Made YOU Special: In Loving Memory of Jovencio B. Miral
Today is my Papa Ondo’s first-death-sary. I wanted to write this because with all my travels I meet so many amazing people across the Metro. Despite having only met some of you once, my heart always goes out to those I see who have lost a loved one, especially a parent. I know it goes a long way to know you’re not alone. If I can provide any comfort or healing through this post, it’s worth it.
On a Sunday of last year, my Papa died suddenly, unexpectedly, and naturally. He was only 87 years old. He left behind a partner (my mother) and six children, the youngest of whom was 30. The most comforting thing from such a tragic situation was that because my father was so healthy.
The last year brought many trials and tribulations in the aftermath of such a devastating loss but also many blessings as well. Anyone who knew my Papa, knew that his lovable personality and generous spirit made him a joy to be around. When you were with him, you felt safe and loved.
I have tears running down my face as I write this. I have not had great male role models in my life. Growing up, I felt like I only knew what kind of guy not to go for.
The challenges of course were the firsts. His 88th birthday, first fathers’ day, Yvaine’s 4th birthday, my 31st birthday, Ishy’s 7th birthday, first Christmas, and first New Year. All the holidays my father got so excited about because everyone would be home together, lost some joy for us this past year. Last Christmas, my family decided to do something completely different and spend the holidays away from the Metro. Waking up on Christmas morning and going to the pool was not something we’d ever done before, but getting away from the ordinary was extremely helpful and therapeutic.
It was also the year I turned 31. It’s strange to think of all the little things you find joy in after the passing of a loved one.
Then, there was work. While we were at the beginning stages of getting this start-up off the ground, my father died.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. I haven’t reached that light fully yet, I can see it peaking out. I know it will take years for me to start to feel normal again, which is why I’m so proud of my kids and the amazing things they’ve accomplished this past year, despite the hardship.
No one could ever replace my Papa because he was truly one of a kind. I know that my mother will continue to be given the graces she needs to get through this and will always have the special gift of being partnered to a man who she shared the most unique bond with, who loved her unconditionally and provided for her and their family until his death and beyond.
I will end with this. For those of you whose parents are alive and well, give them a quick call today. Don’t ask them for anything. Just call them and tell them you love them. It will make their day and you will never have any regrets.
Finally, for those of you who have lost a parent or loved one especially in the last year, know that they are watching over you. Pray that your loved one is with Him and know that they are both protecting and guiding you. To me, that’s one of the beautiful things about being a Catholic. Death isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning.
My letter to my Papa Ondo Joven:
In hindsight I realize the meaning of family when I think about the time you said that you were proud of me even when I failed. No matter how much I grow up, I will always be three things: the apple of my father’s eye, the reigning queen of my Papa’s heart and Papa’s little girl.
You didn’t just give me birth, you gave me a good life. You didn’t just provide me education, you gave me good life experience. It is men like you, who become loving Papa and glorious fathers. You loved me even when I hated you, you cared for me even when I cursed you and you supported me even when I distanced myself from you. Thanks for everything Pa, I love you.
With all my love,