Fern Premier Lawn

Death is inevitable.

I only know one blessed man who did not face death but was taken by chariots of fire and was brought to heaven — Elijah. (2 King 2:11) Aside from that, no one.

This morning, my dad and I had our jogging bonding at our ever favorite place for such activity — Holy Cross Memorial Park. He randomly brought up the topic that he bought a land in there in preparation. Yeah, for that. It felt awkward. See, I can’t even say or write directly what the land is for but I know you understand me on this, right?

Anyway, I don’t want him to feel that it’s kinda awkward, so I listened as he continued on with his story.

“Nag-jogging ako dito nung nakaraan, nadaanan ko ‘yun e. ‘Yung may letter J. Hanapin natin.”

That made me say, “Huh, s’an banda? Maganda ba ‘yung pwesto?”

“Oo, along the highway. Maluwag ‘yung space.”

If people would hear us, they might think we’re talking about a business establishment here. Haha.

The conversation though brings pain somewhere in my heart. I know that it is inevitable, but one of my heart’s deepest desire (at minsan ay binubulong ko kay Lord sa panalangin kahit alam kong weird), is for my family not to face death. That as a whole, we’ll just welcome Jesus’ 2nd coming and be raptured.

I can’t imagine the pain, and I’m not even sure if I can bear it. The idea of visiting his soon-to-be grave gives me weak knees and shaking feet. I shrug it off through jogging and brisk walking.

At first, we could’t find the place. I randomly asked him,

“Grabe, ang layo yata, Daddy. Ang hirap naman hanapin. Paano kung kailangan n’yo na? Haha.”

“E ‘di, pupunta lang kayo dun sa guard office. May record naman sila. May certificate na nga ako n’yan.”

Okay. That is weird. I actually hoped I didn’t ask that. But my weird questions just got weirder. Ugh. I don’t know what’s gotten into my mind.

“Pang-dalawa ‘yung binili ko na ‘yun, parang kay Nanay (my mom’s mom). After ilang years, ‘pag buto na, p’wede na ‘yung isa pa.”

“Paano kung sabay mawala?”

Dad laughs a bit.

“Naku, mahirap na ‘yan.”

I’m not sure what’s hard. For both parents to be gone at the same time, or because the land he acquired can only accommodate one at a time. I wasn’t able to explore on the answer since realization hit me. I mean, if realization is a real person that’s in front of me right now, she could have hit me real hard with a baseball bat.

So I tried to gear away my answer,

“E kasi ‘di ba ‘yung iba nadidisgrasya ng sabay-sabay, sa family.”

Anyway, the conversation just continued on the idea that he’s encouraging me to buy one too. The price gets high every year so it’s better to get one while it’s still early.

I’m actually glad that my parents are open-minded to future preparations such as this. It’s true that if you’re not prepared, the people you’re going to leave will have difficulty in fixing everything right on the spot, while still grieving.

But actually, my 5-year-old self would like to throw tantrums and roll over the street and shout, “No!” repeatedly, hoping that my words will stop what’s inevitable.

Of course I didn’t. My 25-year-old self now can still handle it without the drama… for now.

After taking lots of turn (only to find out that the street is just near where we parked), we found the Fern Premier Lawn, where in one of the mohon that’s planted there is his.

A part of me hopes and prays that we don’t have to put grave marks on it. That the only mark that will be there is the number allotted for that slot of the land.

Again, death is inevitable. But still, I hope and pray that my heart’s deepest desire will be granted.

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” – Philippians 1:21

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