Early this morning, my five-year-old Izzy said, "Mommy, what's that above the moon?" It was a giant bright twinkling star. She was so excited that she ran to tell her dad Greg and brought him down to look out the window with her. Izzy said, "It's because Tita Dada died -- That's her!" Last week, Izzy also said that Tita Dada must be happy now because she is with "Great-Lola" and her baby sister Grace that died and lots of other people that love her. Izzy wants to thank Tita Dada for the beautiful quilt, which Izzy always on her bed in her room. We will miss you Tita Dada!
Zenaida A lover, a fighter, a worker, a teacher, a friend. She was all that and more, and up to the very end. Zeny, Dada, Mom, Grandma -- she had many names Whatever you called her, her love was the same. Not tall in stature, yet she was giant in our hearts Her selflessness, her spirit was what set her apart. Could be day or night, you'd know what you're getting A crude joke, sour soup, or that quilt she was knitting The definition of dependable, in sickness and health, She would always, always, put others ahead of herself. And never with hesitation, nor with a shrug or regret: Whatever you had expected, it was more that you'd get. This Filipino showed her adventurous side when she set out To a strange place called Ohio, which she knew little about. Couldn't speak the language, thought 60 degrees was cold. But, even high in the attic, she worked hard and was bold. Became a master of English, plus a chemist extraordinaire, And her friends saw a�" like her family a�" how much she cared. Yet she first didn't care to party that December night in '72. But she went for the ride, and was soon taken for one, too. The driver was a tall gent named Ron, and quick they sped. After a mere two months of courtship, there they were wed. They didn't slow down either, to cultivate the Lanham clan. First Ron Junior, then Mona, then Gina a�" all part of the plan. No, it wasn't easy, to raise three with a husband oft on the road. To cook the meals, shuttle everyone, do laundry load-after-load. And especially after getting sick, being given five years to live, The normal woman might cry at all this and say, "What gives?" No. Zenaida was exceptional a�"she would not even slow down. Offering help and advice, and never dare wearing a frown. What got her through, kept her strong? Only heaven now knows. All we saw was a woman who would smile and would never say no. Proved the doctor wrong, she made her six grandchildren complete, She showed how marriage worked, taught her sister to make pancit. Her thoughtfulness was part of every dish, woven into every stitch. When it came to family and love: She worked hard and was rich. It's not easy for us now, saddled with such a huge loss and pain. But we can take solace that Zenaida herself would never complain. Certainly not about the life that she lived, nor all those she knew, Happy to make every egg roll, every blanket: That's what you do When your spirit is like hers, it lives on -- it just goes and it goes. She'll be with us forever. Her love, like an orchid, continues to grow. by Greg Botelho in memory of Tita Dada
A couple memories stand out when I think about Tita Dada. One is that she absolutely loved her own mother, our Lola. She was fiercely loyal to her husband and kids, and despite her deteriorating health, which presumably was caused by working for years as a chemist, she did not harbor bitterness at life and instead made the best of it. Her quilt tribute to Lola, made out of pieces of Lola's clothing was truly spectacular, a labor of love that makes my eyes tear up even now as I'm writing this. She brought them to Atlanta during Christmas a couple years ago, and I talked talked with her about what it's like to make quilts, how she got into it, and how she chooses the patterns. Stella and I even offered to buy her a quilting machine to make it easier for her to pursue her hobby, but she declined. One of the quilts was a small one with various doll shapes. I told her that that quilt was really special, definitely my favorite of the collection. She sent it to us soon after Christmas, and it's been hanging on a wall in our house ever since, the first wall you face when coming through our front door. I've talked with Miriam, Sarah, and Abby about the quilt occasionally, and we've even talked about learning as a whole family and making quilts. We hope that that's a legacy that Tita Dada would be proud of. Thanks for sharing the funeral service over the webcast. It was especially touching at the end when Tito Ron (as I called him growing up) came up at the end together with JR, Mona, and Gina and their kids. What an awesome family and a powerful image to have the privilege of witnessing. I love you all. Jojo
Many, many years ago, during the 60s, Dada and I drove to a distant church south of Manila to sing at Lolo's Mananita. Mananita is a very early morning serenade for someone in the Cursillo program. It was an overnight trip and without rest I have to drive back home after the visit. Along a highway stretch in a small Fiat car without seatbelts on and no airbags, Dada calmly tapped my shoulder, asking "Sar, are you sleeping?" Yes, I was asleep and driving, but she only followed up with "do you want to rest?" For me, nothing upsets Dada, and she is always calm as far as I can remember since that time. Da, we know you are now in a happy, happy place. With this message, I would like to recognize Ron's long and tireless attention to Dada's care. Thank you Ron for everything you have provided, especially for Dada's comfort and needs. She looks absolutely happy. Cesar
Rest in peace, Tita Dada. I cherish all the happy times I got to spend with you when our great big family shared the holidays together in Atlanta over the years. Your heart of gold always shone through when it came to making sure that everyone was happy :) Whether it was sharing Filipino feasts together or talking and laughing late at night with all the "Titas" or getting to win one of your magnificent quilts at our Christmas auction one year, I count myself lucky that I have so many fond memories of you to look back upon. Know that we all love you dearly, and will keep you in our hearts and prayers forever. Love, Cheri P.S. Say hello to Lola for me :) I hope you'll watch over us always.
Peace of mind is a call away. We’re here when you need us most.
I will miss you very much. I will love you forever. i hope you won't forget about us. Rest in Peace Grandma. Love, Melanie
Mrs. Lanham was our neighbor. she always had a smile on her face, whether it was bringing us something from her garden or chasing her dog that got under the fence. she always had kind words to say to my son. she will be missed by my entire family.
Dear Grandma, I miss you. I love you. When I saw you today, you looked peaceful in your sleep. I will remember you always for the quilts you made me. Love, Brandon Age 9
grandma,i love you soooo very much! i miss you! love forever mary.g.
I am thinking of all of you everyday. I really wanted to be there with you all, and I'm sorry that I couldn't make it. Please know that my love and thoughts are with you- I cannot imagine what you're going through, and I'm praying that you find peace and comfort during this sorrowful time. I imagine her happy and smiling in Heaven with Lola. I am so thankful to have so many fun memories of Tita Dada- I will miss her dearly!! Lots of love, Tina
Please accept our deepest condolences for your family's loss.