I Am My Father’s Daughter… My Loving Tribute

March 19, 2012… I spent all day in bed… mourning the passing of my beloved father, Amado Yambao, Jr.  I debated whether to fly to Manila, Philippines or stay here and spend time to honor a man who has helped shape who I am today.  I chose the latter.

Yesterday, came home from a very successful and relaxing business/pleasure weekend in San Diego, CA with my family.  Before we drove home, we spent the entire Sunday morning in Historic Old Town San Diego.

There was this one store that we love… El Centro Artesano, a store that has thousands of wind chimes, terracotta pottery and knick-knacks.  It was so serene, so heavenly… I wanted to stay there all day and listen to each wind chime!

For some strange reason, Gary and I were drawn to this large Picotte Windchime – Tenor in B Flat.

The melodious sound it produced was so comforting that even at $140.00 for the chime, we just have to have it! We’ve been together for 19 years, have been around wind chimes but this is the first time we bought one, and on impulse to boot!

 

 

Around 11:00am, my Mom and I  decided to check  out the other stores as Garrett and Gary stayed at the wind chime place.  As we walked in between stores, I noticed a couple of ladies taking a photo underneath a huge pink bougainvillea tree.  For some strange reason, I felt a sense of spirituality and serenity in that area…  I asked my Mom to stand under it as I took a picture of her.

When we got back to the car, I was previewing the photos I took that morning from my camera and noticed this huge orb on my Mom’s left shoulder.  I immediately showed it to her and even said “Wow, Mom!  I wonder who wanted to be with you in that photo…  Could it be your sister who just passed away?” In the past, I never really paid attention to orbs or what they meant in photos… I just remember that I was attending a live spiritual event 2 years ago and I had a huge orb on my right shoulder in one of the photos and my good friend LaNelle Scwab told me that it was the presence of kind spirit which was captured by the camera.

We got home around 5:00pm… as I was unpacking, we received messages from my siblings, Ellen, Jojo and Elsa that our “Tatay” (Tagalog for Dad) just passed away…  I was in utter shock… I felt my body go numb.  I didn’t know how to feel.  My Mom started crying… I started weeping… Gary immediately came to comfort us.  For the rest of the evening, I anxiously waited for more updates and to hear form my sisters Ellen and Elsa on what’s going on and how they will implement my Dad’s last wishes for a simple, intimate and quiet wake and funeral.

For the past few years, I really didn’t talk much about my Dad.  My parents have respectfully separated when I was in high school… that’s over 30 years ago! There was that “hopeful romantic” part of me that wanted both of them to get back together but the pragmatic and realist part of me that said they’re better off separate to they can live the remaining years of their lives in peace rather than pain and disappointment.

My Dad had moved on to start another family while my Mom chose to stay here with me.  While I have never met his new family, I have a sense of deep gratitude to them, for taking great care of him in the last few years of his life especially after he had the first of his three strokes in 2001.

My Dad managed to come to the visit me here in the US quite a few times in the late 1990’s and I was so blessed that he was here to walk me down the aisle on my wedding to Gary on April 1998.  He looked so handsome in his tuxedo!  Wearing a tuxedo was a big deal to him as he normally wears the traditional Filipino formal wear “Barong Tagalog”.  He was quite the social butterfly!  I remember at the rehearsal dinner, he was so funny!  He doesn’t normally drink alcoholic drinks so when he sampled a glass of margarita, he started singing “Let Me Love You Margarita” acting like a playful young man singing and dancing and just having an absolute blast!

On my wedding day, he was so nervous  as he prepared to walk me down the aisle but I was nervous too…  But when he told me how beautiful I looked and he assured me it’s going to be a great evening all my fears melted away.

My Dad Amado F. Yambao, Jr. and I

As soon as the door opened and he saw over 125 of our guests waiting in their seats and all eyes on us, he got so nervous that when we reached the altar, he almost sat down without giving me a kiss and handing me over to Gary!  I had to remind him to give me a kiss… He was such a great sport!

The best and one of the most vivid memories I have of him was how he thoughtfully held the tips of my veil during the entire wedding ceremony as the wind was blowing it out of control.  What touches me about that is that to me that loving gesture symbolized his unconditional love and how he did what any Dad would have felt instinctively right at the moment without having to be told what to do.  He simply was a doting father, keeping a loving eye on me… I am so glad our photographer Gary Fong captured this timeless memory…

 

I AM MY FATHER’S DAUGHTER… I may not have spent as much time with him as most daughters should have but I have chosen to forgive, love and support him through the remainder of his life.  I have chosen to acknowledge the values and lessons he has instilled in me as a young girl, instead of feeling the disappointment of not having him in my life.  He taught me these invaluable lessons:

1) Appreciate the beauty in the simplest of things.
2) Be passionate and live fully.
3) Build strong powerful relationships.
4) Have a heart for those in need.
5) Love and respect animals.
6) Allow music to speak into your soul.
7) Learn to fix things around the house so you won’t have to wait for a man to do it.
8 When you cook, imagine the joy of those who will be so blessed to enjoy your labor of love.
9) Respect yourself and command that respect from others.
10)Knowledge is power, gain more and use it wisely and responsibly.
11)If you don’t know a skill, learn it and implement it.
12) Persistence pays… when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade.

