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Death is the greatest conqueror

By:Julia Carreon-Lagoc

Here I am in Prof Tsar’s Islas de Los Ladrones for the long drawn-out Memorial Service for one who was really the better half of our conjugal partnership.

Brought home the urn, just as the hubby had wished, which was then installed in the family plot.

It rained cats and dogs for days (you bet the animals themselves were in hiding; bad figure of speech) and brownouts, too. Didn’t have the Interne
t to digest all the WFA Digests.

And didn’t have the ten green bucks for the flood victims, but we did have our "noodle brigade." Our part of Iloilo was spared from the floods.

Agree or disagree with what I delivered after the Mass, July 17, 2012:
* * *
Death is the greatest conqueror. Science bows to that. All of human intelligence is no contest when Death knocks at the door.

In our helplessness, we look back. I philosophize. I sift the past for grains of gold, sift through mounds of memories that have accumulated with the years—memories of experiences, events, decisions, actions taken that define our humanness, what you and I are, what Rudy was.

We pulled through the ups and downs of the winter-spring-summer-and-autum
n cycle of our lives—the biggest hurdle being the stockade detention by the dictator. The human rights activists of the Iloilo Legal Assistance Center of the National Union of People’s Lawyers, the members of SELDA, Gabriela, Bayan Muna, Karapatan, etc.—they know you passed away with your social consciousness ever strong—possessed with heart and mind in step with the call of the times.

We all differ in our answers to the big questions: Kung hindi tayo, sino? Kung hindi ngayon, kailan pa? We dream of a tomorrow shining in Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite as the French revolutionaries had realized all of these for their country. With our all too human inadequacies—individual failings and flaws—we differ in degrees in the pursuit of that dream. But Rudy, you tried, as we activists do try to make a difference in ways big and small.

Rod, you only went ahead. Sooner or later, we will all keep pace with you. I must comfort myself with that thought while keeping alive fondest memories of a dearly loved Kasama, Daddy to Rose, Roderick, Randy, and Raileen, and Lolo to Jetrone, Raisa June, James Raphael, and Danika. Find comfort in the thought that from dust we are, to dust we shall return. It is the way of all flesh. It has always been like that since the dawn of history.

But wait, dear friends and relatives. The poet makes a final pitch: To dust thou art, to dust thou shall return – was not spoken of the soul. So Rudy is with us, his spirit hovering in the eaves and crannies of this church, overlooking at these celebrations of a life well lived.

Life goes on. We praise, we love, we sing, we dance. We cry for the what-might-have-beens. We laugh and smile and we eat. Smile now as we go forward to the reception — the stomach development portion of this affair. The iconic Pinoy lechon is waiting.

Thank you all, and God bless.

"Julia Lagoc" <>

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