All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day are my second favorite holiday of the year for the following reasons: family reunions, meeting and catching up with friends, kakilala everywhere, the wall na ginigiba during this time of the year only just to give way to private vehicles (yes, I like this part so much, laking tulong!), and buhay na buhay ang lugar ng mga patay.
This year is Troy’s third All Souls’ Day in heaven. Every year, his grave is filled with flowers and candles from family and friends. This year, his HS classmates went a day before November 1st and it made us happy that they never forget about my brother. It makes us feel that even in a short amount of time that they spent together in school, Troy had managed to touch each and everyone’s lives. One of his classmate’s mother told my mom that, “Maski hindi ko kilala si Gerald. Mahal ko siya. Bilib na bilib ako sa kanya.” We were so moved by those few words.
Mitch Albom mentioned in his book, “Have a Little Faith,” that people are afraid of dying because they are afraid to be forgotten. In Troy’s case, he is not forgotten, he will never be. Just like what happened months ago, while having grocery, me and my mom saw one of the student’s parents from SJS. She asked mom if how’s Troy now. She was so shocked and sad when she heard that Troy passed away. She said that, “Kahit wala na kami sa St. Joseph, naalala pa rin namin siya.”
I can’t put into words how I feel whenever I hear a non-relative say that Troy inspired them. In behalf of my parents and family, thank you to all of your love and care for my brother. Troy has done his part in this world, and that is to inspire all of you. May his story live in our hearts forever.