Lola Joving, February 15, 1924 – February 9, 2014
May 2005. I just graduated from the University—no job, no money, no bank account even. All I had were big dreams, loads of optimism and a burning desire to make my dreams happen.
One afternoon, Lola handed me Php1,000 as an advanced birthday gift. I was elated! Php1,000 was not a small amount in 2005, and it was just so random that Lola would think of giving me money. A great cook, Lola’s usual birthday gifts to us were something edible, not monetary.
I knew exactly where to spend Lola’s gift. Long story short, it was the money I used to apply for my first ever passport. Mom and Dad didn’t even know that I was applying for one. (You can read the long story here.)
Lola never found out how big of an answered prayer she was to me at that time, or how important her role was in making some of my greatest dreams come true. Her gift took me places, and I’ll forever be grateful for being a recipient of her love and generosity.
March 2012. My husband and I got the surprise of our life when we found out we were having twins. I never expected it, never prayed for it, never crossed my mind. We didn’t know we had twins in the family, and while it was undoubtedly God’s hand that made it happen, we Google-d and analyzed for days how it was biologically possible that we conceived twins.
Two months later we found out that there were indeed twins in my family. Specifically, in my Lola’s side of the family. It was genetic, after all.
Lola and my Dad are now home in heaven, but they left me probably the greatest inheritance they could ever give me: This twin-bearing genes I carry, which gave me Dawn & Rain. In essence, a part of them lives on in my daughters, and someday Dawn & Rain will know that they came from a line of generous, kind, twin-bearing, Jesus-loving people.
A life well lived
This past week was a time of mourning and rejoicing at the same time. My Lola passed away Sunday morning, in her sleep, just like she wanted.
You know, some of the greatest surprises in life are the stories you hear about a person after she has passed away. Good or bad, it’s like getting to know the person in a whole new different light, and you wish there’s more time for you to get to know her even more. We heard a lot of stories about Lola this week from people whose lives she touched, and I couldn’t help but feel sooo proud and blessed that she is my Lola.
She would have been 90 years old today. I will always miss her, but Lola’s life ended the way it should—people praising the Lord for a life well lived, celebrating the happy memories she left behind, and rejoicing for the lives that were changed because of her.
Thank you, Lola, for my passport money. And for Dawn & Rain. And for being instrumental to making some of my greatest dreams come true, even the ones I didn’t know I had.