This morning, at 1:45 am, Monday, February 25, 2013, my loving grandfather, my Lolo, Victor Manzano, passed away. My father and I were at his bedside when he made one last face and he stopped breathing. Earlier in the evening, he was sleeping after some medication was given, and was holding my sister’s hand. Though under meds, he resisted a bit every time she slightly moved away. She had to use the restroom eventually and I took her spot. She left at about 11:30 pm last night.
I set up my bed of two hospital chairs facing each other next to Lolo’s so I can continue to hold his hand as I slept. The middle of his palm started feel cold and he didn’t grip my hand as much when I pulled away a bit. I was able to sleep a bit but my Papa wasn’t able to. Around 1:40 am, the monitor made beeps and his repertory rate was decreasing. Unfortunately I had to let go of his hand so the three nurses that came in could look him over. Then he was gone.
I will write more later but to sum it up, I cannot believe he’s gone. I have only had my heart broken one other time before, this is the second time. But I have a new angel watching over me for the rest of my life.
Mahal kita, Lolo.
My eulogy from the viewing on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at Connolly & Taylor
in Martinez, California.
“My Lolo. Victor Manzano. A man that has touched all the lives of people in this room and those across the ocean in the Philippines that cannot be with us during this time. Thru each one of us, his memory will live on forever. The Manzano name will carry on and his characteristics such as his drive, determination, courage, strength, loyalty, great sense of humor and contagious smile has been passed onto his three successful sons, his six smart grandchildren and his two beautiful great grandsons, Brent and Sol. He has been married to my beautiful Lola, Victoria, for 62 years. Whether he’s screaming at the television over a boxing match in the other room, or being stubborn and not letting me wash dishes when I visit, she’ll shake her head and say, “Oh, you’re Lolo.” They call each other “Mi” and “Di”. It’s short for Mommy and Daddy. And the first time I ever saw them kiss was at their 50th wedding anniversary celebration in 1999. I was 18. There were many clinking of knives to glasses that day so there was a whole lot of kissing going on.
I personally have so many memories of Lolo. His priorities in his life were his family and his faith. As kids, he used to take Melyssa and I bike riding near the house way before there was ever a Costco or Wal-Mart there. He used to fry me eggs for breakfast, pick me up from school when I lived with my dad, even met with my teacher when they thought I was cheating on my spelling test. Shhhhh, my dad doesn’t know. Now that I think about it, I don’t think my mom does either. He probably didn’t want me to get into trouble. We’d watch Knight Rider and Magnum P.I. together, and we used to do the rosary at 7 PM every night when we stayed with them during the summer. He hated it when I would leave the house with my hair still wet. He’d always want me to cover my head and make sure I pop the hood of my car when I arrive for a visit to ventilate my engine. We used to joke that every time we visit, he spends more time with our cars than us! But he had our safety in mind. Such a caring Lolo he is, our personal mechanic. He calls the garage opener the ‘transmiter”, always has his clear container with the green twist top full of ‘biscuits’ – aka saltines, pronounced ‘bagel’ as Bah-gal, he ate Cheerios with Ovaltine, loves Sweet & Sour Pork, we shared a love for broccoli and the 49ers, and he always kept to his schedule for everything.
As his youngest granddaughter, let’s be honest, I’m a brat. Difficult and stubborn as a child and …now. I’m sorry Lola and Lolo had to endure me as a high school student when we lived with them. Teenagers are a pain. But I am glad I had the opportunity to get closer to them. He loved me regardless of my unbalanced hormones and a young girl dealing
with her first love. He even braced himself while in the car to and from church when I had my driver’s permit. I remember him pumping the brake pedal he wishes he had on the passenger side. And as an adult, he let me live my life. But he sure did voice his concerns. I just hugged him tight, smiled, and told him not to worry. I knew that he would always pray for me and my well-being, even if he thought I was making a wrong decision.
He is obviously loved and adored by so many people. He had many visitors and was a favorite among the nurses at the hospital. Named the sweetest patient. One nurse named Sigue came in and said she just had to meet him. He was the talk of the floor. And he was definitely a sweetheart. How could you not think that with that big, warm smile and rosy cheeks? BUT, I have to say it took soooo long for him to tell me he loved me. When I would leave him, I would say, I love you, Lolo. And his response: pat me on my shoulder because he wouldn’t wrap his arms entirely around me as I hug him and say “Ok…….” I’d protest and demand an explanation why he won’t say it back! He just looked at me, smiled and basically left me hanging. It entertained him. Perhaps it was payback for me knowing his ticklish spot: his tummy. I’d quickly tickle him as I walk by. When I’d threaten to tickle him, he’d smile real big, defend his stomach with both hands, slowly back away from me and say “no, no, no, no”. Over the past couple of years, he did respond with ‘I love you’ and since then, he never held back. And I’m glad. And I’m also glad I got a few tickles in as well.
Lolo, I love you and miss you terribly. Thank you for always being there for me, for loving me unconditionally, for making me laugh and smile, and for always watching over me, now and forever. I am honored to carry your blood in my veins, to be a Manzano and your granddaughter. You feared that I will be alone. I will never be alone. Because you are always going to be with me: in my heart, my thoughts, my prayers and in my dreams. People know me as a Daddy’s girl, but I’m a Lolo’s girl as well. Rest now, Lolo, and enjoy paradise. I love you.
Thank you, Everyone, for coming and paying your respects to such an amazing man in my life.”