I attended the wake of a gracious lady yesterday. Her life was princess-like fairy tale story. But where most fairy tales are meant to be short and fading and meant for mere telling; hers was long and lasting and meant for the sharing.
She lived in a kingdom by the sea, pampered as any only child would be. Till this dashing young man came around to win her heart. She left home and hearth to follow her gallant knight on his quest for adventure. She learned how to cook, she who never had to lift a finger to do house work. She learned how to drive, she who used to be chauffeured around. She raised her own children, she who had her own nurse-maid growing up. But with her love and devotion, she helped her Ritter (German for Knight) achieve great success in his quest.
And when it was time to settle down, he built her her own palace in the kingdom by the sea: perched high on a hill, overlooking the deep blue sea, surrounded by lustrous greens. And they would have lived happily ever after, except that she got afflicted with a catastrophic illness. it was one round of difficult treatment after another, with her gallant Ritter doting and caring for her at her side. Her children, whom she has raised well, have taken the footsteps of their father and have gone to foreign lands in quest of their own fortunes. And yet, in her last day, there was always at least of them in dating and caring for her, together with their father.
I have known her to be a kind-hearted soul, with a special for the elderly. Whether on their numerous travels or with people who works for or with her or even just some random encounters, she would take them under her wings, giving them extra care and attention. Her youngest son explained it to me that it could be because she was an only child who grew up mostly in the company of people older than she was. In fact, many of her close friends are a generation older than she is.
Now, the gracious lady is gone. But is she? I look at her husband and I can feel his love for her still fiercely burning in his heart. I look at her children and I see a reflection of the love that she showered on them. I listen to the stories of people who knew hew and I can almost swear I can see the magic and charm when worked on them. She is everywhere I look.
On some moonlit nights, when the amihan blows through the palace he built for her in the kingdom by the sea; people from the neighboring villages who have benefitted from her care and charity would probably see her silhouette walking through the gardens. And on some windy and stormy days, when the habagat blows in with the rains, they would probably hear the faint melody of her playing the piano rising about the rhythm of the falling rain. And when people will meet others who knew her, I can almost tell what stories they will be telling one another. Yes, she lives. For goodness, kindness, and love never die.