Love letter from a Rose to a Bee

PHOTO: File photo of Salvador and Rose Espejo.

January 2, 2019

My dearest Bee,

Remember this date, dear heart? This was the date when you left us without any notice. You really “did it your way”! You see, on the evening of January 1 this year, you happily sang heartily and with feeling, “I Did It My Way” on Mo’s videoke. Mo is our lovable granddaughter, dear.

Well, you may be gone now but your memory lives on in my heart, dearest one. How can I ever forget you? For 46 years being married to you – let alone the 5 years of love affair bridged by our love letters – you had been my constant companion. You completed my life, sweetheart. You had been my protector, my adviser, my lover, and many more, dear. How can I ever forget the way you loved me, the way you cared for me, the way you protected me, especially when I was just new in your place when you brought me home for keeps?

Yes, you were ready to fight for me when you thought some people looked down on me as nobody just because I am from the mountains – an Igorota. I told you not to mind them because what mattered most was that we loved each other. I really did not mind what people thought of me, dear. What only mattered was that you loved me, and I loved you.

Yes, we had a wonderful life together, even if we started with nothing, as in nothing, but the love between us. Our love for each other prevailed over all possible obstacles that came our way. With that enduring love, God gifted us with two children – Jasper and Daisy Joy – who gave us joy and pride, especially when they started going to school, until they finished their own respective courses.

My only regret, dear, is that I was never a “malambing” girlfriend and a wife. As a girlfriend, I was too shy and conservative to even let you hold my hand. Now I feel sorry. Even as a wife, I was not “malambing”. I gave more time to my household duties – as a mother, and my duties as a teacher – than giving more attention to you and your needs. I’m really sorry, dear. However, I do hope those shortcomings on my part were all compensated when the children went off to college and we were left alone. We then had more time with and for each other, didn’t we?

When we retired, you founded the Tawid News Magazine which became a regular weekly newspaper in town after one year. It was here where you devoted most of your time. And, more so when your son, Jasper, developed its website (tawidnewsmag.com). Being a perfectionist in everything you do, you spent more time to it so that “it will be more worthwhile for others to read,” you said. I was happy just to stay in the background, dear, serving your needs and, once in a while, be of assistance when I was needed.

Things changed, though, when our granddaughter, Monique, arrived, thanks to our beloved Daisy and Marlowe. We had an excuse to travel every now and then (it became monthly actually) to visit them in Manila. Yes, dear, those visits recharged our tired soul and body from our everyday chores at home, especially in your case because you were most of the time engrossed in your Tawid News Magazine. Our granddaughter became our “battery charger”. She is such a lovely and energetic child that there’s never a dull moment when she’s around.

One time, out of the blue, she said, “You are the best grandfather, ever, Lolo Badong!” How you laughed and said “Nalaingka met gayam nga agpatiray-ok, apok!” I saw a glint in your eyes, dear.

Monique misses you very much, dear. And why not? You were her playmate, her story teller, her guard and guide and “sundo” to and from school, and to and from her best friend’s house (when we were visiting). She misses you so much she asked her mom if “Uncle Jasper could visit us every month like Lolo and Lola did before, and bring Lola with him?”

Yes, darling, we all miss you, and how! You left us without any notice and that was painful, dear.

But then it was your wish. “Baket, ti idawdawatko iti Apo a Namarsua ket daytoy: no alaennakto ket tay instant koma. Saan koma a kas iti napasamak kadaydi Nanang ken Marianing (kabagisna) a naidalit. Ta no kasdiay ti mapasamak, marigatanka la ketdi. Dika kayat nga agrigat. Ken diak kayat a mariribukto met dagidiay annakmo. Diak kayat dayta a mapasamak, baket.”

And God was kind enough to grant your wish, sweetheart. That’s how much God loved you, because He knew how much you loved us also.

Although it was painful on our part to see you off so soon, we were/are thankful to God because you did not suffer much pain, yourself. You went off peacefully into the light of God’s grace, dear.

To ease this heartache, I’ll just pray for you, continue to love you silently in my heart, hoping and wishing that someday we’ll meet again and continue our love affair.

I miss you very much, sweetheart. I love you, I’ll always do! So, I hope you don’t mind if once in a while I write a few paragraphs every now and then to let the world know (through your TNM and Jasper) I still love you and I’m looking forward to that time we’ll be together again. Meanwhile, —

                                GOD BLESS YOU, MY LOVE.
                                MAY GOD GRANT YOU ETERNAL REST,
                                AND LET PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON YOU.
                                REST NOW IN PEACE WITH THE LORD, MY LOVE. AMEN…

Yours always,

ROSE