Several couches were arranged, and several sales agents were waiting for Oel and his family to arrive. The coffin arrived at around 1230 pm, and was set up in the place of honor, in front of the crucifix. I was teary-eyed when I greeted Oel and his wife who, obviously, had reddened eyes from tears. They were very grateful for what the company had done for them. But hey, they're family, right? And we take care of our own.
Ok. Kinda sounded like the mafia, now didn't it? :)
In the evening, there was a mass said for Rolando and the entire office attended and mingled with some of the sales force and Oel's family and relatives. Putting aside the homily, it was a pretty moving service, especially when family was called to spray holy water on the coffin. Oel's stance was one of disbelief, and he paused before he started to sprinkle the coffin with the holy water.
Apparently, his dad's death was pretty sudden. He was a strong man. But he was wracked with extreme pain towards the end, and had told Oel that he was tired. Tired of fighting the pain, tired of it all. He told his son that if the doctors managed to revive him and put him on a machine, that Oel would pull that plug when he saw it. As it was, Oel told the doctors not to try and revive him anymore.
That's probably one of the most difficult things a son or daughter can ever say to a doctor, isn't it? Hard to fathom, but it's a decision that must come from the patient and must be respected by everyone.
Talk of supersitions abounded during the time we stayed at the wake chapel. Some of them (that I understood!):
1. On the way to Manila from Batangas, the funeral procession made several stops at elderly relatives' homes. This was so that none of these elderly relatives would follow the dead too soon. Also, people were said to whisper to the dead to take away their aches and pains and bring it with him to the afterlife.So in the custom of keeping #4, we (Mom, Bang, Lai, Japa and moi) went to Serendra to have a late dinner at Silk. Yummy Thai food! A bit too spicy for me, but it was good! We had Tom Yam (sp?) soup, some stir-fried stir-fry seafood, fried king fish, steamed bass, and the best dish of all: pad thai! :) Although the restaurant had pretty good ambiance, it was a tad bit hot for me (or maybe it was because of the spicy soup? Hehehe. I loved their restroom, though. It smelled so fresh but not overly flowery. It reminded me of some of the historic hotels we've been to on our tours in Europe and the US East Coast.
2. At night, during the wake, avoid looking at a mirror when you're by yourself. It is said that if you don't see your reflection, you'll be dead soon. Creepy, I know, but aren't most superstitions?
3. At a wake, family members aren't supposed to see you off at the door because this would mean passing on the death to another family.
4. When coming from a wake, you shouldn't go straight home, especially if you have old people or very sick people at home. This way, you don't "rub" being dead onto the others.
Mom was craving for dessert; yes, she of the no-cakes-and-ice-cream-for-Lent sacrifice, hehehehe. We decided on Portico where she had coffee sansrival and Lai and I had brownies a la mode.
The sansrival wasn't anything fantastic. In fact, it looked downright skimpy! Four thin wafers atop each other and sprinkled with what looked like coffee flavored chocolate sauce. I like my sansrival chewy, this was crunchy. So crunchy, that when you stuck a fork in it, the wafers splintered into several pieces.
The brownie a la mode was a different story, though. Yummy and chewy. And the ice cream wasn't plain vanilla, it was coffee-flavored scoop! Sorry, though, that we had to make mom sit through this forbidden dessert of hers :)