Bittersweet closure: Goodbye Lolo Victor……….
by allan (above photo by john brian silverio)
As of September 11th, 2008, 12:45 pm; I’ll be on a flight back to the Philippines & one of the first things I’ll be doing when I’m there is saying goodbye to Lolo……..
My paternal Grandfather was a real hard ass. A galvanising, womanizing, brutally honest Marcos dictatorship crony who never quite got accustomed to the politically correct nature of North America. He would often tell me how stupid I was, how fat I was, how every girlfriend I introduced to the family was either fat or ugly, & how I just wasn’t good enough to carry the Serrano last name. There was one point he indicated to my Father that he thought I was the wrong infant my parents took from the Hospital I was born in Toronto (Wellesley Hospital).
You can say my upcoming trip to the Philippines serves a purpose of closure. Me & Lolo Victor never really had a healthy Grandson/Grandfather relationship, to say the least. The immediate feeling I get when I finally see his grave will be that of “bittersweet closure”. I never said goodbye at his memorial service he had here in Toronto, because to be honest, I was just really pissed off & wanted nothing to do with him, even in death…….
The only positive, not even happy memories I have are the stories of how he helped a lot of relatives get jobs because he & my Father owned a construction business prior to my entire family immigrating to Toronto in 1974. He was a community leader, business owner, Marcos “party aide”, so he had substantial power to do what we wanted, when he wanted. Other than that, every other story were “tsimis” stories of him having a second & third family in the Philippines, to which unfortunately I had to find out when my Father finally told me. At the time, I was just a young kid not understanding the situation completely, but when it became comprehensive to me in my teenage years, it made me want to hate him even more…….
Lolo Victor passed away in August of 2005. I will never forget how you treated me Lolo, but it will take a lot of time for me to truly forgive you. Thank you for everything, teaching me about the importance of networking, personal presentation, & having confidence in yourself. It took me a long time to get my confidence back because you destroyed it so many times. When I’m in the cemetary, I’ll be paying my final respects & saying the goodbye that never happened in Toronto. I’m not going to be like you, being forceful, & stressing sentiments that I hate you because hate is such a strong word, but I did respect you.
May you truly Rest in Peace, Lolo Victor…..Your thoughts & actions will forever have a significant impact on my life…..