I would agree that it is kind of disturbing that the very first post in this blog would be about death.
To let 2013 pass by, however, without giving a proper eulogy to a man my family and I held in high regard, will simply not do.
The people who spoke during the wake fondly remember him as a man who never frowned. I remember him the same way.
My own relationship with him was not really close though. He was my godparent (ninong) when I received the Christian Sacrament of Confirmation. My fondest memories of him from my childhood were of his calling me a rascal and of giving me a totally new nickname altogether. Regardless, because of his jolly disposition, he was one of the uncles I easily took a liking to.
My mother always told me of how smart and what a truly intelligent man he was. That was not something to be taken lightly, because it definitely took a lot to impress her. On the other hand, my cousins (his children) tell us that their dad was one of a very few not intimidated by her. Again, this is not something to be taken lightly; my mother could be very fierce and intimidating, even to people she was very close to, at times.
There was a running joke in the family that every time he, my dad, and our other uncle Tato got together, it would seem like they were fighting whenever they had a discussion. The truth is, they were hard of hearing as they grew older.
His children, our cousins, are among my and my siblings’ closest relationships. There is a saying that cousins are some of the first friends you make; this is especially true with them. In them, we can see that he raised his children well, and that we will always remember how good a man his father was through them. He and his family were there for us when our parents died; it is now our opportunity to be there for them in their time of need.
Vaya con Dios. Go with God, Tito Rudy, and say hi to my parents for me if you ever see them.