Life hasn’t been all rosy for my Dad…  As the oldest son, he sacrificed not going to school so he could go to work early and support his younger siblings so they could go to school.  While he loved my Grandpa, he used to tell me stories of resentment on how he couldn’t comprehend my Grandpa’s anger and harsh discipline when he would fail on some tasks.  He absolutely loved his Mom and he truly cherished her.

Was he the perfect Dad and husband? Far from it.  Did he give the best he could offer? Absolutely!  At least I’d like to think so anyway.  Being expressive – touchy, feel-y, hugg-y, is not a typical Filipino trait – maybe for a select few, but definitely not one he was brought up with.  So he wasn’t able to raise us in an expressive home.  Despite the lack of expression, we knew we were loved, safe and protected.  When I came to the US, I noticed how expressive people here were and I felt so free.  I think that’s why I have an appreciation and desire to really love on others and give everyone hugs, even “virtual” big hugs online!

Growing up, my Dad was more of a “renegade” – a non-conformist.  He stayed home to take care of us 4 children while my Mom worked and I remember him doing a great job keeping the home in order and making sure we had 3 square home cooked meals each day.  I also remember that he was our official “barber”.  He would line all of us and gave us haircuts!  He was also the one who would announce when the rain started pouring and all of us would go out the door, get soaked and play in the rain! He truly was a great, caring and thoughtful father.  Thank goodness, I have told him what a great father he was, many times when he was still alive.

He disliked having a j-o-b.  He was more of an entrepreneur, a craftsman. He did beautiful work with his hands.  He perfectly created air rifles by hand, from hand carving the wood buttstock to assembling the barrels, triggers, scopes and the actual foot pump.  His air rifles was a highly coveted brand among hunters then.  Owning an “Amado Air Rifle” showed that your gun is of great taste and quality.

Aside from crafting air rifles, my Dad was an amaaaazing cook!  He has a signature dish called “Caldereta” and his famous dish is made of goat meat.  He would often be invited by his friends to cook for them and he did EVERYTHING – from finding a live goat, preparing it, getting the ingredients, setting up a huge makeshift stove and actually cooking a meal to feed an entire village and he did that as a favor.  He never asked to be paid.  To him, cooking was an expression.  A way for him to endear people to him… a way to serve…

 

My Dad had a passion for animals – I remember when I was in 6th Grade, he came home with a horse! We lived in the city and there was no way for a horse to live in tight quarters but he said he wanted to save her from being slaughtered.  He named the horse “Hit or Miss” and it didn’t take long for him to find a good home for it.  My Dad also loved dogs! Gosh, at one point, I think we had 10 dogs total in our household!

What I remember most about my Dad was his passion for these 4 things: Bicycling, Boxing, Singing and Beautiful Women!

When I was in grade school, he would get up early in the morning to ride his racing bicycle to ride up to the mountains of Cogeo, Tanay and Antipolo.  He was very meticulous about his bicycle and his gear… from his drinking bottle to his riding shoes.  He took great pride with his love for cycling and experiencing the beauty of nature when he did.  One of his dreams then was to compete in the “Tour of Luzon” the mini version of the “Tour de France”.  My Dad never got to live that dream because one day he came home with 2 missing front teeth and 2 broken ribs.  He fell off from his bike at top speed while riding down from the mountain.  I don’t remember him getting on his bicycle again since then.

As to boxing, the most unforgettable boxing match I remember watching him was “Thrilla In Manila” with Joe Frazier and “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali! I sat in front of the TV watching many boxing fights with him.  I am sure that our very own Manny Pacquiao had been one of his boxing heroes.

My Dad loved music and singing.  I remember how he would play the piano by ear and how he really wanted us to learn how to play the guitar.  He hired a private guitar teacher for my older sister Ellen and I and I remember my music teacher, Mr. Nick teaching me classical pieces like “Malaguena” and “Forbidden Romance”.  My Dad always asked me to play those pieces for him and would even invite friends to see me play.  I still  know how to play “Forbidden Romance” but “Malaguena” is a blur.  Dad loved “Ole Blue Eyes” Frank Sinatra and all of his songs, but most especially “My Way”.  He told me at one point, that song is his  life story.  I’ve uploaded this song on my iPhone and will play it over and over when I want to spend time with him.

 

“My Way” by Frank Sinatra

And now, the end is near;
And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, I’ll say it clear,
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain.

