Ed. note: This was the Ninth Day homily of Tita Angeling, a friend and parishioner who passed away last year.
When the family went through the things of Tita Angeling, they discovered the greatest heirloom ever. No, it was not jewelry, though we know that Tita Angeling was fond of them. It was her diary. On the last page was a letter to the children and the grandchildren. The date written was “departure time.”
That is why if you think about it, if saying goodbye to a mother is very difficult, it must be even more difficult for a mother to say goodbye to her family for at least three reasons:
- First, in her eyes, her children need a mother no matter how old they become. The last time I spoke to Tita Angeling was when I saw her with the family in a Korean restaurant. Back then she was recovering from her heart procedure and she was doing fine. What was her main concern though? “Keep your tukayo, Ramon(her son) in your prayers for healing.”
- Second, she was with the children in every milestone of their lives, to the best of her limitations. During the funeral Mass, Alex shared how welcome her fiancée was made to feel with Tita Angeling, so it is such a great loss that Tita Angeling will miss the wedding. Tita Angeling made it a point to always be there in the milestones of every grandchild.
- Third, who will pray for the children and be with the children in a life wherein nothing is certain? In the letter, Tita Angeling reminded her grandchildren to be very discerning about technology and social media. She said to always listen to their parents and to keep communication lines open.
Hence, on this ninth day Mass, we take it as an opportunity to give back. Give back to a mother who has always been giving since the time we were in the womb. We give back with prayers.
- Prayer of Gratitude. How do you say thank you to a mother who has given so much? She may not be physically here with us anymore but the soul is very much alive.
“You left me beautiful memories, your love is still my guide. And though we cannot see, you are always at our side.”
- Prayer of Peace. Mothers are always the peacemakers of the family. To those who have more, she encourages to give to the less. To those who have less, she is there for them. To those who have gone astray, she is perpetually watching over. To those who have fallen, she will defend and pick up. Different personalities, different characters…yet mothers will always desire peace and unity. This is something we continue.
- Prayer of a Bond. Your pain is your mom’s pain. Your happiness is your mom’s happiness. Whenever I visit sick children, no matter how old they are, the mother is the one most affected. “Ako nalang, huwag na siya.” On the other hand, even the smallest milestones in life, mothers are the happiest. Life is short, swift, and uncertain. Live life to the fullest.
As we say goodbye to mothers, let me share with you this Irish Funeral Prayer
You can only have one mother Patient kind and true; No other friend in all the world, Will be the same to you. When other friends forsake you, To mother you will return, For all her loving kindness, She asks nothing in return. As we look upon her picture, Sweet memories we recall, Of a face so full of sunshine, And a smile for one and all. Sweet Jesus, take this message, To our dear mother up above; Tell her how we miss her, And give her all our love.