Last night my mom’s only living sibling passed away. She was 92 years old. I’m so grateful that Mark and I got the chance to visit with her last April when we went to Cebu. She’s the sister closest to mom. Now mom is the only one left. The thought makes me sad. Then again, mom is the youngest of 15, so it makes sense that she would be the last to go. They were three sisters in a row, the Tres Marias as mom liked to say. Every year up until the mid 80s, mom would send for her two Marias and they would stay with us in our family home. Mom was the youngest but she was the bossiest. Her two Marias are now gone. Tita Henying left this world last night at 92. She was, by far, the longest living among her siblings. The sister before her, Tiya Marcosa passed away in 2019 at 91.
Tita Henying had been in the hospital for the past ten days. Two days ago, her favorite niece Mildred returned home from the US after an unplanned trip to condole with our widowed cousin Linda in California. Inday Mildred was the niece closest to Tiya Henying. They lived together in the family compound, and Tiya was Inday Mildred’s second mom. It was, as if she had just waited for her to arrive and then she passed on.
Among all my aunts, Tiya Henying was the quietest, the gentlest, and the sweetest. Like all her sisters, she had a funny bone, and could be pretty stubborn too. She was still sharp as a tack when I last saw her in April. Tiya, remained single, and her life was spent by loving and serving her family. Pretty sturdy, she fractured both her arms on different occasions in her eighth decade of life. She powered through both times.
Life expectancy today is now in the 80s. When you reach your 90s those are bonus bonus years and it’s expected that the last decade is like a prolonged “end of life” season as your body begins to wind down and prepare for its transition into its forever home.
Today I give thanks to the Lord for Tiya’s long and happy life. I give thanks for her good death. Entering heaven’s gates where I’d like to think her 13 siblings all welcomed her. I give thanks for having been able to spend time with her a few months ago. With our super senior elders we really can’t ever tell when the Lord will call them home.
Rest in our Father’s embrace now Tiya. You have served and loved our family so well. We will miss you but we are grateful for all the years that God lent you to us. We will see you again someday. ❤️🙏🏼
Virginia Yuson Sanchez
June 28, 1930 – July 10, 2022