I’ve lived a life that’s full.
I’ve traveled each and every highway;
But more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Regrets, I’ve had a few;
But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption.

I planned each charted course;
Each careful step along the byway,
But more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew.
But through it all, when there was doubt,
I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall;
And did it my way.

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried.
I’ve had my fill; my share of losing.
And now, as tears subside,
I find it all so amusing.

To think I did all that;
And may I say – not in a shy way,
“No, oh no not me,
I did it my way”.

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels;
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows –
And did it my way!

As a “lover of Beautiful Women”, what I meant was that he simply had the appreciation for how a woman should carry herself, to remain elegant, to walk tall, head high, chin up one foot in front of the other gracefully.  When I was in 4th Grade, I remember being out running errands with him, he met up with a group of friends who were saying how tall I was getting and I remember him saying “You watch, this daughter of mine will grow up to compete in Ms. Philippines.”  To a young girl, that meant so much to me.  I really felt that if my father thought I was beautiful, then that’s all that mattered!  We would watch all the Bb. Pilipinas, Miss Universe, Miss International, Miss USA and Miss World pageants on TV and it was interesting because he would always pick out the Top 10, then the Top 5 and ultimately the winner.  He would tell me which contestant would win and why she would win.  He knew exactly what the judges were looking for.  He had such an uncanny way of knowing, it was remarkable!  I would make a bet with him, we would both pick out our favorites and he always won! Miss Universe Pageant 1974 was memorable for us because it was held in the Philippines, we watched that together and yes, he loved Miss Universe 1974, Amparo Munoz and  he and I agreed that she was going to win!

 

If there was any skill he was lacking, my Dad would learn it and implement it immediately.  As a child, people would come to our house and look for my Dad… they called him “Amado, The Gun Maker” or “Amado, the Cook” or “Amado the Vet” or “Amado the Realtor” or  “Amado, the Jack of All Trade”.  He was a very popular man!  He was like a diplomat.  He didn’t have a lot of money but he sure had one thing not many people had:  Relationships and Influence.  Gosh, as I write this, I realize that I truly am my father’s daughter.  I guess that’s why I have become a learner, an implementor, an influencer and a relational marketer.  My life is a living extension to of my  Dad’s influence in my life!

My Dad was a brilliant man!  I know that he lives so much in me.  I know I have his “Lion Heart”… I have his strong will for survival that no matter what life throws at him, he knows how to think and act his way around it.  I have his charm – his influential nature that wherever he goes, people want to be around him because he truly loves being around people! His smile lights up a room! He was quite the entertainer!  He was also a risk taker – a gambler in his youth – but a risk taker nevertheless.  He taught me to not be satisfied with conformity and be okay to explore and experiment with new concepts and ideas.

When I was making a decision to come to the US in 1989, he was the one who confidently told me that I will be okay.  He was a bit uncomfortable with my decision but instead of stopping me, he assured me that I have what it takes to survive and create a good life for me and my future family.  I remember him saying:  “I will be there soon enough… you’ll be okay in the meantime.”

Despite half of his body being paralyzed, I was so blessed to have been given the chance to see him and spend time with him in 2007.  Garrett was able to spend time with him too.  My Dad cried a lot during our last time together.  I was told that hypersensitivity was common for people who have experienced strokes.  Every time he looked at Garrett, he would cry, feeling regret that he couldn’t be the Grandpa who could play with him.  He felt sorry he couldn’t make Garrett his own personalized air rifle.  I remembered the last time I was with him, we listened to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”.  During that  time, he could only make gestures as he couldn’t really speak much.  He asked me to get something from his bedside table… it was the small photo album I gifted him with with photos from my wedding.  It was as if he was telling me that my wedding was the most memorable moment of his life and that he really enjoyed every minute he spent with being with my Mom.

His last few years weren’t the most comfortable.  He had a most difficult time living day to day because of his stroke, but he had high hopes that one day, he’ll come back to the US and make things right.  He wanted to get stronger but I believe that it was time for his meaningful earthly life to end so he can start over in heaven.  I know that his passing enables us to be connected spirit to spirit, so much more than we were able to do while he was alive.  He will continue to be my guiding light and I will find inspiration in the beautiful memories I have of him.  I will continue to live his legacy through the strong values he has instilled deep within my core.

