great in his time, great for all time

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thank you for reading. Short remarks given during the necrological services for my father Joe last 2nd September at the Santuario de San Jose, Greenhills East Mandaluyong. Congratulations for a life well-lived, mabuhay Dad!

GOOD EVENING. Thank you all for coming and giving Dad a grand hello and goodbye.

First things first. My second son Bunso, one of Dad’s seven grandkids, beat me to it and posted about his lolo on Facebook ahead of me.  In his post, he used his lolo’s graduation picture. My wife Mahal took one look at the graduation pic and said, walang nagmana ng kagwapuhan ng dad nyo. I looked at Dad’s pic, and said nothing. I had no answer to that.

Next. Many of the speakers ahead of me have already said all good things about Dad. I’m therefore going to turn around, and find fault with Dad, just to make things interesting.

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It’s not easy to find fault with someone like Dad. He doesn’t have many faults, but if I had to say something, it would be about Dad’s healthy sense of vanity.

One of Dad’s favorite things to do was to take long walks around our neighborhood. Sometimes I would join him.

At least once during every single walk we took, he would nudge or elbow me. He would then point me to a girl, usually an attractive one. Then he would tell me, Noel, do you see that girl? I caught her looking at me and smiling at me. I think she likes me.

Upon hearing that, I would then give me the only response possible : I would smile and nod approvingly, because whether or not Dad was imagining things, a good son should always support his dad.

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A lot of you know that the majority among us brothers have been living abroad, and I am one of those. I’ve been working the last 10 years as an OFW.

I’m going to take a risk, and bet my last OFW dollar that every person can say, at least nine-and-a-half out of ten, that they have, or have had a great dad.

in my humble opinion, this is because of two things.

First, because of human nature. Who wouldn’t want to let people know that they’ve had great parents? Success begets success, and behind you praising your parents, you imply that they’ve raised their children well. Which of course, speaks volumes of YOU.

Secondly, because of the  awesome responsibility of parenthood and the magnificence of living up to it, we cannot help but be awestruck of anyone who does well as a father. Being the recipient of this love, nurturing and caring, when someone does well as a dad, his children have no choice to see it as GREAT. To a son or daughter, just having a good dad is the greatest thing ever.

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but in his own way, our father is and has been great, and I speak not only for my brother Tim, Doc Donald, George and Jude, but for our mother as well.

He has been a great father, and a great husband.

He is great because he has always been there for us. Not just during our childhoods, or part of our awkward adolescent years, and some of our adult years when we ourselves became parents.

But for all of our lives he has been there, quietly in the background, careful to balance between imparting the wisdom of his years and allowing us to grow and make our own mistakes.

He is great because of his uncompromising work ethic that values work to justify you, work to dignify you, and work to complete you.

He is great because of his rock  solid devotion to God and his church, kindness to his fellow man and his conviction that actions always speak louder than words. He lived his faith, and lived it till the last day of his life.

I could go on and on for the rest of the day about Dad, but the most remarkable thing about him is that, like a Dad checklist, he checks all of these things, and more.

If it’s true that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, then that is Dad.

Just two more things. I could not end this without mentioning Dad as a husband. I will do our Mom a favor and affirm what most of you already know. Dad is the gold standard, as good as any, when we talk about husbands.

While it’s true that we tend to idealize or see only the good things after a person is gone, I could tell you that Dad was in love with Mom from the time he first met her in 1959, 61 years ago, to just last week, when in between fitful moments of sleep, all he would do was look for Mom and say, “honey, honey, honey.” An incurable romantic, Mom was and is the love of his life, such a rarity these days.

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I missed the old dad the last few times I spoke with him: he was irritable, lost his easy charm, and was often at a loss for words. I choose to remember him based on the entirety of his life.

All that I am, and all the good in me, I owe to Mom and Dad, and today we say goodbye to Dad.

Thank you for everything Dad, and keep singing for all of us up there.

4 thoughts on “great in his time, great for all time

  1. All what I read, I agree – your Dad was one in a million , I would say. Thanks Noel for loving your Dad.

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

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