In Memory of Juanita Nolasco
Passed away peacefully at home on July 19, 2021 after a lengthy illness, and a much longer life.
Beloved mother of Cris (Rose), Merlie (James), Dahlia, Constante (Cecile), Jose Jr. (Marilyn), Yvonne, and Jerie Lynn (Rody)
Affectionately known as Lola, she is survived by 22 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren and 6 great-great-grandchildren in Canada, the United States, China and the Philippines.
When all of the stories are told by all of us who knew her, it is the small acts of simple kindness we share, the acts of very great sacrifice we remember.
We remember a simple heart, pure and without malice for anyone she ever met, whether in the tragedy of war, or throughout her many long years of a peace that was far from free of hardship and loss. We remember her patience, her faith and her endurance.
Through it all, she gave quiet thanks for every act of kindness received. She asked nothing for any kindness given.
Later in life, travelling with family across four continents, far from the land she once called home, she accepted every new people she met, everyone of every race she encountered, as part of the human race, a race which everyone wins.
Her children, grand and great, remember her gentle humour, her sly, quiet little tricks, and a pinch of her correction. She loved them all always. And as her children and grandchildren grew to maturity themselves, she treasured every great-great new life she lived to see them add to her family through the generations and generations.
As her days dimmed, and her memory faded, her body failed, too, till she seemed no thicker than a shadow lying across her bed. She still dreamed. She dreamed she was in a very beautiful place with her own beloved mother, taken from her in youth. Jesus was there with four large angels.
But she told us she had dreamed before that she had a mission to complete before she accepted his invitation to be with him and his angels there in that very beautiful garden. No one new then what the mission of someone so sick could be.
We saw her lips moving slowly in a laboured prayer, mouthed with a silent eloquence only God could hear. A caring touch, a sip of water became precious moments together. And her small quiet smile of gratitude for music played gently, and with love, said far more than any loud shout or rousing song of her youth.
So, now we remember our Lola. It means grandmother in her mother tongue. We remember Mama. Everyone knows what that means. We remember our Mama-Lola with the same burning, undying love she passed on to each of us to share, with her and with one another, through the generations and the generations.
That was her mission throughout her life. That was her mission unto death, and now forever beyond.
She gave us the opportunity to care for her, as she cared for us. And that was a very great gift.
Heartfelt thanks to every palliative doctor, nurse and support worker who helped make that possible.
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