One year ago

Not too sure what's so happy about celebrating a one-year death anniversary. I suppose it's the actual honoring a loved one's memory & celebrating his life. Mom preferred a quiet acknowledgment this year as opposed to the traditional Filipino let's-invite-everyone-over kind of gathering. So we went to Mass at Our Lady of Mercy (Jersey City) and then had dinner at a new restaurant downtown by the Newport Marina. Michael Anthony's hasn't even officially opened quite yet. The grand opening is in a few weeks, sometime next month. We toasted to Dad's memory and shared a few stories. Just Auntie, Uncle, Mom, A. & me. And cousin K., T., M. & E. had their own memorial celebration in GA -- complete with sushi fiesta, Dad's old Perry Como CDs, mini-golf & karaoke!

Next year, I think I'd like to organize an intimate tennis or golf fundraising event in Dad's honor and donate the proceeds to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. I'd thought about doing that this year, but it was too soon for me. More likely a tennis event? . . . since I'm finally learning how to play the game and can appreciate the technique behind the strokes . . . what with my tennis lessons & all. Dad would be so proud.

Sadly, Mom will be leaving for Seattle in the morning to attend a cousin's funeral. She committed suicide . . . hung herself and has left behind four children. She'd just been released from a week-long stay in the hospital for severe depression. Heartful thoughts & prayers go out to the Aichele Family, especially A.'s kids.

Strange how & when life throws some unthinkable situations out at you. After a full year, as I move from grieving my Dad's death to celebrating his memory, I'm forced to think about my cousin's children who will now begin their mourning journey and have to figure out how to make sense of their mother's death . . . which seems so incomprehensible. What's hopefully comforting is that Dad will be there to greet my cousin, A., with open arms & hopefully she will finally be . . . at peace.

As for me, it feels good . . . a year later . . . to be at peace. No doubt Dad's okay with that.