me understand everything. We were supposed to have several sessions on that but now it just hurts thinking about it. You shared your prayers about your sons, most especially your prayers about Andrew. That night I knew I could run to you. We may not be related by blood but I felt that I was an adopted daughter or something. Oh Tita Liling… I miss you.
Time fluttered so fast and I hate it. It is sad that I had just those little moments. The next thing I knew you were in the hospital. Those nights were the worst nights. I am not even your daughter but it did hurt a lot. I didn’t mind skipping work to help Andrew out. I didn’t mind placing diapers (and failed on that) for you. I didn’t mind having wee hours of sleep in the hospital for days. It was painful for me, what more your family? It was extensively pretty painful to see Andrew, Kuya Anjelo and even Tita Dadang every day in the hospital giving all smiles in front yet the heavily crying outside. It was hard to hide it but they/we needed to. Those days in the hospital were just utterly and insanely agonizing; I cannot even find the right words to describe it all. On the sixth day in the hospital (correct me if I’m wrong), that was the night after your NGT. That was one crazily overwhelming night because you finally got the chance to speak without any pain, or so it seems. We didn’t know those were your last words.. I am completely grateful to be there and to be blessed by you during that night. You were the center of attention but still you asked them to pray for me, to pray for the salvation of my family. You’ve already went through so much pain and suffering yet you still think of others. I can’t even imagine how big your heart is, Tita. Despite in that position, you had the humor and wit all throughout the night. We talked about your dogs, your dreams, and I can’t believe you even blessed me to be with Andrew. We prayed and sang our hearts out to God and that was just powerful and amazing. You told me you loved me and believe me, I was all kilig than ever. That night I dreamt that you were really going out of the hospital..
Days passed and God already embraced you. And all I have left are the little memories. Happy and painful ones. I know God is teaching me something through all this but I still haven’t figured it out yet but I’m getting there I guess. I think it’s just not me, but I know God is teaching everyone connected to you from all this— that there is a bigger picture of why you left us and He’ll lead us to that understanding sooner or later. Well I really hope and pray that everyone’s going to wake up and find the meaning of all this because it’s not easy. I am pretty sure you’re already enjoying up there in your dream house sipping a cup of tea at your beautiful garden.
Like what you said a hundred of times in the hospital, ”Why worry when you have Jesus?” I really need to live on that note and truly ask why should I worry when I have HIM all to myself.
Oh Tita Liling, thank you for teaching me what I needed to know. I will forever be grateful to have met you. You are a wonderful person. I love you and you are missed.
Most photos were the little memories I got from my phone.
When you are in love, you learn to love the things that you once never cared about because the person you love cares about them. This is why Christ told us that the greatest commandment was to love the Lord your God; when we love God we love others, we love the orphans and the widows. We love the world even when it hates us, we desire to see people healed and love restored.
You want to change the world? Then you need to start loving God in such a way that your entire world changes. That is the beauty of transformational love; it doesn’t just affect you, it affects all those around you.