Joan was still a little girl when I first knew her. Her mom, Mrs. Salve Fernandez-Te Roa who was my grade school English teacher always brought her to our classroom. At first, I didn’t like her because she was somaldita to us. Hehehe….. She roamed around the classroom, finding fault with any one of us and quarreling us. But we couldn’t fight back because she was our teacher’s daughter. I even make sumbongto my mom about her but she just told me to just give way because she’s younger than me and that she’s just like my little sister. So I just didn’t mind her “being maldita” towards us not until she became my sister April’s classmate.
Surprisingly, they became friends with my sister. Then I realized that the attitude she was previously showing to me and my classmates was just mere paglalambing of a little girl whose older brother is way too older to become her playmate. She just wanted to make friends but we misinterpreted it. But with my sister and their other classmates, they clicked and the real attitude of Joan was becoming to show.
I saw her growing up together with my sister. They also went to high school and college together. I admit, I may not know her that well as the others do but I saw her as a very loving person. And I had proven that to myself when she enrolled her big nephew to MUHS way back 2010. Frequent bumping-intos with her in department stores or the streets allowed me to discover what a very responsible person she was. She was running errands for her mom, her older brother, her organization, her pamangkins,etc. I thought to myself, Joan was so selfless. She helped, she cared, she always thought of others before herself.
Surely, Joan will be missed. She will be missed by her friends, neighbors, pupils, parents of her pupils, colleagues, and family. She is an exceptional person and maybe the reason why God took her first. Her mission in this world had been completed.
Jo, earlier today the rain poured so hard when The Lord’s Prayer was sung. I knew and I felt it was you. You didn’t want to leave yet but Jo, go. Take God’s hand, Jo. You are now in God’s loving embrace. Rest in His arms, Jo. Don’t worry about your daddy and mommy. Your kuya, ate, and pamangkins are there for them. Many people love you, Jo and these people will also be the ones to look after your family for you. Rest in peace, my dear good friend. Claim your place in heaven! 🙂