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Remembering My Grandpa

Being an internal processor, I needed to take time to really gather my words before I said anything about my Granpa. So I couldn't give a eulogy at his viewing. I had to feel everything I was feeling.

I wish I can say more about my grandpa and share stories about specific and vivid moments with him, but being miles apart, I didn’t create much history with him. There wasn’t very much shared experiences with him that I was fully present.

As I process the whirlwind of emotions from these couple of weeks, along with his passing much of my sadness comes from that; how I should’ve been there for him more, created more history with him, or be present with him. And while I lay here on my bed and write and process and mourn, experiencing my grandpa’s death is magnifying all the other emotions that I am familiar with; regret, loneliness, insignificance, fear, discouragement, dissatisfaction, despair.

At first, I didn’t know how to process or name what I was feeling, but it was because it isn’t just one thing. It’s a whole lot more.

There’s a temptation to ignore them and to bury them and to hide them, but as I remember him today and feel all the emotions, and release whatever ache that’s within my heart, I feel the comfort of the Holy Spirit, and the feeling that rises to the top is thankfulness.

Grandpa wearing his military hat
Taking a photo of Tatay with his hat and a newspaper.

For most, death is a thief, stealing precious time and moments that are still waiting to be created with and by their loved ones. But I want the pain of his death to trigger something more inside of me: gratitude and celebration.

A celebration because my Grandpa (Tatay) lived a full life, an abundant life surrounded by the people he loved and the people that love him and thankfulness for the life he lived and the legacy he left behind.

Leaving a Legacy

Tatay was 94 years old, and there’s no doubt that he left a legacy. We might say that leaving a legacy is about things and our accomplishments, but those are just a means to an end. The legacy is in the people — the why behind the suffering and the sacrifice and satisfaction. The decisions that took him from the Philippines to the United States. The happy moments and the hard moments.

Tatay created a story that all of us are still living today and will be telling for the rest of our lives. So all I can do now is be thankful. Thankful for the life he lived, the life he gave, and the life he poured. All of us are where we are today because of him.

I am reminded of when I asked my mom what her dreams are, and all the things she listed weren’t for herself. It was for my siblings and me. She wants to see our dreams come true.

Me and my mom's last visit with Tatay.

My mom’s words and hearing all the things my grandpa has sacrificed and suffered, made this scripture that Apostle Paul told the Ephesians to make so much more sense to me:

“Do not lose heart for what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.”
– Ephesians 3:13

Fathers and mothers desire to see their sons and daughters step into a glory greater than their own.

So from this day forward, every time I feel the pain of his death, I want to honor and celebration to be triggered. I want to be reminded of his sacrifice and suffering so that I can share in them as I live to do the same for the next generation.

We mourned a significant loss but celebrated a great life.

Praying and blessing Tatay and Nanay at their 60th Wedding Anniversary Celebration

Tatay, I want to honor your life by living my life to the fullest, just as you did; giving more than what you can provide so that your children’s children can experience life significantly more than your own.

Today I honor you, by choosing family, for them to become my WHY, my purpose, my meaning. So when that time comes when my time under the sun is over, I can say, I’ve given everything for my children’s children.

May you rest in peace and step into glory with our Lord Jesus Christ. Love you!

“A righteous man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children.” – Proverbs 13:22

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