A Letter to Dad by Naomi Querubin Abesamis

Shared by Naomi Querubin-Abesamis on August 7, 2020
August 7, 2020

Dearest Dad,

I just finished writing your obituary and it was the hardest thing for me to write. I think in some ways, I was avoiding having to write it because it was almost like a formal way of having to say goodbye and I don't know that I am ready for that. I kept thinking of these key moments that are memories of you that have been imprinted in my mind and in my heart. I feel very lucky to have known another side of you aside from the wondrous things you did for the church community, I came to know you as my father-in-law. Through this experience, I knew the human side of you, the less formal and poised side, and the intimate side that immediate family was privy to.

I remember when Jun and I were dating, he used to forewarn me about the many names he was given and known for: Boy, Jun, Romeo, Romy and I used to laugh and think he was exaggerating, but came to realize that his family really did know him by all of these names. When Jun and I were married, our videographer, Alvin was filming several family and members of our wedding party. After coming back from our honeymoon, we had to view the video to make sure the edits were okay. Alvin told us that you went back to his house in your tuxedo to redo your recorded video because you didn't like the first, impromptu one that was done at our wedding reception. Alvin asked us to choose which video clip to use for the final video. And I chose the impromptu one because I loved seeing the side of you that was not rehearsed or prepared. I felt like I was closer to you when I saw the side of you that not a lot of people saw. 

When we were moving out of Jun's bachelor pad at Chatsworth, CA and into a new home that was being built, we stayed half of the week with you and Mom and half of the week with my parents in Walnut. One morning, I woke up to the smell of a Filipino breakfast cooking at 4 a.m. I realized it was Mom cooking us breakfast before you took her to the bus station as she took the bus to work at downtown L.A. This was before Mom retired. Then when you came back, I was getting ready for work, which at the time I worked at Cal Poly Pomona. Jun was getting ready to drop me off at Cal Poly Pomona and you greeted me, "Good morning Anak!" (which means "my child" in Tagalog) and you gave me a fresh-cut rose from your rose garden. I will never forget that moment--my heart dropped. It was so sweet and so loving and I thank you for welcoming me into your family and into your life. When we moved into our new house, you and Mom were waiting with a bag of rice and salt for good luck at our new home. How is it that time really does fly by? Had I known that moments like these come in as quickly as they leave, I would have held on a little while longer.

I know that as a young professional at the time, overwhelmed with marriage, career, having my first child, Rianna, and then four years later my second child, Noah--who was then diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, I was in my own world a lot trying to navigate Life. In my overwhelm and sometimes a lot of depression Dad, I may not have had the opportunity to express all of these moments that I appreciated. I loved that Jun and I were able to give you and Mom the first grandchildren on the Abesamis side and the Querubin side of the families -- the first granddaughter, Rianna Juliet and the first and only grandson, Noah Ryan. Thank you for driving to our house early in the morning before I left for work so that you and Mom could spend the entire day taking care of Rianna and Noah while Jun and I were working, so that we could provide for our family. I'm so thankful that my kids spent many, many meaningful moments and years with you because those are the moments they will always remember.

At my sister's wedding years later, you and Mom stayed in our hotel room instead of leaving late at night and watched Rianna and Noah for us so that Jun and I could spend more time with family and cousins. When we went back to the hotel room, I found you sleeping upside down on the bed (meaning you weren't sleeping in the normal direction that people sleep on beds). I silently chuckled to myself and thought, "Oh this is why Jun sleeps like that!" And now to this day, Jun still sleeps like that, Noah sleeps like that and most of the time, I sleep like that! ;) 

When Rianna, Noah and I took that long drive to pick up Ate Rose from the airport in your last moments, Jun sent us a text  with a video of Mom and him telling you, "We love you, we love you, we love you..." It was a short video, but I realized that was the last time I would see you because we are in a pandemic and only immediate family was allowed to see you. I looked to my right and Rianna was silently wiping the tears from her eyes, and in the backseat of the car, Noah was crying quietly. And I had to stay strong so I could make sure that I drove to LAX and immediately to Pomona Medical Center so Ate Rose would make it on time to see you.  And somehow, I just knew inside that you were not going to leave this earth until you had seen Mom, Ate Rose, Jun, and Rose Lynn together at the same time--the family you loved, cherished, and cared for all the days of your life.

Thank you for all of these funny and loving moments Dad and there are so many more that I have. But for now I will keep them locked in my heart, and when I think of you, it will be a little glimpse of Heaven for you will always be with us. I love you Dad!


A Message from Ate Joy to Uncle Romy

Shared by Rose Lynn Abesamis-Bell on August 3, 2020
Thank you Uncle Romy for your love, care and kindness, and for the fond memories... We will miss your joke, laughter and your beautiful smile. Your love and faith in God shine through your family and those around you. I still remember when you went to Bataan Phils. in early 80's, I was in high school that time and you handed me the U.S student visa form that my parents needed to sign when you and Auntie Rosie filed a student visa petition for me here in the States, unfortunately, it didn't go through coz of incomplete docs on my part and for personal reason. You and Auntie Rosie have always been there for me. You will never be forgotten. Rest in peace Uncle Heaven gained another angel. God bless. We love you (Romeo Abesamis 8/11/33-7/20/20)

My Big Brother

Shared by Rosemarie Pangilinan on July 28, 2020
Tribute letter written by Paz San Pedro

Paalam Mang Juan

Shared by Rose Lynn Abesamis-Bell on July 27, 2020
Thank you Uncle Romy for all you've done for FFAUMC..thanks for the hard work, sacrifice and love .. PAALAM MANG JUAN

Joey Albarracin
First Fil-Am UMC of SGV


Shared by Rose Lynn Abesamis-Bell on July 25, 2020
Today we released 5 butterflies and couldn’t help but think of you and prayed for a brighter tomorrow and a blessing for everyone’s good health and heal our pain.

Bernadette & Family
Ate Rosemarie's dear friend
Maple Valley, Washington

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