I don’t usually cry at wakes. I don’t like dramatic scenes you see in Filipino movies.
I dunno, that’s just me. Sometimes I think the most painful things are so painful you can’t even cry. It’s like your tearducts are paralyzed. But at Father Reuter’s wake, I just cried.
Just a few days before Christmas, my gift for Father Reuter arrived from Amazon. My friend Biden told me they were looking for DVDs of John Wayne and Frank Sinatra.
I was planning to visit Father and make a donation for his healthcare. But the holidays were insane. Traffic everywhere, I was even scared to go to Makati. It turns out he was confined at Our Lady of Peace Hospital in Parañaque.
He died on the last day of 2012.
I found out when Jeroen came home from lunch. He had seen it on Twitter.
I showed him the DVDs and cried a little before shoving food mechanically in my mouth.
On January 2, Jeroen and I finally went to St. Paul’s University in Herran, Manila.
It was my first time there. It looks time-warped and charming, with hallways that look like dead people walk there at night.
Jeroen and I fell in like with a row of trees trimmed to form a shed
We found this church in the middle of the campus.
I loved the staircase
which led to the wake
Only a handful of mourners when we arrived mid-afternoon
And I cried as we approached the coffin and saw the pictures
He actually looked good in the coffin, with the makeup and all. He looked so frail.
I first met him in 1984. He was the priest during our high school retreat in Assumption.
I remember him riding the tourist bus with us going to Baguio. I liked him on sight.
At that time he was already 70 years old, and I was worried he might not live long. Little did I know he had 26 years to go.
Our class spent three memorable days in Baguio. I listened carefully to his lectures. I made a confession and he hugged all of us.
The rest of the events, I keep in my heart.
It was my dream to get married with Fr. Reuter as the priest. I got my wish on November 25, 2000 when I married Jeroen at San Sebastian Church.
It just seemed right to be with Jeroen as we said goodbye to our beloved priest.
He didn’t please everybody. Father Reuter had his share of haters.
I consider myself his jeje buster. I get really emotional when I read bad things about him. I really believe he is a saint in heaven.
At the right moment, an old man walking with a cane began to sing “Ol’ Man River” from the 1927 musical Showboat and I just lost it.
I cried uncontrollably and until my eyes couldn’t see. I think Jeroen cried too.
I never cry at wakes.
Jeroen and I had a long chat with Sister Sarah Abraham, who was at his side when Father died.
I gave her the DVDs and a donation for the hospital that took care of him.
After the wake Jeroen and I kind of explored the old building.
I wondered where these stairs originally led to.
I saw a most beautiful Lady of Lourdes downstairs
I saw the creepy uniform display through the years
You can’t pay me enough to sleep here at night
Check out the famous alumni—how many can you ID?
Jeroen and I left Herran and joined the horrendous traffic, ended up at Robinson’s Magnolia and shared a double burger at Pepper Lunch Express.
Overall a good day. Thank you Father Reuter. We are blessed to have known you.