Saturday, September 15, 2007

a life well-lived

80 years of existence is sure long from an average person’s point of view. However, to a disheartened family, no amount of years is long enough for a treasured loved one. Although death is inevitable, eons of getting prepared will never alleviate the feeling of mourning once death approaches and finally, shadows over one’s fleeting existence.

My Lolo Arsenio passed away the other month after a year of being bed-ridden and battling edema. It can be supposed as caused by old age but despite that, it is befitting that this simple tribute be given to the one half-responsible for my mother’s life and a fourth of mine.

My lolo was a good man. He may not have finished high school but somehow, he managed to provide for his eight children. He labored hard in his farm to make ends meet. Season after season, he sowed different crops, rode his ever-reliant carabao and plowed with his bare feet and hands. Whatever academic knowledge he may have lacked, he has well compensated it with every ounce of hard work and sweat.

As father, he may have laid a hand to his children but makes sure he would hurt them with a full stomach. The best whipping he would give is a simple stroke in the hand and shrugs everything off thereafter by laughing. Ultimately, to us, his grandchildren, he never let out a single nasty word.

However, one frustration any father would have is not being able to send his children to school. He was one of them. He may have fallen short of that fatherly aspect but in general, my mom would not pick anybody else for a father. They thrived in simplicity in farm life but their family was nonetheless happy and content.

Through the years, all of his children went on their separate ways as distinct married individuals. Yet, even if his children could already provide for him, he never asked for too much. A simple bottle of beer or tanduay would elicit a genuinely toothy happiness from lolo. He and lola remained self-sufficient tending to their farm, animals and crops.

Around 75 years of age, he fell ill - his hearing and eyesight became diminished in capacity. However, this did not hamper my lolo from doing what he does best which is farming. As years went by, it came to a point where he became bedridden leading to his eventual demise.

I know that lolo is in a better place now. He has finally rested in peace with his Creator by his side. He is a place where only happiness and serenity rules. I know for sure, he loves it there!

To ultimately the hardest working person I’ll ever know in my lifetime, kudos to a life well lived!


parisukat said...

but 80 years is still an achievement bro... in our generation.. that'd be like a dream. with the kind of lifestyle the new generation has + pollution... our life span is becoming shorter

crazed_heck said... wish i reach tha age...

lee said...

My grandfather is now 94 turning 95 this 13th of October. And everyone is planning for this one semi-big reunion on his birthday... all 11 of them...siblings of my dad including the offsprings and the grandchildren. Big fiasco of our family... kamusta naman. And since i already have a job, I was already asked for a contribution... but still, all is well... but I do hate family reunions... like one would have to keep his best foot forward... hehe

But back to your gramp... "genuinely toothy happiness" ... that got to me. I can vividly imagine... cool. Yeah, a tribute to him is well deserved, especially with all of his kids loving him and all so greatful despite the hardships. My gramps was a bit strict so most of his kids still have that bitter heart towards him (yeah back to MY gramps again, hehe. So its really nice and heartwarming to read a blog about a well loved granpa. Kudos to your gramps. Kudos to you for acknowledging his great life.

crazed_heck said...