lindas-sunset
“Linda’s Sunset” – In Memoriam Linda Castillo (August 16, 1934 – October 23, 2016)

My mother was given the gift of life that lasted 82 years, and I was allowed to share more than half of that time. A woman of strength, substance, love, tenderness, insight, humour, and laughter, she made sure she was my mother and my best friend. Life is short, when compared to other events, and Mommy knew the true meaning of Carpe Diem! She was with me when I shot this sunset at Manila Bay last year and each time I publish it the name always remains “Linda’s Sunset” because it was the sunset Mother Nature offered her that day she insisted on tagging along to find out what exactly I was up to with the camera.

Some couples are never meant to be apart and defy their own wedding vows of “till death do us part”. When either one of them travelled, Mommy and Daddy were never separated more than a month, even when Daddy had been assigned out of town. He always found a way to make it back home to his beloved Muchit (as he called Mommy) before the month was up. In a similar manner, when Mommy came to visit me in India, she flew home after a month because Daddy was restless and needed her to run things in the orderly and efficient manner he was accustomed to. Death was not going to be the exception to the Pete-and -Linda rule.

When Daddy died last month, Mommy was ready to re-invent her life as the strong, independent widow tagging along on adventures with me. Daddy, it seems had other ideas even if he is already on the other side. True to form, Mommy planned, but Daddy decided and exactly 32 days after his death, Mommy followed suit and joined him yesterday.

The similarities between their deaths is so uncanny that it gives me goosebumps, including their final days and the manner in which they took their last breaths. It was as though I was watching a re-run of the same movie. Daddy died while holding Mommy’s hand, and Mommy died holding mine. He passed away on September 22, she on October 23. His Inurnment was September 25, hers will be Oct. 25. As per Filipino tradition, the ninth and 40th day of mourning are the most important, and memorial masses are celebrated on those days, in most cases also followed by a meal. Well, my parents managed to arrange it so that Mommy’s ninth day will be Daddy’s 40th day, which falls, of all days, on Halloween, October 31.

 

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