Friday, April 25, 2014

In Loving Memory of Ankong Papa...

The blog silence ends to honour the memory of my beloved grandfather Ankong Papa...

On the evening after celebrating Christ's victory over death, we received word from half a planet away: After a life well-lived, Ankong Papa had taken his final breaths here on earth and stepped into the everlasting arms of Jesus. 

And what we had just celebrated over the weekend - this story of an empty grave - waits to be put into practice. Because believe it - the Resurrection means that this news is not supposed to be sad, but part of our Heavenly Father's perfect plan. 

But of course, this side of eternity, it's so hard to understand, to grapple with the fact that we won't see Ankong Papa the next time we visit the Philippines, that there will be no new pictures, no more phone calls or Facetime, no birthday cards that somehow get mailed so they arrive exactly on the day.

And so this week is full of tears and grief, as we try our hardest to cry less and celebrate the life of our dearly loved father and grandfather.

Many girls remember their grandfather for many different things. I've spent most of my life half a world away from my grandfather, and growing up, I often thought I had few memories with him.

Yet as of late, and as I scanned photo after photo after photo this week, I've realized how thankful I should be for the many fond memories of Ankong Papa that I will have to cherish.

One of our last photos together, during our most recent trip to the Philippines.

I will always remember my grandfather for the man whose courage and determination is the reason for so much of who I am.

I'll remember an avid basketball fan.

I'll remember the little kid he was, deep down inside:

Looking back on pictures made me realize what a great smile Ankong Papa had. :)

I'll remember the screaming-loud phone calls my dad had with him because of the combination of terrible long distance and Ankong's hearing problems. ;)

I'll remember him as pretty much the only reason why I understand Chinese.

I'll remember our language-barriered conversations. 'Cause it should work since I understand Chinese and he understands English, but somehow that theory never worked in practice. Ha. [And so I'm so very thankful that the next time we talk, we'll speak the same language. :)]

I'll remember his crazy sharp memory.

I'll remember him by birthday cards I've kept from when I turned 7 and 8 [because, as I just found out as my dad, aunts and uncles are sorting through some of his things, I inherited my pack-rat-ness from Ankong Papa. ;)] and my Chinese name [which I should really learn how to write!].

I'll remember Ankong Papa's quiet simplicity and steady peacefulness.

All in all, I'll simply remember my grandpa who I loved dearly and I already miss very much. It's odd to think that he won't be in his house next time we visit, or that I won't have to mail him my grad photo next year.

But I know that while he'll be dearly missed, one of Jesus' greatest gifts to us was that I won't have to miss Ankong Papa forever. 

And so - I am deeply thankful.


  1. Praying for you and your family, Alyssa. "On this side of eternity it is so hard to understand"- yes. But the beauty is we don't have to understand, just trust Him. He makes all things new. How glorious will be the day when we will see face to face those we love- no language barriers, no geological barriers, just sweet fellowship with our family in Christ and our Maker. Cherish the memories and the legacy. Rest in His love and peace.
    Love you, sister. xo

    1. Thanks Abigail! It's been a tough time but it's also been a time of just sweet trusting in God, beautiful memories and time to really appreciate each other as a family. :) Thanks for your beautiful words of encouragement. xo

  2. May God be with you and your family during this difficult time. I lost my grandfather earlier this winter so I know a little of what your going through. Prayers-Marilyn


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