The day we heard the sad news, Gary lit some candles and hung our newly bought wind chime near the door.  It was a very windy day and the slight breeze through the door created the most magnificent music – almost like church bells from a distance.  We immediately knew we bought that wind chime for a reason.  The glorious sound it produced plus the flicker of the candles brought me a sense of peace for the moment in honor of my Dad.  Our makeshift memorial corner with the wind chime and candles will continue to bring me comfort.  Now when I hear the wind chimes it represents the beautiful life my Dad lived and how those melodious tones will always remind me that he is always near and is always a part of me…

Oh and by the way… remember that photo of my Mom with the orb?  After talking to my sister Ellen, we determined that the time of my Dad’s passing was appx. 2:00am Monday, March 19, 2012 Philippine time, which was 11:00am, Sunday, March 18, 2012 California time.  It was around the same time that I took the photo of my Mom with the orb in it.  Now we want to believe that it was my Dad who wanted to say hello to us on that photo…

To my Mom Ely, sisters Ellen and Elsa and to my brother Jojo, your families, Tatay’s siblings, extended families and friends, I am here for you and will see the pain through together.  I know that Tatay has left a huge void in our hearts that can only be replaced by re-living happy memories of time spent with him. To those of you who who took precious time to read this post, I THANK YOU all for giving us strength in this time of grief…

Goodbye for now my dearest Dad… I know you can see my personal message… from my soul to yours…

“Tatay… I know you’re in heaven now and are in a place of utter peace.  Your life here on earth may not have been easy but I know that in your own way, you have positively impacted many people’s lives by your mere presence in theirs. I will continue to find courage and comfort in your unconditional love… You were bold, yet remained humble.  You were confused and perhaps didn’t make the perfect choices but then again, who’s among us is perfect?  I remain to be your number one fan!  Please rest in God’s peace knowing that we are here honoring you with the love and respect you absolutely deserve…


I am glad that I was able to tell you how much you mean to me through my letters and when we were together.  Otherwise, I would probably live a life filled with remorse and guilt.  Instead I can honestly say I rejoice with the Angels that you’ve now gone back home to our Father in Heaven… Gary and Garrett miss you too and they send you their love.  Mom does the same…
On behalf of Nanay Ely, Gary, Garrett, my sisters Ellen, Elsa my brother Jojo, their families, your siblings, your family, your friends and our collective family friends, we will make sure that your legacy lives on… We will honor your wishes to be buried in your beloved hometown Jaen, Nueva Ecija, perhaps near your favorite Nueva Ecija/Pampanga River:

Tatay, I know that you’re there in heaven, riding your prized race bike on the zigzag roads paved with gold and are singing with the angels, playing with your pure bred dogs and appreciating more beauty.  The air is fresh, crisp and clean and you are in your best tip-top shape ever!  You flash your effervescent and infectious smile on everyone you meet and you are free of worries and concerns.  You are reunited with your beloved Mom, Grandma “Lola” Rita and your Dad, Grandpa “Lolo” Amading and all there is are love and forgiveness.  Perhaps there are no boxing matches in heaven nor the need for air rifles but there are plenty of new, more profound and pure knowledge to acquire and share!  Most importantly, I know you are up there receiving the best hugs of all… hugs from our Heavenly Father and from the saints and angels who welcome you with so much love…

I urge you to now rest in God’s peace my dearest Tatay… Someday soon, we will see each other again and I know our reunion will be filled with peace, joy and love.  I love you so, so, so much.  I hurts to know you’re no longer here physically but it’s reassuring to know that you’re love remains to cheer me on and inspire me and our family.  I will ALWAYS love you and you will always remain to be my absolute HERO…  I have always been proud to call you Dad… I remain in utmost gratitude for all that you are in my life…”

With Utmost Love and Respect…

Your Proud Daughter,

Emma

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45 thoughts on “I Am My Father’s Daughter… My Loving Tribute

  1. Hi Emma,

    I was touched and deeply appreciate this record of you and your dad’s moments and how he has contributed to your life and your being. I feel for you because same here, my dad passed away last Aug. of 2010. Daddy is the one that makes us feel that everything will be ok. God will always be there to comfort us and his grace is always sufficient. You are blessed to have a lovely family! I am with you in prayers.

    Sincerely yours,

    Jocel Victorino

  2. Dearest Emma,
    Know that you and your family will be in my prayers.

    You made me weep reading this…Hugs to you!
    Lovingly,

    Angeli

  3. Dearest Emma!
    You have written a beautiful story about your Daddy! Anyone would be proud to have such words written about them after their passing.

    I especially love the comment about you believing that if your Dad thought you were beautiful, that was all that mattered!! Bless him for saying that to his friends with you present. What a lifelong gift he gave you!!

    Emma, you are a beautiful and creative person. It’s my honor to know you and learn from you.

    Your wedding pictures are adorable!

    May your Dad rest in eternal peace. And, may you find solace in the hope that Jesus brings to all of us.

    Love you very much!!

