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My happy Easter



My daddy was cremated on an Easter Sunday, with the blessings of a Christian pastor and a Catholic priest.

The Christian pastor was brought in by a friend of my mother, because we were having a hard time looking for an available priest for the funeral rites, and we already had had to extend the wake over Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Black Saturday because masses weren't being given on those days.

I don't remember who brought the Catholic priest. It could have been Tito Ron or Tita Patty (+), two of my mom's oldest friends. All I remember is that he arrived in time for the scheduled cremation, and there we had it, our funeral and Easter mass in one.

Of course, the Christian pastor and the Catholic priest did not miss the significance of the occasion, and both pointed out that the message of Easter was renewal--of hope, of life.

It was this spirit that ushered us into our new life without my father.

***

One of the last things I remember Daddy saying was, "I want a grandchild."

The grandchild came three years later and she was named Keona.

Tita Patty, who was clairvoyant, said my father was in the hospital with us, ecstatic at his first grandchild.

Two days ago, I was feeding Keona her lunch, and she was being as difficult as three-year-olds can be. Suddenly, she looked at me and asked, in all earnestness, "Auntie Dat, where's your daddy?"

It wasn't long ago that she refused to accept my mother was her mother's mommy. One day, Kai hugged Mommy and told Keona, "This is my mommy!"

Keona screamed, "No! That is Mamu!"

***

One of the first things I will remember Keona asking is, "Auntie Dat, where's your daddy?"

How fast these children grow, and how wise they become.

Daddy would have been so proud.

Actually, I'm sure he is.

***

New hope, new life. Happy Easter, everyone!

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