Today was a really difficult one, as we laid my grandmother to rest. We had a very nice viewing and rosary last night, led by my mom's friend, Linda. My friend Rudy sang a cappella "Ave Maria." If only those cell phones hadn't rung during his song. I was surprised by my dad speaking about Mama, because we hadn't really discussed that he would do so. His story was funny and emotional, and, of course, I cried many tears when he thanked her for being his second mom. Uncle Johnny (Jenn's uncle) also said some nice words, starting with the fact that he only that night learned that her name was "Maria," since he only knew her as "Mama." Mama's makeup was done beautifully, and her hair was in the bun that she liked to wear for special occasions, with a pretty cream-colored dress. She was holding a rosary, and had her coin purse at her side, which contained her prayer book and some money, presumably to buy herself a broom on the way "upstairs," as Allen calls it. I was hoping that Allen would be able to share a couple of stories with everyone because I love the way he tells them, but I guess he was too emotional to do so. Papa's sister-in-law closed the ceremony with a rendition of "Amazing Grace" on her harmonica. I had forgotten all about how she used to play for us when we used to visit them in Santa Barbara. That was really nice of her to pay tribute to Mama that way.
Thanks to all of my friends who joined us that evening and shared in the delicious food that people so generously made for us.
Today it was my turn to sing, and I made it through 3.85 songs before just losing it on the last one. I did almost laugh during the psalm, when I heard certain Filipinos responding "shepherd" with an "f" instead of a "p." I gave a little smile to Rudy, because I thought he might know exactly why I had a twinkle in my eye at the moment, since it was one of the things he would do to try to make me laugh in church choir. Bro told me later that one of those people using the wrong consonant was my own mother. My cousin Marie and my Bro did a nice job with the readings...and then the deacon proceeded to recite the same reading that Bro had just finished. I don't know why he didn't choose to read from oh, say, the *Gospel* from Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, but whatever. I guess he just wanted to reinforce what Bro said. Then he started to recite the Prayers of the Faithful, which was supposed to be Jenn's portion of the program. He saw me wave to her to go up to the podium, though, and let her continue what he started. Veronica's eulogy was beautifully done, filled with bits of humor and memorable stories. I especially loved it when she quoted Allen as saying, "When you say 'no' to Mama, it's like telling her 'yes' twice." After the ceremony in the chapel, we went outside to Mama's gravesite. While we were seated and the deacon was sprinkling the casket with holy water, my godmother leaned over to my mom to ask where my grandfather's grave was. My mom responded, "Over there, being stepped on."
Thank you to those of you that were able to make it to the ceremony. I know that many of you had to take time off of work, and I really appreciate the gesture, and I am thankful to have such supportive people in my life. I sure did pick the right friends. :)
Thank you, also, to our funeral directors, especially Allison, and to all of those at Oakdale for being so pleasant to my family.
If you would like to see Mama's obituary and the slide show that was presented at the viewing, or you would like to leave a written or verbal message, please go to the Making Everlasting Memories site.
(If the link doesn't work, you can go to mem. com and search for "Maria Rojas." There are 3 of them listed, and you can find her by the sepia-toned picture of her with my grandfather).
After the funeral services, we had a lunch reception at World Buffet. They had a big selection of food, and I especially liked their sesame balls because, as V put it, "they had the right ratio of outside to inside." Brady was digging on the fact that he had edamame on his plate. He loves that stuff. He ate half a package the other day at lunch, too.
When our guests left, several of us went to the Tokyo Living shop, where Brady decided that he wanted a mushroom guy. I found stuff for myself and one of my friends as well. We then went to Tapioca Express and were overwhelmed by all of the different choices of drinks. I ordered a Honey Green Tea with tapioca, and let others have a taste. So here comes my favorite moment from today....
I told Allen to taste what I ordered, and after he did so, he said, "That was good. I got one of Them Chew Balls."
So there you go. Boba has now been renamed.
Excuse me while I go finish my drink with Them Chew Balls.