    Jane

  4. hi te ems, condolence. kakaiyak tong tribute mo for your dad.
    i remeber you used to tell me stories bout him when i was there. lalo na nung wedding mo,
    that you were so happy na nagkasama si tatay at nanay on your special day 🙂

    lalo ko naintindihan na we really have to appreciate our parents while they are still with us. buti na lang i always tell my tatay & nanay how thankful i am for having them & that how much i love them.

    thank you te ems for sharing this beautiful story of you & your dad.

    of course te ems, i will forever thank you & gary for letting me experienced my happy days in U.S.A
    My almost 6mos stay with your family is one of the greatest memory i will always cherish.

    love you te ems! many thanks to you, gary & garrett

    mil

  5. this letter made me cry.. from start to end..(maybe because i lost my parents) maybe i envied because you say and showed your love to your dad..which i didnt..i can feel your love to your dad..and the memories..i am ate elsa’s friend way back in HS..in GSP..my condolences po..God bless..God is with you always..

  6. Hello Emma,

    You have a good heart. You are truly a gifted child of God. Condolence from your PROFAEX friends. I really felt the emotions and the truthfulness of every words that you wrote in this story. I salute you sis. I pray that God will continue to use you to write more inspirational stories and be an instrument of His Story.

    Gahum,

    Edwin

  7. Emma, thank you for sharing this tribute to your dad. I could so relate to many parts of it and I thank you for sharing! Thank you for being who you are!

    Love

    Nadhira

  8. Emma,

    What an incredible testament to your father. it’s an honor to be able to learn just a little about him through your words and memories. i love seeing how we are shaped by our families and choices we make throughout our lives. And your journey has a lot of love in it. And I’m not surprised at all.

    After all you are “The Relational marketer.”

    Ken Pickard
    The Network Dad

  9. Emma:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. This was absolutely wonderful. I feel like I had a chance to spend some personal time with your Dad and I have some insight to him as a person. You have some of him reflected in you for sure. I think I would have liked him very much.

    And you know your Dad was right, if you had entered I think you have won the the Ms. Universe contest. I think he knew that if you chose to , you could. Your talents are so many. But it is those little comments our parents make in passing, that we cling to as children. How wonderful of him to fill you up with such a wonderful thought of how he felt about you. Those things are so important to the positive development of children. I am sure he must have known that.

    You were indeed a lucky daughter and you do indeed, possess yourself, many of those qualities you wrote about that made up who your Father was.

    So inside of you your Father lives on and can be with you everyday…. Hugs xxoo

  10. Dear Emma,
    I am a friend of Elsa, your sister, was her teacher in College for her Social work subjects. I just read this loving testament of yours for your father. It is soooo beautifulll! i just want to tell you that I was so touched and inspired by reading it and I feel I have become closer to my departed parents through your words. You have somehow expressed what i also have wanted to express to them. God bless you Emma, for your loving, wise heart, for your honesty and wideness of spirit. i hope to meet you someday and share more with you. in the meantime, Godspeed and go on having a full, happy life with your loved ones!
    Love,
    angge herrera

  11. What a way to say goodbye to your father.. I was really touched and even remembered all your stories about your Tatay Amado, his craftsmanship, being a great cook, an animal lover and of course being a great man, a family man.. I remember him and also consider him as an older friend since he always invites me to go to your house and watch him make an air rifle. I’m so amazed by his work or art. He even let me try to do target shooting with some of his newly made rifles by that time. And when he’ s cooking caldereta for some group of people, i was also there to do some taste test for him.. I can say, i was so lucky to be one of your Dad’s pal. Hope you still remember those days. Lagi akong nasa inyo non!!
    We knew now that he is already with our creator and savior, he just left us for the meantime.. Sooner or later, we will reunite with our love ones in heaven. Mang Amado was so blessed to have a daughter like you Emma..

  12. Thanks for sharing your Dad with us Emma,

    I feel honoured and privileged just to read about this wonderful man called Amado; The apple did not fall far from the tree, that’s for sure!

    My thoughts are with you and your family in your grief but also the celebration of the life of a great man.

    Lots of love,

    Jan 🙂

  13. You truly are a relational marketer. This is such an amazing story, I couldn’t hold back tears.

    Thanks for sharing your Dad’s story with us and may he rest in peace.

    With sympathies and heartfelt prayers,
    Raziel

  14. What a beautiful tribute Emma. Your Tatay would be so grateful to you for sharing this.

    You know how much I love you Emma, and if you need a hug (virtual or otherwise) let me know. My relationship with my own dad is shaky at best. I honor you for forgiving your dad for his mistakes and celebrating the wonderful things about him. We all have limitations and we need to focus on the positive things that everyone has to offer.

    Thank you so much for sharing and my deepest sympathies to you and your family.

    Cindy

  15. Emma what a touching tribute to your father. No wonder you are such a loving, caring, and gifted person! Our prayers are with you at this difficult time. Love, Barbara

  16. Any father would be proud to have a daughter like you Emma – and I am sure that tribute would bring a tear to the eye of any father.

    Thank you for sharing it, and for inspiring us to create memories for our own tributes before it is too late.

    God Bless,
    Dean.

  17. Hey Emma,

    What a beautiful tribute to your Tatay! Thanks you for sharing it with us. I can only imagine how proud your father is of you.

