Tuesday, July 10, 2012

KCAT CAN: With Me In My Dreams

With me in my dreams
by Maria Kathrina Lopez Yarza 
July 9, 2012

 If I’m gone when you wake up, please don’t cry. And if I’m gone when you wake up, it’s not goodbye. Don’t look back at this time as a time of heartbreak and distress. Remember me, ‘cause I’ll be with you in your dreams.”

These lines are taken from the song “With You in Your Dreams”, one of my favorites from Hanson in the late ‘90s. The lyrics are meaningful because they helped me move on during sad times of losing someone dear. I kept on listening to this song after Papa Noning, my maternal grandfather, died 11 years ago.

Papa Noning was called GALS, which is the acronym for Graciano Altre Lopez Sr. That is the reason why my cousins and I call ourselves apo ni GALS, and there is also anak ni GALS, manugang ni GALS, and of course my Lola, whom we call Mang, is the asawa ni GALS. G.A.L.S. is not mere acronym anymore, but happiness, love and togetherness because that is what Papa Noning shared and taught when he was still with us.

“I don’t want you to cry and weep, I want you to go on living your life ‘cause in your heart, you have all of our good times. And though my flesh is gone, I’ll still be with you at all times. And although my body’s gone, I’ll be there to comfort you at all times.”

Have you ever experienced having a dream about a dead person who is very dear to you when you are going through a rough time in your life? It is comforting, right? Papa appears in our dreams wearing his favorite white sando or red polo shirt when we needed it most, making us happy and at ease. It seemed he was telling us, “Don’t be sad, there are a lot of things to be happy about.”

While I was browsing my Facebook wall, a certain status update from my cousin Athan made me really happy. “I was with my Lolo GALS in Agno, Pangasinan. I kissed him right between his cheek and jawline like we usually did before, feeling the sharpness of his moustache. Then Papa carried me around the house, threw me in the air, and then we flew away. I asked him where we are heading and he said, “Sa bago kong bahay,” which is in heaven. It was so beautiful! I was really so happy! Then I suddenly opened my eyes and I am back in my room. It was only a dream.”

The next thing I know, the family was planning to visit Papa Noning at Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City because we miss him so much.

Just because we may seem to be clinging to him even after so many years does not mean we still can’t get over his demise. Yes, we miss him so much, and we are so grateful for everything he has given us in the past. We won’t be this close with each other if not for Papa Noning’s fondness of seeing his grandchildren together. There won’t be a weekly mandatory family gathering during weekends, which became a habit as time went by. Papa asked us to do a program where everyone needed to participate by singing, dancing, and acting. Papa loved dancing the Macarena with his grandchildren!

Almost all of my happy childhood memories were spent with my cousins from the maternal side, and all gratitude I give to our lolo Papa. “Basta bigyan niyo ako ng maraming apo,” those were Papa’s words as he blessed the weddings of all his children.

I remember having many overnight stays with my cousins at my grandparents’ house in Mandaluyong. Good thing our home is just a few blocks away but my cousins who live in Navotas, Muntinlupa, Makati, Pasig, and Cainta were all personally fetched by Papa. How fond of and loving he was to us.

During summer, the whole family traveled to Aloleng in Agno, Pangasinan to stay at our Papa and Mang’s vacation house. We frolicked in the beach, ran around the grassland, climbed up the tree house Papa made for us, picked mangoes and chicos, and made campfires.  Because of these bonding moments, all the apo ni GALS have been like siblings who are really close to each other, up until now.

Papa was a survivor. He faced a lot of accidents, from minor accidents like falling down the ladder, to major ones like a vehicular accident, and serious burns from a fire accident; but he bravely overcame all these and continued on with his life. Now that I think about it, it was through Papa where I witnessed the real meaning of the quote “Life must go on”.

Written on his tombstone are the words: “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.” Yes, you did, Papa! Thank you for your great and unforgettable influence in our lives.


Let us continue supporting Mark Angelo Salazar who is suffering from Biliary Atresia and who needs to undergo a liver transplant that costs approximately R3 to 4 million at Chang Gung Hospital in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The family members are doing their best by continuously selling shirts, holding raffles, and soliciting everywhere in order to come up with this huge amount of money. They have accumulated almost half of the amount, and still needs more than a million pesos. You may get in touch with his mother, Maritess Salazar at 09212955657 / 09083664383 / 09165382179.   Monetary donations may be coursed via BDO - Account name: MARK ANGELO B. SALAZAR. Account Number: 0300886918.  Swift Code: BNORPHMM (Dollar Account).

***it's actually 12 years ago.. I made a mistake of writing 11. -_-
(photo by: Anak ni GALS - Jim C. Lopez)
With You In Your Dreams by Hanson

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