Luzviminda de Dios Bumatay
October 27, 1939 - July 9, 2015Mom, Grandma Luz, Manang Bennie, Manang Vennie, Auntie Luz, these are all names that I heard Mom being called throughout the years. I had the privilege of calling her Mom as her daughter-in-law. I actually met Mom in my early teens, so she has been in my life for a long time, starting from my formative years through adulthood. I learned many things from my second mom by watching her and seeing how she interacted with all of us, her kids and grandkids.
Mom was an English teacher and as such, she was a wordsmith. She loved books, and magazines, reading everything from classic literature, biographies, fiction to spiritual books. Any verses, poems, psalms that touched her, she would rewrite on post it notes and place them in her keepsakes or in a notebook or journal. I always felt very special reading her cards and letters, but I suspect she wrote something similar in everyone’s cards. In our midst of going through old photos for her slideshow to be shown at her viewing, I opened a drawer in her bedroom. In it were stacked bundles of every single birthday, anniversary, Mother's Day, Valentine's, you name it that she every received from her three sons, her daughters-in-law, and her grand kids through the years. She kept it all. This is one letter that I've kept from her that I will always treasure.
Being a teacher, education was very important to her. Almost as soon as our daughters were born, Mom and Dad started to plan for their college educations by purchasing savings bonds. Automatic deductions came out of their paychecks. Dad sponsored Sherilyn and Mom sponsored Allison. In time, patience and persistence literally paid off. They were of great help as college time came faster than we knew it. Mom never missed a school awards ceremony, performance, promotion or graduation for her grand kids. Next to me, she was probably the loudest cheerer in the crowd. She would say off and on through the years that she just wanted to live long enough to see her first grandchild graduate from college. She did just that.
spent at the house with a beautiful table and bountiful food prepared. Thanksgiving was her favorite holiday. Mom would dress the table with fresh flowers, an impressive cornucopia of gourds, fruits and nuts, even a spray of wheat to add that finishing touch. She and Dad would have no less than two huge turkeys and a ham to feed us on Thanksgiving and days afterward.
|Grandpa Roger and Grandma Luz at one of their reunions.|
One of her brothers, Uncle Nanding, spoke about a vivid memory he had of Mom when she was in college and he was still a high school student. He remembered a parade and her riding a float as one of the muses. He described her as a Disney princess. This is a picture of that day. Mom was Ms. Liberal Arts. She was seventeen here.
|Mom as Miss Liberal Arts in 1956|
When EJ started school, they took turns with my parents picking EJ up from school and caring for him until we came home. Mom and Dad would have EJ’s vanilla milkshake waiting in the car and then drive through either Jack in the Box or McDonald’s for his favorite chicken nuggets, of course EJ’s top choice. Mom kept the fridge stocked with Oreo cookies, milk, vanilla ice cream and cones ready for EJ whenever he spent the afternoons there. Often, I would come to pick him up and find EJ and his Grandma snuggled up on the couch at their house. EJ would be nestled against her, in a quiet and peaceful state, taking a nap. Mom would tell me to have Eric come back for him later and she would patiently lay with him and let him sleep. She loved being a Grandma. As I did not really grow up with my grandparents, I’m grateful that my kids know theirs.
"Gratitude" and "Faith," two words that remind me of Mom. She would often say, even on her most painful days and the most difficult of situations that “God is Good,” “Thank you Lord,” that her “cup runneth over". When she felt anyone of us were going through a hard time, she would say just the right thing to make us feel that yes, everything was going to be okay. “Trust in the Lord,” she would say. If she was ever mad or upset that she was sick, she never showed it. I never heard her ask "Why me?" That was Mom. Last August, Mom had surgery. We prayed hard for it to be successful. Despite her age, mom survived the surgery and we thought all would be well. We had Mom for another eleven months.
Her favorite psalm was Psalm 23. Randy, my brother-in-law, read it to her the night she passed. We all knew the end was near that day. She went peacefully with all of us surrounding her at home and sending her to heaven in pure love. All that she wanted was her family to be with her in her last breaths. I will never forget Mom in that last moment. She was still beautiful and carried herself with dignity and grace when God called her home.
|Mom's favorite Psalm|
|The Chapel of the Roses is our view when we visit Mom at Glen Abbey|