Life is short

Tito Melvin's interment_Jun 17
Photo from my aunt, tita Arlene — taken earlier today during tito Melvin’s interment in Liloan

Life is short.  That is why it is important to tell your loved ones especially family how much you love and appreciate them.  Sometimes it may be too late to say “I love you.”

I learned that with my uncle, tito Melvin’s passing.  He was only 56. He was my mom’s younger brother.  I always thought he would live on until he was 70 or 80.  His death was sudden and happened very fast.  Last June 02, he had a mild stroke and was admitted to the hospital.  He was scheduled to be released on the fifth day when another stroke hit him, rendering him unconscious.  We visited him at the ICU before I left for Manila last Monday not knowing that it would be the last time I would see him alive.

My dad and I got back from Manila last Thursday dawn.  I went home before my students’ proposal hearing only to wake up with the news that Tito Melvin had passed away.  I had planned on visiting him again at the ICU.

I regretted not telling him last December how much I appreciated and admired him for raising his four kids to be well-disciplined, hardworking and driven.  I had always thought he would always be there.  I was wrong.  I should have told him then how he had accomplished so much and how I was always proud of how he raised his family.  I should have told him how much I appreciated his ready smile, his warmth and the questions he would ask me about what I was doing whenever we would meet during family gatherings.

His passing hit me hard about how we often hold back words of appreciation and love instead of saying it out loud.  A painful lesson I learned this week and one I hope to remedy in the coming years with family and friends.

Goodbye, tito Melvs.  I hope you left knowing how much your kids loved, admired and appreciated you.  I hope you knew how much I admired how you and tita Willette raised your kids.  I’m sorry I never got around to telling you this and “I love you” before you passed on.