Filipinos is a nationality of such extremes as it goes all out in celebrating life in birthdays and fiestas. Then in death although there is a sense of solemnity but there is still an air of celebration.
I find myself now listening intently as members of the family some I have never seen before tell of stories and tales of the lives of my parents I never knew.
Those stories of them growing up holds such mystery and wonder as you hear funny and sad memories of the older folks as they reminiscence of yesteryear.
I nearly broke into tears as an uncle I haven't seen in years come through the door and is the spitting image of my Papa. From the color of the skin, the smile, the eyes and even how the hair is parted in one side. I remember my Papa brushing my hair the same way when I was young.
I listen to more stories and I can see the smiles but also see the sadness in their eyes.
I almost cried as they pull out old letters and pictures of my parents when they were young. Letters addressed to us their children left in safekeeping with them and now shown and shared to us.
Death is always hard for those left behind but I welcome the opportunity to hear the stories of my parent's youth.