Once upon a time, there was a little girl who didn’t know how to swim. Because of this, whenever she and her many cousins would swim, she wore floaters or salbabidas. One day, her family & relatives vacationed in a mansion in Laguna, and there, she and her cousins swam in the pool. The little girl wanted to try out the new floater her Mommy brought for her baby brother. It was a car, and swimming with it made you look like you were driving…a car. 🙂 The little girl sandwiched her body in the floater car and gave it a spin. In deep water.
Without her older cousins noticing her, the little girl swam towards the deep. She started kicking her legs, “steering” the car, and swimming farther into the deep. 5 feet….6 feet….she swam! everything was going smoothly until…
She kicked and steered too hard, so the floater flipped sideways, and eventually tumbled upside down. The little girl submerged in the water, and started to drown. She flapped her arms, struggled for air, screamed for help, but all her efforts failed her. Tears flowed from her eyes. For 8 seconds the little girl felt like it was the end of her world–until, suddenly….
Someone in a purple Speedo swam towards her, hugged her by the waist, and immediately plunged her up out of the deep water. Her savior calmly placed the little girl in the gutter as she continued crying. It took the little girl a while to calm down, and when she did, she faced her lifesaver: the beautiful girl in purple speedo. She was one of her many cousins.
As the years passed, the little girl learned how to swim and the girl in purple Speedo traded her one-piece for a bikini. She and the little girl grew apart over the years because of geographical distance, but distance did not faze their love for each other and things they shared in common. The little girl found a fellow bookworm in her lifesaver, and shared her love for words. Last year, they enjoyed watching Glee, Modern Family, SNL, and Big Bang Theory in the lifesaver’s house in San Jose. Another thing they have in common? They both have mothers (who happen to be sisters) who always reminded them to drink their vitamins and wear their “agimats” a.k.a Skalar Energy Necklaces (which they both found unfashionable). Admittedly, the little girl didn’t feel as close with her lifesaver as she did with her other cousins, but she and the girl in purple Speedo shared a unique bond. At least, that’s what she thinks.
Ate Trish, thank you for saving my life that fateful day in Villa Juliana. Thank you for handing me down your books. Thank you for teaching me to love others as they are–however different they may be. You showed your true colors even if at first I found it unnerving. Beneath the cheetah trench coat, leather boots, and eyeliner is a beautiful & kindhearted person–a good friend and cousin who finished strong.
Thank you for the wonderful memories, Ate Trish. One day, we’ll see each other again there in our Father’s Kingdom. We’ll hang out in each other’s mansions–watching reruns of our favorite shows (in clean versions), eat pizza, and write songs (for you) and stories (for me). We’ll be drinking Nikken water and wearing a more fashionable version of our agimats, aka, the Skalar Energy Pendants.
I love you, girl in Purple speedo. See you soon!
The little girl 🙂
(The eulogy I gave for my dear cousin, Trisha Jarlego Solomon, last May 18, 2013)
Belated happy birthday from down here, cousin dearest. I know Heaven is a wonderful place. I’m actually quite jealous of you. You have no more struggles to go through, no more giants to contend with, no more pain to endure, and no more sadness to deal with. I (we) still have to deal with all that. But you know what’s even sadder? Dealing will all those things without you.
We weren’t really that close when you were still here. In fact, when I saw your photos back then on Facebook, I thought to myself, “What is she wearing?!” You were weird and eccentric. Then later I realized: your weirdness and eccentricity is what makes you beautiful.
You were kind to everyone around you. Everyone. Even to Lola, no matter how many times she pesters you to eat (para may kasabay siya. HAHA). You weren’t a perfect daughter, but you were loving, thoughtful, and grateful nonetheless. You were a really good friend. I really wish we could have become better friends, but, again, I realized, I’ll see you up There really soon, so I wouldn’t really miss out on anything now, would I? 🙂
I’m sure if you were still here last week, you would have cried at the sudden and tragic passing of Cory Monteith. You were a Gleek to the core. Upon hearing of his death, I remembered you. I remembered how much you liked Glee and the story you told me when you met some of the cast members at a bar in SanFo. I thought to myself: 2 people, both young, beautiful, exceptionally talented, and yet, gone so soon. I know God has better plans, but sometimes I wish He would take out those plans on “less deserving” people, you know? The only thing I regret even more about Cory’s death was that he died alone. But you, Ate Trish, didn’t.
Your ever-loving mother told us how your friends ushered you into Heaven with a beautiful song. She told us she was really sad at your departure, but you (and God) assured her that she would be okay and that YOU would be even more okay. She had the strength to let you go. During your memorial service here in Manila, our cousins and friends reminisced our memories we had with you growing up. I’m sure you heard all of that. We thank you for impacting our lives in a positive way.
Never judge a book by its cover. That’s the best lesson I learned from you. I sorry I judged you, thinking you have backslid and forgot your relationship with God. Perhaps at some point you did, but regardless of what you did, I still had no right to judge you, or anyone for that matter. I have ran away from God myself. Who am I to point my finger? You taught me to be real and authentic, even if it entails bearing the demeaning looks of others. You loved and respected people in spite of them. Just like Jesus, you befriended what society would consider as “outcasts.” You saw the beauty in life, and you translated that beauty through the spoken word and through music. I have your CD, by the way. I downloaded the songs to our iTunes so that I can hear your voice over and over again, as if you were singing next to me. I’m sure the Heavenly chorale is happy with you there. 🙂
Thank you for your life, cousin.
See you soon! 🙂
By the way, this song is awesome. 🙂 #ForeverFave