    You know, Emma, it’s been 12 years since my mom passed away and I still miss her. But it’s good to have some good memories engraved in our hearts, so that whenever the memory of our loved inevitably comes to us, we can reach to those memories and smile and say: I loved those precious moments thank you for making them possible in my life.

    Love ya,
    Ligia

  18. Emma,
    Your letter made me cry.
    On the heels of my Grandma’s Funeral, from which I returned Thursday. I want to share an amazing experience. I had not spoken with my Grandmother in over 3 years. I was the very last person she had waited to hear from and she hung on until I was able to speak to her on the phone, which my mother held to her ear 1,000 miles away in Portland, Oregon. I told Grandma how much she had enriched my life. It was an amazing and heart wrenching experience. I told her she was the best Grandma ever. My mom reported to me at the funeral that just after I spoke to her tears flowed from her eyes even though she was unconscious and unable to speak. Then my mom sang Scarlet Ribbons and she died. At that same time in Los Angeles, my brother was having what I would describe as a Lucid Dream, a vision of Grandma at home in her bed (her house where she lived well over 50 years), all 5 of her daughters, who normally never shut up, surrounding the bed in complete silence. My grandma wanted for her daughters to be peaceful and calm. Then she passed. My brother bolted up from his bed and said to Annie, His wife, “Grandma just passed!” Two minutes later my mom called Mark and told him Grandma has passed. Mark said, “I know, she came to me just before she went”. A short time earlier, Mark had told Grandma that it was ok for her to go to Grandpa, but before she went to come by and say goodbye. And oh, how she did.
    I love you, emma. I have had hundreds of responses to my sharing of the experience of the life and death of my Grandma. Your story touched me deeply.
    David Simone

  19. My sweet Emma,

    With your “Tatay” Amado laid down to rest by this time in his hometown….my lips continue to constantly utter prayers for him and you all… the bereaved family.

    Your revelation here of being truly your father’s daughter has definitely touched so many people’s lives…especially mine….as I have always been always “branded” as such by relatives, family and close friends who knew my father so well… yes, your father will always be in you, Emma… for with his sweat, blood and tears, he brought you up along with your “Nanay” Ely…. taught you values and provided you the insights as well as encouragements, so that you can live the life that you love….

    Still sorrowful of this sad truth of his passing, I share moments of silence with you….to give respect to you and your family’s mourning…. but filled with prayers wishing that the Lord Above bring him home in eternal peace…so that those he orphaned in this lifetime will be revived with joy and love as you all move on with your journey on earth…

    May God Bless you All…. and fill your Hearts with comforting peace….

    Love..love…love….

    Nell

  20. Hello dearest Jocel…
    Thank you for being the first to comment on my blog post… Yes, my Dad’s funeral was yesterday and life goes on knowing that he lives in me… Thank you to you, Edison and your family!
    Many Blessings… Emma

  21. Thank you so much Angeli! I am glad somehow my Dad’s life touched your heart and left some inspiration… Big Hugs back to you!!! Miss you… Emma

  22. Oh Jane! Thank you so much… Yes, my Dad gave me that lifelong gift and I miss him terribly… although life drastically changed after that when he left, he remained in my life. I am the one honored to know you Ms. Jane… you’re someone who always sees the best in people and events and appreciates the beauty and positivity in everything! Thank you for your kind words… yes Dad was laid to rest yesterday and I have some sense of comfort and peace now… Love you too!!! Emma

  23. Hi Mildred! Thank you… glad you liked my tribute to my Dad… Thank you for remembering my stories about him… My wedding was truly a special day for me and him… I know how you absolutely appreciate your parents… Yes, thank you also for spending 6 months with us, helping us take care of Garrett… those were great times! Love you too, and my Love to you and your family… Emma

  24. Hello Tes… thanks so much for your kind words… I am glad my post touched your heart… You must be feeling sad remembering what you did and didn’t do with your Dad… Trust me, there were times that were not necessarily rosy in our lives but we have the choice on what we decide to focus on… I decided to focus on the good… Perhaps every time you feel sad that you weren’t able to show your love to your father, just say a quiet prayer and send him love… this way, you’ll turn what seems to be a negative feeling to an empowering one and you both win! After all, parents have an uncanny way of knowing that you love them without you having to say them… you’re still connected to them spiritually and when you send him love, you’re also forgiving yourself… Live in love and choose love and forgiveness over guilt… Big Hugs to you! Emma

  25. Hello Edwin! Thanks for taking the time to post and for your kind words… God has been very good to me… He continues to comfort me and give me inexplicable LOVE in my heart… When we speak or write from the heart, the other hearts listen… Tatay was finally buried in his hometown, Jaen, Nueva Ecija yesterday… There is some sense of comfort in knowing that his wishes were honored… Yes, I do love to write and it’s a gift I know I will use to continue to honor Him… Many Blessings to you and your family! Emma

