Shielding myself from the scorching sun, I clutched on to my umbrella and looked down towards the smooth bermuda grass. My eyes linger to the engraved markings staring back at me , “Luijoe, my angel”.

“Mom are those weeds?” a daughter pointed to the tiny yellow flowers dotted at the top of his tombstone.

“I planted those so Luijoe will always have flowers cradled around his resting place”, I explained.

My husband knelt down and laid down a vase of mums as my other daughter carried another umbrella to shield him from the sun. We all stood there staring at the flowers and I couldn’t help feeling proud, “this is my family”. I took my iPhone and took a snapshot. Four pairs of feet beside Luijoe’s tombstone.

I felt a tug in my heart and wondered why I felt this way. It’s been 11 years after all. It must be a trigger. I was getting sentimental that my daughter would soon be leaving for Australia the next day. Or perhaps the stressful political conditions in the country must also be getting to me.

The words echoed inside my mind, “still a family” as we inched closer together and prayed, “Thank you God for family.”

I know that death ended Luijoe’s life but not his relationship to my family. He will always be our precious son. The difference is I gave up the old person who was physically connected to a now deceased Luijoe and made a spiritual connection with my child who died. True, my second daughter will not be with us for a year but I know we will always be connected, thanks to the internet.

It is with a sense of gratitude knowing my family will always be with me wherever they may be. I am thankful for their support in understanding the work that I do. During challenging moments, it is my family who stands by me.

No accusations of “you are pro-Corona, pro-GMA, anti-Noynoy” or “funded to support the RH Bill” or “someone is using you” or “influencing your choices”. Some of my friends disappoint me at times.

Next to God, my family knows what is in my heart. Searching for truth and justice is not being a pro-anyone but merely fighting for what I believe is right. After all, didn’t God give us the gifts of the Holy Spirit to know the difference between right and wrong, and to choose to do what is right? Life is too short to dwell on negativity.

My life in this mortal world is temporary and I might as well make the most of it by focusing on meaningful work, contributing value to society, sharing joyful experiences with my loved ones, and remembering to slow down to savor the precious moments.

Luijoe, my angel reminds me the temporariness of life and to live more fully in the precious moments I am blessed with.

The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements. James 1:11

About Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

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