The previous post about my grandfather Apong Leon and the melancholy state I had been in was brought on by the news that my sister-in-law, in
I expected my one week transition spent in Seattle from my old job in Germany to a new position in Abu Dhabi to be a time to catch up with family and friends, prepare for my new posting in the Middle East, and do errands that I typically do while in Seattle (doctor and dentist appts., buy things that I will need, eat at restaurants whose food I miss, etc.). I was not able to do many of these things because of the untimely death of my sister-in-law. I was glad that I was able to see Ate Cristy on her last couple of days. I was glad also that I was able to be there for my brother, my two nephews, my sister-in-law’s relatives, and our entire family to be able to provide moral support.
During Friday’s rosary at the funeral chapel, I wanted to share my happy experiences and memories of Ate Cristy. I had volunteered to speak about my happy moments with Ate Cristy. Just in case, I had asked a nephew to be my back-up, if I got too emotional. I am not comfortable speaking in front of people. I can usually do it in front of the family, but it is another story in front of 200+ people. I was able to build up enough courage to finish the reading. There were a couple of times that I came close to losing it, but I was able to finish.
The following is what I read and related (with some nervous ad-libbing) to all the people that were there for the rosary:
We lost a strong presence in our family this past Monday. Ate Cristy, wife of my brother Edgie, passed on 22 Feb 2010 after six years of courageous battle against breast cancer.
I saw her at the hospital during my visit in
I want to share a few of my happy experiences with Ate Cristy and fond memories of her. These are memories of her that I will always treasure – her face always gleaming with a warm smile. This is how I will always remember her.
Ate Cristy was a fun loving person, always joking around. Unfortunately, I am forever linked to the infamous Antonio Christmas Party White Elephant Gift Exchange caper of a few years back perpetrated by the duo of Mng. Edgie and Ate Cristy. I have no doubt that the ring leader was Ate Cristy. Yes, I was the poor victim of this family gift exchange. I was duped into picking a gift that when opened by me, with the entire family – young and old in suspenseful anticipation, turned out to be a porcelain doll. The entire audience laughed uncontrollably for what seems like eternity. I, in turn, started laughing. I’ve been had. It was the perfect caper. The plotter of this episode had planned the perfect prank, with me as the victim and Ate Cristy the prankster. Subsequent family Christmas parties now refer to this incident. Since, Ate Cristy and Mng. Edgie had not and continue not to admit their involvement with this prank, and since I have no doubt it was both of them who were the perpetrators, I have facetiously referred to the ringleaders as Misty and Wedgie.
Although Ate Cristy had the last laugh, I was also the lead planner of a great prank directed at her. Leah, Glen, Jay, and Sonya were the co-conspirators. This happened many years ago, summer time in
Ate Cristy was always the life of the party in all our family parties and gatherings. She always tried to outdo Manong Bong’s jokes. Most in the family laughed at Manong Bong’s jokes to be polite. The real jokes were from Ate Cristy because it always made us laugh boisterously. She was always on the ready for joke or a gag. She was always conspiring with Agnes to tease me or poke fun at me. She never failed to make me laugh.
Me being single and on my own, Ate Cristy never failed to include me in on their gatherings with Mng. Edgie, CJ, and Michael. Ate Cristy and Mng. Edgie invited me to join them on their first trip outside US, in
They often invite me on their dinner and movie outings. One time in particular, I joined all four of them for dinner at a Chinese restaurant in
I’ll be selfish a bit. I will miss all the yummy food and desserts that Ate Cristy prepared during our family gatherings. Her dishes were always the first one we put on our plate and her serving dishes were always the first one that were empty. I will never have the same scrumptious pecan tarts again. She was truly the Martha Stewart of our family – that’s a good thing.
Ate Cristy joined our family in the
I am grateful to have known such a wonderful person. I will always treasure all the happy times I shared with her. Ate Cristy, may you always rest in peace.