  26. Oh Nadira… thanks so much for stopping by! Thank you for your kind and comforting words… I appreciate YOU! Take care and Big Hugs! Emma

  27. Ken my dearest “Network Dad”! Thank you for taking the time to read my post and leaving a comment to boot! You’re such a great friend! Even if we don’t get to “see” each other often, I know I can always rely on you to be there! You’re such a Dad to everyone! So nurturing, so caring and keeping a watchful eye over everyone! Yes, we have a choice and I choose LOVE… there are so many situations where bitterness is a better and more common option but I thank God for giving us the choice and free will to LOVE… Ha, ha! Yes, Sir… Relational Marketing does involve a lot of heart because it’s is marketing from the heart! You my friend, are living it! Love, Hugs and Blessings… Emma

  28. Stevi my dearest Friend.. THANK YOU so much for your beautiful comment… This moved me to tears… not tears of sadness but definitely tears of joy… You captured the very essence of my post in 1 paragraph! Yes, inside of me, my Dad lives on that’s for sure! Yes, you would have liked him very much and I KNOW for a fact, he would have liked you too!!! Love you Stevi!!! I miss you! Can’t wait to see you again very soon! Big Hugs.. Emma

  29. Hello Angge… Thank you so much for your kind comment… I forwarded it to my sister Elsa and she thanks you too! I am happy that my post inspired you and enabled you to feel closer to your departed parents… Yes, I understand that life isn’t always perfect but we always have a choice on the meaning we give to what’s happening to us… Love is choice and so are empowerment and forgiveness… God bless you too Angge! I hope to meet you someday… God Bless you and your family too! Hugs, Emma

  30. Oh Eric! Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment! Wow! I almost forgot that you were indeed one of my Dad’s “apprentices”! That’s right… Now I remember how you would go to our house and as a young man, you watched what he did and you had that desire to learn from him! You were the son he never had… ha, ha! Wasn’t his Caldereta the best? And to think he would actually start from scratch… from finding the live goat to actually serving it! That’s true labor of love! Thank you for reminding me of those great times, Eric! I remember how close our families were… Your Mom started to cut and perm all the girls’ hair when I got older (after I asked my Dad to stop cutting my hair like a bowl over my head… ha, ha!) I loved watching your Mom and you loved watching my Dad… that is PRICELESS! Please say hi to your family for me… I’ll share with Ellen and Elsa what you wrote as they might have memories too… My love to you and your family Eric! When I go home this year, I would love to hear more stories from you!!! Big Hugs.. Emma

  31. Hello dearest Jan!!! Thank you kind Sir for your comforting words… You’ve always been so good to me… Thank you for your loving thoughts… Yes, my Dad truly is my hero… It’s amazing how I truly am so much like him and I will continue to celebrate him all the days of my life… Lots of Love to you to, Jan! Emma

  32. Hello Raziel! Thanks so much my dearest Friend! Glad that my Dad’s story inspired you… Yes, I know he’s resting in peace… he truly was a beautiful man and I’m missing him terribly.. I do know he’s in a much better place… Big Hugs! Emma

  33. Cindy my dearest Cindy! Oh my beautiful Friend! Thank you for being the first one to call me on the day I heard of my Dad’s passing. You never cease to amaze me with your thoughtfulness and kindness… I love you too!!! Thank you for my Virtual Hug… I felt that for sure! Yes Ma’m… LOVE and FORGIVENESS are choices and though not the easiest and most natural choice at times, they definitely make life easier… Miss you my Friend! I trust you and your family are doing amazing! Big Virtual Hugs back to you! Emma

  34. Oh Barbara! It’s sooo great to “see” you here! Thank you so much for your kind words of comfort and your prayers… Thank you for taking the time to read my long tribute to my Dad… Thank you for your love and prayers… Please give our love to Larry too… Big Hugs, Emma

  35. Hello my dearest Dean! Thank you sooo much… Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post… Awww, thank you that you think it will bring a tear to the eye of any father… Thank you for being a friend for the past 4 years, despite the fact that we haven’t really met! I appreciate you and your presence in my life! Cheering you on as you create many more wonderful memories for you and your family… God bless you and your family too! Emma

  36. Ligia dearest Ligia… Thank you for your kind words… Yes, I know my father is proud of me, just by being me! When I was growing up, I’ve always wanted to do great in school and in everything I do because I want to make my parents proud… As an adult, I realized that we make our parents proud just by being us! I know your Mom is proud of you too! I believe we will always miss our parents no matter how long it has been since they’ve passed on because they are indeed a part of us! Enjoy and find comfort in her memories.. Love you too! Emma

