Friday, November 19, 2010

in His time.

you were murdered and killed 24 years ago today. 

i still remember waking up hearing my mom's blood curling scream from the news that she received while she was on the phone.  it was about 6am. i remember sitting up from my bed, trying to understand everything that was happening that moment. she put down the phone, gave me and my sister a a hug and told  us that you, your driver and your body guard were murdered and ambushed. out of the 4 people in your car and the 100++ bullets that rained on it, God miraculously saved my aunt, but every one else died, including you.

my grandfather... the congressman. the business tycoon. the big boss. the patriarch who held this family together. your life drained out of you by the bullets that riddled your body. my grandfather. the only real father figure i ever knew. my lolo, murdered by vile men who got paid a measly P5-10million to kill you. your life was worth so much more than that.
 my grandfather at malacañang (the philippine's whitehouse) with president marcos

at such a tender age, i felt the gnawing pain of losing you. in your arms, i always felt so loved and so safe.  when you died, everything in my life took a tumble. the most joyous moments of my childhood that i clearly remember was being beside you...singing with my cousins, watching us bring you great joy. you loved your grand children. everyone can attest to that. though i don't necessarily agree with all your philandering, one thing i knew for sure: you loved your grand kids like it was nobody's business.

 we would run and race to see who would be the first to get to sit on your lap and give you a hug and take your golden chain. i still remember your smell, your aramis cologne mixed in with your sweat. the sweat and blood and tears that built the empire that you had. an empire that you built from rags to riches. you started as a truck driver... and ended up becoming one of the wealthiest men of your time. you were filthy rich. too rich in fact, that i almost understand why God had to take you away from us. if He hadn't taken you away, we would never have reached the point of brokenness like we know now. we lost almost everything you worked so hard for. the millions of money, the political influence, the land, the buildings, the businesses. all of the material things are almost gone. we had no idea what was going to happen to us after you died, but God knew. you left ONE thing that still remains in tact, especially in my life today.

you left a legacy by teaching us to love God.

i remember during the last few years of your life, you would hold bible studies in your office and our living room and made sure that everyone attended. and by everyone, you meant EVERYONE. from your children to your grandchildren to your workers. it was mandated, almost very mafia like ;). back then, we hated it. it was boring and time consuming. little did i know that those were the very seeds that would be planted in my heart as a young child, that would one day grow into a strong desire in me to be used by God to preach and teach His Word.  i remember hearing from you once...you said that you wanted to give it all up (the business, the empire, the politics) just so you could preach God's word. twenty plus years after you uttered those words, God was so faithful to answer your prayer because now your grand daughter wants to do the exact same thing. you took the time to pray for us. you taught us to fall in love with His Word and  totake the time to pray together as a family and for that i am forever thankful.

when i hear the song "In His Time", i remember you. that was your favorite song. the pain of losing you and remembering how brutally you were murdered still stings, but i know that your death is not in vain. it has caused your children and grand children to realize that our hope should not be in riches and wealth and things of this age.... instead our hope should be to the ONE who "makes all things beautiful in His time".

24 years after everything happened...God has proven Himself faithful to His promise of making everything beautiful. there is beauty in remembering you, even in the pain of your death. because i know you left a treasure that i will be able to pass down to my childrens' children. it's not riches, it's not money, it's not political power. instead it's the true wealth of knowing our Savior, falling in love with Him and passing the baton of a beautiful spiritual legacy from one generation to the next.

thank you "lolopang" for the prayers you sowed. i am now reaping the harvest of a great spiritual blessing because of you. i promise to live my life as best as i can to fulfill the desire that you once had in your heart to preach God's Word. as long as i live, my greatest desire will be to tell others of His love.  give Jesus a hug for me in heaven. i love you and i miss you so much.

love,
Ricianne