Saturday, November 23, 2013 was a beautiful sunny day in San Diego. As we drove down from Murrieta on our way to my parents home in Rancho Penasquitos, I noticed how blue the sky was. There were patches of white clouds, but the sky was in Jayson's favorite color. It had been raining the night before and I was thankful that this day, God provided the perfect weather for Jayson's memorial service. The service was held at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, a brand new church on the hillside of Rancho Penasquitos with a gorgeous view of the eastern mountains.
We had been busy making the final preparations for Jayson's funeral. One of our friends from Couples for Christ (CFC), Joy DeGuzman, offered to make the programs for the mass. So, on Friday, November 22, 2013, we sat down and discussed the design and Joy made many suggestions. I trusted her expertise and I was very happy with the final product. She printed out over 125 copies for the mass and we soon found out that was not enough.
My family and I arrived early at about 12:45 p.m. to help set-up and get organized. My sister, Jannette, and the Miranda family made blue ribbons for everyone to wear. My cousins, brother and other close friends began taking pictures and video taping as people begin to arrive. Sister Joy asked some of our family and friends to help put ribbons on the programs while we waited for the service to begin.
When the hearst arrived with Jayson, the tears and emotions that I had temporarily pushed aside came flooding back. Henry tried to comfort me once again, along with other family members, but I knew this was going to be another emotional day. My wish was to have a memorable service for Jayson that would reflect the beautiful life he lived.
Just before the service was to begin, the pallbearers were gathered for instructions. They were each given white gloves and boutineers to wear. We had selected two honorary pallbearers; one cousin from each side of the family who Jayson was the closest to, Katrina Ermino and Matthew Colada. For the main pallbearers, we selected six of Jayson's dear friends: Joven Isip, Adrian Esteban, Francis Perlas, John Abad, Peter & Philip Miranda.
|Matthew leads the way for his kuya Jayson's pallbearers|
|Honorary pallbearer, Katrina|
When the service began, a cloth was put over Jayson's casket along with a crucifix. Family members formed a line behind Jayson to follow him to the altar. As friends from YFC (Youth for Christ) played and sang the entrance hymn, the procession began led by the altar server, Fr. Robert Spencer (NMCSD) and Deacon Noel Rivera.
|Waiting for the procession to the altar to begin|
|Jesus welcomes Jayson|
My sister-in-law Carole Diola read the first reading from the book of Wisdom 3:1-6. She was followed by Taryn Vinarao who did the responsorial psalm. My brother, Jerrico, read the second reading from the books of Romans: 14:7-9, 10c-12. The Gospel reading from the book of John 14:1-6 was read by Deacon Noel.
|Taryn Vinarao reads the Responsorial Psalm|
|Jerrico Colada shares the second reading|
|Kristen, Keilani & Jayson with the bread & win|
After reciting the Lord's Prayer and offering the sign of peace to each other, the congregation lined up for communion as the song "How Great Thou Art" was sung. This gave our family the opportunity to see everyone who was at the service. Afterwards, the YFC sang "Fearless" during the reflection time. This was one of Jayson's favorite worship song.
|YFC Ramar Bolo leads the singing|
|Taryn Vinarao & Jonathan Lumamba|
|"Dear Jayson" by Tita Net|
When my sister was done, I asked Henry, Justin, Kristen and Keilani to come up and join me as I gave the eulogy. I had written some notes the night before to list what I wanted to share in the eulogy, but as I stood there facing the many people who have walked with Jayson in his journey, I had forgotten some of the stories I wanted to share.
I was nervous and I was trying so hard to give a eulogy that would make Jayson proud that I controlled my emotions too much and failed to just speak from my heart. I know I did thank everyone for their prayers and support and I did share a few stories of Jayson when he was younger, but it was not the eulogy I was hoping for.
After the eulogy, the Final Commendation and Incensation of the Body was done and the recession began as the YFC sang "A Thousand Fold (Go)".
Despite the upbeat music, the recessional was solemn. We made our way out of the church and into the cars to begin the 30 minute drive to Glenn Abbey Memorial Park with police escorts.
We didn't get to talk to many who were there and it was only after reading the list of people ho signed the guest book and looking over pictures that we saw who actually attended Jayson's visitation and memorial service.
If the attendance in Jayson's memorial service is a reflection of his life, then I'd say he lived a life filled with love. Many of our family, friends, co-workers, Jayson's classmates/teachers and hospice personnel attended Jayson's memorial service. Many of Jayson's doctors and other NMCSD staff members were also there to say their good-byes. Jayson was so loved in life and in death.
I was feeling disappointed the morning after the funeral for not being able to deliver the eulogy I'd hope for and that Jayson deserved. Soon after this, I received the following text message from Mai Sciarrata (Jayson's teacher for Pilipino):
"It was the first funeral I attended here in America. Came across this recently, 'a well lived life brings a blessed death.' Your eulogy was so unselfish. I'm so proud of you and Jayson for sure had a big smile the whole time."
I couldn't help but cry after reading her timely text. I immediately replied back to Mrs. Sciarrata, telling her that I had been feeling guilty and thinking I didn't do as great of a job as I could have on the eulogy. So her message meant a lot to me. It was as if her message came directly from Jayson. Was this another coincidence? I don't believe so. Somehow I knew that Jayson was still showing his concern for me.
We have experienced a range of emotions since Jayson's funeral and we are still taking life one day at a time. I have been busy working on Jayson's photo memory book these past 3 weeks. I have uploaded many pictures to the Glen Abbey website that you can access by searching Jayson's name. In a few days, I plan to write about the actual burial service and will include more pictures.
I haven't decided whether I will continue with this blog or not. For now, I will pray about it and let God lead me. Thank you for reading this blog and now sharing our family's journey. May God continue to bless each of you.