Shalom, Lolo Cadio



The last time we saw him, he was smiling beautifully. He still wore his usual pleated slacks, crisp barong and good old Oxfords; his white hair was carefully combed. He shook our hands and asked me and my siblings “Kamusta?” We told him we’re good. And then he asked us to say his hellos to our parents. “Ok po,” we said. He smiled again when we asked for his blessing. And then he bid us goodbye.

He was always a nice old guy to us—that elder man who would happily share his boxes of chocolates to everyone in the church. We grew up seeing how his graying hair turned to white but his smile never changed. His eyes would always light up when kids and adults alike would greet him right after Sunday services and ask for his blessing.

Christmases in the church were always made special with the poems he composes for kids and teenagers to recite. There’s a different piece for every age group. The nearest Sunday before Christmas Day, we deliver those poems we have memorized for three weeks and give our best to get the prize. I won once. The next year, I failed to memorize the poem so I was quite a laughingstock. We already forgot the lines, we never even understood most of the words that time —but what stuck were the fun memories of hearing those nicely written Filipino words recited with innocence and passion by kids eager to win.

We always took pride of learning the songs in our hymn book because most of those were translated from English to Filipino by him and his wife. Because we’re kids that time, we marveled at how they were able to do the translations and still sing it using the same tune when sang in English. I mean, that’s quite difficult. When we grew older, we already know most of the songs, at the very least the choruses. This time, we’re amazed at how they were able to retain the essence of the songs despite the translations. Genius.

My parents were close to him and his family. Pa and Ma looked up to him like a father. We have always considered him our extended Lolo even if we never called him Lolo once. I even promised to my parents that when I get married someday, he’ll officiate.

We saw him again last Monday night. He’s still smiling. This time, his hair was all-white and his eyes were closed. He still wore the Oxfords along with a nice tux. We saw him again. For the last time. There by the altar where people close to him sang praises and thanked the Lord for his wonderful life. As we listened to their words, we realized it was too long a time that we saw him last. As his daughter recited his farewell poem—the one he wrote while waiting for the light to come onto his deathbed, we learned more about the man we looked up to. He was not just an elder Pastor. He was also a grandfather-to-the-rescue, a gifted writer and a loving mentor. He touched a lot of lives and they cherished his kindheartedness and good-natured attitude on life.

I never got the chance to say goodbye to a man who inspired me to excel and push for greater heights. I would like to think that this entry is a fitting eulogy for a man who never failed to show a good example of undaunted service and commitment to Christ’s mission. I suddenly remember the lines of the song sung during the service, “Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful / May the fire of our devotion light their way / May the footprints that we leave, lead them to believe / And the lives we live inspire them to obey / Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful.”

Lolo Cadio, we found you faithful. We will continue to press on towards that goal of spreading Christ’s Gospel. Someone like you made it happen; we know that we too can live a faithful life for the God we serve.

Shalom.

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felix felicis: Shalom, Lolo Cadio

Monday, May 6, 2013

Shalom, Lolo Cadio



The last time we saw him, he was smiling beautifully. He still wore his usual pleated slacks, crisp barong and good old Oxfords; his white hair was carefully combed. He shook our hands and asked me and my siblings “Kamusta?” We told him we’re good. And then he asked us to say his hellos to our parents. “Ok po,” we said. He smiled again when we asked for his blessing. And then he bid us goodbye.

He was always a nice old guy to us—that elder man who would happily share his boxes of chocolates to everyone in the church. We grew up seeing how his graying hair turned to white but his smile never changed. His eyes would always light up when kids and adults alike would greet him right after Sunday services and ask for his blessing.

Christmases in the church were always made special with the poems he composes for kids and teenagers to recite. There’s a different piece for every age group. The nearest Sunday before Christmas Day, we deliver those poems we have memorized for three weeks and give our best to get the prize. I won once. The next year, I failed to memorize the poem so I was quite a laughingstock. We already forgot the lines, we never even understood most of the words that time —but what stuck were the fun memories of hearing those nicely written Filipino words recited with innocence and passion by kids eager to win.

We always took pride of learning the songs in our hymn book because most of those were translated from English to Filipino by him and his wife. Because we’re kids that time, we marveled at how they were able to do the translations and still sing it using the same tune when sang in English. I mean, that’s quite difficult. When we grew older, we already know most of the songs, at the very least the choruses. This time, we’re amazed at how they were able to retain the essence of the songs despite the translations. Genius.

My parents were close to him and his family. Pa and Ma looked up to him like a father. We have always considered him our extended Lolo even if we never called him Lolo once. I even promised to my parents that when I get married someday, he’ll officiate.

We saw him again last Monday night. He’s still smiling. This time, his hair was all-white and his eyes were closed. He still wore the Oxfords along with a nice tux. We saw him again. For the last time. There by the altar where people close to him sang praises and thanked the Lord for his wonderful life. As we listened to their words, we realized it was too long a time that we saw him last. As his daughter recited his farewell poem—the one he wrote while waiting for the light to come onto his deathbed, we learned more about the man we looked up to. He was not just an elder Pastor. He was also a grandfather-to-the-rescue, a gifted writer and a loving mentor. He touched a lot of lives and they cherished his kindheartedness and good-natured attitude on life.

I never got the chance to say goodbye to a man who inspired me to excel and push for greater heights. I would like to think that this entry is a fitting eulogy for a man who never failed to show a good example of undaunted service and commitment to Christ’s mission. I suddenly remember the lines of the song sung during the service, “Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful / May the fire of our devotion light their way / May the footprints that we leave, lead them to believe / And the lives we live inspire them to obey / Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful.”

Lolo Cadio, we found you faithful. We will continue to press on towards that goal of spreading Christ’s Gospel. Someone like you made it happen; we know that we too can live a faithful life for the God we serve.

Shalom.

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