  37. Oh David! I am sooo sorry to hear of your Grandma’s passing… I know you were very close to her! Now your post made me cry 🙁 Your Grandma loved you so much, she waited for you and oh that special bond between Grandson and Grandma! Reminds me of Garrett and my Mom… it’s sooo deep! I am so happy you were able to speak with her, thank her and tell her she’s the best Grandma ever! That’s one thing I wish I had the opportunity to do with my Dad… Wow! That Lucid Dream of your brother is unbelievable! He was so connected to her and to all of you! Oh your Mom is sooo sweet! I don’t know Scarlet Ribbons but I will Google it and listen to it as I say a special prayer for your Grandma and for you and your family… Yes, I too had hundreds of wonderful and loving comments, private messages, text and voice messages and they definitely helped me heal and get back on my feet faster… I am so grateful for friends like you! I love you too!!! Big Hugs… Emma

  38. Nell my dearest Nell! You are the most amazing friend ever! First off, thank you so much for your beautiful card and your Mass Card… that was sooo thoughtful of you! My family appreciates you! Thank you for offering moments of silence for us… I felt the love… Thank you for your kind and comforting words.. He was finally laid to rest yesterday and with that comes a feeling of a renewed faith and energy in me… it’s almost like a re-birth a resurrection of that part of me that’s very much connected with him. I feel like he’s there keeping a watchful eye over me, continuing to cheer me on… My Dad loved a lot of people and he was one who gave the shirt off his back many many times… He was very funny and loved life! You would have loved him and vice versa! Love you dearest Nell… thank you for being my friend! Big Hugs, Emma

  39. hi ate emma (ca i call you that) thank you for a wonderful i didnt expect you will reply..so much appreciated..thank you very much..for the inspiring words..God bless you too my bear..

  40. Emma,
    I am so deeply sorry for your loss. We know there is pain in this life and yet it always so hard to accept. I can’t imagine a more proud father than the one you have, as you are truly one of THE most beautiful people I have ever met. Your tribute to your father is exactly what every wonderful person should receive. You honored him, paid your respect, your appreciation, your gratitude and obviously you will carry on his traditions and his legacy. It was so touching to hear all of the memories the two of you had and how you will carry forward so many of the things he taught you. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to working with you this year. You are such an inspiration to so many. God bless you and your father.

    Elisabeth in Colorado

  41. Emma, I read your loving tribute & memorial to your father again, today. …and cried, again, for your profound loss.

    I’m so very moved by your attention to the details in your letter as you remember and honor your amazing father.

    I still have both of my parents and I know our time is short. It seems that years pass without what we percieve we “ought” to do in our relationships with the one’s we love the most, we owe the most, but the years do pass, and we in our humanness, come to the day when it’s just too late to do all the things and say all the things we wanted to with these people we love so much.

    and it’s all ok, for we are on time, right on time. Love never dies.

    love is bigger than our perception of love.

    God took care of everything in advance of our lives…good news is that we live forever, anyway.

    I love you, Emma.

  42. Hello dearest Elisabeth! It’s sooo great to “see” you again! Thank you so much for your kindness and loving thoughts. I miss my Dad so much. I know how we have relationships in our lives that are not always perfect and it takes more effort to find the gems in the relationship. Yes, I look forward to finally working with you! I have been extremely busy with new clients and that really helps me spring back faster and get functional fast! I know that’s what my Dad would have wanted me to do… Big hugs to you, John and your family!!! Love, Emma 😉

  43. Oh David! You are ever so wonderful! Thank you for sharing in my joys and also in my grief… I appreciate you tons! You write so beautifully yourself! So poetic… so from the heart and filled with passion! Yes, happy to know you have both your parents still! My Mom and she lives with me – thank God for her! I do my best to show her how much I love her and how grateful I am for everything she has done for me. I know you do the same and I know how much you adore your Mom! Amen Brother! “Love never dies…” You are a VERY wise man, David Simone! I love you too! Big Hugs, Emma 😉

  44. Dearest Emma,

    I’m sorry that I am a little late offering my condolences — I have out of the i-loop for a few weeks and I’m just now learning of your father’s passing. Your tribute to him is BEAUTIFUL! Your heart is felt in every word and the love that you shared with your Dad is palpable. I am so sorry for your loss and hope you continue to find those “gems” as time moves you through new life experiences and perspectives.

    Be gentle on yourself in these weeks and months and years… grief has a way of creeping up at the most illogical times and making us feel foolish and vulnerable. But really, it’s just being human.

    Thank you so much for sharing your tribute and giving me moments to pause and reflect. Although many people have helped me deal with loss over the years, a book that has been a constant comfort is called, “The Wheel of Life: A Memoir of Living and Dying” by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. I share that with you in case you find yourself looking for some inspiration. )Although, you my friend, are the definition of inspiration!) 🙂

    I am sending you love and hugs.

  45. Hi Emma, what a beautiful testimonial to your father! I don’t believe that I missed this until now. I guess I haven’t been to your main site in a while. I especially love the last picture you have on this page, where did you find it?