This post was from September 9, 2008, but I have decided to move it on today, in remembrance of our dear friend Beth who left us. She died a year ago.
This picture was taken during her first visit in the Philippines, at Porto Fino Beach, Lapu-lapu City, Cebu, Philippines, June 2006. (From left to right; Me, Beth and Ruby) And this is the Eulogy I sent to her husband to be read on her funeral. I know this is a bit too long to spend time reading, but I hope you will read from start to the end so that you will know better who she is.
February 17, 2008
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! From Grace and Ruby of the Philippines, to everybody that are here today, especially to the bereaved family and friends of our very dear Beth.
Some of you know us personally, such as Scott, Kevin, Lynn and Kris. Some of you may have heard about us... while some of you may have read about us. Yes, we are the dear friends of Beth, the ones whom she really spent money and time just to visit and see us personally. Not just once, but twice. And if given chance, I believe, Beth would not stop there. There will be more visit that she will be doing. Beth love the Philippines so much. She care for the people here, most especially to the children of my poor country.
For the benefit of those who do not know us, i will briefly introduce ourselves.
Back in November 30, 2005 , Beth was happened to be my opponent over Yahoo! domino table. As we were playing, we don't really mind so much who will win, because we found ourselves talking to each other as if we have been friends for so long. In fact, though it was just our first acquaintance, but some of our conversation were about our personal lives. I was asking her birth date, and when i found out that it will be on the next few weeks, i decided to send my handmade greeting card. I then asked for her postal address, and that's where we started...
One of those times that we were playing online, I happened to share to her that I was grieving over the big tragedy that was happening to our neighbor province, the Guinsaogan. The poor little town was covered by the mudslide. After few days of heavy rain, in just the twinkling of an eye, the whole poor little town was covered by the mudslide, giving no chance to everybody to run away for their lives. "How deep?" , you may ask. You can just imagine, a tall coconut tree, 30-40 feet, after the tragedy, you can no longer see their trunks, only their leaves and fruits. That's how deep the mudslide was.
Amidst that little poor town was a public kindergarten and grade school. It was a regular school days, teachers and pupils were so concentrated on their class lectures when all of the sudden, they were being trapped inside. And slowly, there were being eaten up by the mud. There were retrieval team from all over the world that was going on in that site. Some were blessed to be found still alive, while some were found dead already. But it was believed that more than a half was helplessly buried alive underneath. The mayor of that province said that there are at least 3,000 population in that area. After 2 weeks of desperate retrieving, and due to non-stop raining, too, it was decided to stop the operation, because after all, it was believed that nobody will still be alive then.
Add to my misery was that, my TV set wasn't working anymore at that time. i had to go to my neighbor's house every night to watch the local TV news.
Few days after that, Beth excitingly announced to me that she had a gift to me and that she decided to personally give it to me. She then arranged for that trip. It was June 9, 2006 , she arrived here in Cebu, Philippines.
I was so surprised of a very huge Christmas-wrapped box she handed to me. She told me that it was her belated Christmas gift for me. I opened it up, and i was more surprised to see a brand new television set. I was crying. Who would think that somebody would carry a big television all the way from USA to the Philippines. That's how thoughtful Beth was. She really touched my heart.
On her 18-days stay here in Cebu, Ruby and I learned to love her more and more because of her natural traits she was showing us and to others. She has a very kind soft heart. She is the kind of person that don't think of herself just to be able to do something to others.
Not just that, Beth is a jolly person, too. She met my family and Ruby's family, too, and get along with them very well. She sing with us. Laugh with us. Eat with us. Dance with us. She didn't mind what we eat, she was very willing to try everything. She was trying to live like one of us. Ride a jeepney with us, though we found her becoming pale and afraid because of the rush driving experience she had here in my country. We call it "bumper to bumper". Every time we ride a jeepney, we make sure that we sit her in between me and Ruby to make her comfortable. We treated her like a princess. We always slept late, her stories seems to be non-stop to us, and they are all interesting. We really love to hear everything from her. We had a very good time together.
It was very hard for Beth to leave us on the day of her flight going back home. We were all crying at the airport. And she promised to come back the following year. And she did.
November 15th of that following year, she did came back here. She brought more stuffs for give aways than she did the last time. She aimed for more children to meet and more family to touch their lives with. She aimed for more good deeds.
Her second visit here was obviously not the same as before. She was more sickly on her second time. She admitted to us that she already knew that she was not feeling good few days before she left Ohio. She knew there was something wrong with her. She was trying her best not to burden us about her health. That's who Beth is. She was trying her best not to waste every single moment that she was here. She was trying her best to accomplish everything that she has planned to do here. And she did. In spite of what she was feeling, she did.
We went to the island of Bohol as what planned before she came. It was really her dream to be able to hold in her hands the smallest monkey in the world. Tarsier. She was able to overcome her fear of heights by climbing up the long stairs going up just to be able to see the splendor of the Chocolate Hills. The three of us (Beth, Ruby and I) had a wonderful time then. It was a treasure to us.
Beth has become a new member of our family. We treated her as our sister. She felt for us every time we had problems. She cries for us every time we were into troubles. She showed us how much she loves us. She is so abundant in good works.
I hope that Beth's life has become an inspiration to many. And i hope it serves as a challenge to reach out... to step down from your comfort zone and touch the life of those who are less fortunate people. Its about time that you make your own story, too.
Beth's life will not only be a memory to us. But it will become a history, too. Her one act of nobility, leads to bring happiness to thousands of children here in my country. We miss her so much and our photos together will aide us from that. We love her so much and we are sharing to the whole world the kind of love we received from her.
In behalf of my family and Ruby's family, we grieve with you. We lost a dear sister. May she rest in peace.