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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tito Jaime

My mom just came home from a wake. She said that my uncle-in-law, who is only 32 years old (I’m older than him) died of liver cancer though he’s not even an alcohol drinker. The past weeks, I have also been visiting a lot of sick people and also attending lots of wakes. It is sad seeing people close to you get sick or die but such certainly happens and you have no control over it.

Last December 1, one of my good friends also died. Tito (uncle) Jaime was from my Centering Prayer support group and we’ve been together since 2000. He and Tita (aunt) Nely, his wife, are among the people I really admire. Tito Jaime wasn’t able to attend our prayers during the last year since he has been really sick. He had cancer. He wanted to live to see his grandchildren (none of his children are still married and that’s his constant prayer), he did not give up, he fought, he suffered a lot but he continuously prayed and trusted in the Lord.

He did not want his friends to see him deteriorate so I did not visit him often but there were moments when we would see improvements (and which all of us are happy) and moments when it was not good at all. On my last visit to the hospital, I could see him really in pain and it hurts to see him that way. I could not really offer him much but prayer. I tried to attend all the masses said in the wake (I missed one). I thought it was a good farewell gift to a good friend.

The priests that celebrated the masses all knew him personally but I liked best the mass presided by Monsignor Ramirez. It was so personal and he even shared some anecdotes. He remembered Tito Jaime joining their pilgrimage tour to Europe in 1998. They were in Lourdes, France then and they had a mass at 3:00 pm., Tito Jaime came in 10 minutes late and when he entered he stayed in one corner and was silently crying. They were worried something bad happened in Manila and asked Monsignor to talk to him. When he did, Tito Jaime said that he felt so ashamed for making the Lord wait! Never in his entire life has he ever been late in mass for he did not want the Lord to wait for him, but now he did! He made the Lord wait!

Monsi said he felt a bit embarrassed on hearing it and thought about the times he had made the Lord wait. He said that never in his entire life as a priest has he heard a man say those words. That was the kind of man he was, so devoted to the Lord!

He was also devoted to Saint Joseph and Monsi shared another incident when Tito Jaime approached him and said that he had a problem. Monsi thought it was a big problem and was concerned. Tito Jaime said that he thinks that his wife does not like Saint Joseph much since she was a devotee of Saint Jude. At this, Monsi smiled and said that they were both his favorites. I smiled listening at this too and kept thinking how simple Tito Jaime was. There were times I would look at him before and wished that I was as serene as he was. I’m sure going to miss him, my only consolation is that he is no longer in pain and now enjoying eternal joy and peace with the Lord!


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