Monday, February 23, 2009

Rest in peace, dear sweet Lolo Ben

My dear Lolo (Grand-uncle) Ben passed away at around 3am this morning. He was the brother of my Lola (Grandma) Amy, mom of my mom. They were good companions to each other since my Lolo Doming (dad of my mom) passed away about 4 1/2 years ago and especially when Lola Amy had a fall and became bed-ridden.

He was always a jolly guy, waking up every morning at 6am for his walk around the block and his gardening duties. He would always eat 2 cups worth of oatmeal everyday.

I laugh whenever I'd see him sneakily eat a few fish crackers -- he has high uric acid and in the past he got gout from an overdose of salty fish crackers!

He was always so proud about his survival of World War II -- at 9 years old in Baguio, he and Lola Amy were running away from the Japanese; one Jap actually hit his head with a bayonet! My lola had to carry Lolo Ben on her back as she trekked the Cordillera mountains to safety.

He was the main source of our news. As a child I remember calling him early in the morning just to see if there was no school for the day (due to typhoon). He was our local newscaster, he knew every piece of news from his trusty FM radio. He could tell you the latest chismis (gossip) about politicians and local celebrities.

He loved playing solitaire and could play that game day in, day out.

There are other memories I have of my gentle Lolo Ben.

Lolo Ben, I'm sure you're in a better place now. Sleep well. We'll miss you!

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