Friday, November 21, 2008

The Speech From the Funeral Service in San Diego

There was a few requests to post the speech from the funeral service on Saturday in San Diego. I think it has been iterated in different parts of this blog but here it goes:

On behalf of my wife and our family we would like to thank all of you for coming to celebrate the life of Cheryl. I had the opportunity to talk to many of you who may have felt their faith challenged to see such a young, beautiful, intelligent, and spiritual 35 year old woman pass away right at the beginning of her life in a marriage and motherhood. I struggled with that for some time but realized that God has a purpose in life for everyone. I believe my purpose was to be next to her side thru not just the hardships and sorrows but the happiness and joy as well..I believe that she was given the ability to experience so many things with her limited time in this world. Cheryl once told me that she had accomplished so much and felt like she lived a very full life She told me that she had the chance to experience meeting her love of her life and getting married, giving birth to a child, and most importantly touching every single one of your lives and sharing so many memories.. She often told me and her family and friends not to worry. She will be OK. I took Cheryl to the best doctors and hospitals and the best treatments with modern medicine. One of the hardest things for me to deal with is the time she told the doctors in the hospital not to worry her husband will make her better. She wanted me to promise to her that I will do everything I can to give more days to be with us. But when the time came for her to understand it will be “her time” and accept that she will be in a better place.. Her gift to me is not only all the fond memories, our daughter and a new family, but the strength to endure such a difficult time. There were times when I was holding on by the very strings of that strength but was restored by faith and her influence on me. She made me a better man.

A very close and wise friend once told me when Cheryl was hospitalized in her late stages that you will always be fighting a battle. It may be hospitals, medical insurance company, fear of the future, and brain cancer now. But if she makes that transition to heaven you will be fighting to preserve her memory because she will always live on through you, your daughter, and everyone who has ever known her. Cheryl was always more worried about others and did want them to worry about her because she didn’t want them to feel pain and sadness The final gift that she wanted to bestow to every one of you is not to worry, don’t feel that pain for her loss or regrets because she will eternally live with you in spirit and her love will be carried in her hearts. Thank you for sharing the celebration of life of my dear wife Cheryl.


GBMbattle said...

Posted by Levy Dela Cruz Sunico

Before I begin I want to read a poem dedicated to My Dear Cousin Cheryl that signifies her battle with brain cancer.

"God saw you getting tired, and a cure was not to be. So he put his arms around you and
whispered, "Come with me." With tearful eyes we watched you slowly fade away. Although
we loved you dearly, we would not make you stay.
A golden heart stopped beating, your hard-working hands put to rest, God broke our hearts to
prove to us he only takes the best.

My dear cousin Cheryl,

You we're always so passionate about dog's. Standing here today I keep thinking about an incident that occurred a few years back. You were on Palm Ave in South bay when you saw a Syberian Husky in the middle of the road and you called me frantically asking me to help you get the dog so that it wouldn't be hit by a car. You had stopped traffic just to get this dog to safety. I was at work at the time so I couldn't help you. You were ranting about how the drivers were so crazy, they didn't even stop when there was a dog in the middle of the road, and at the time I thought you were the crazy one, stopping traffic like that just to save a dog that didn't even belong to you. But because of you that dog was rescued and you were able to return him to his rightful home. That's the kind of person you've always been Cheryl, the person that helped us find our home.

Growing up, the four cousins were inseparable. (Cheryl,Debbie,Melony and Levy) nothing could come between our tight knit bond and closeness. We experienced many highs and lows together throughout our lifetime. All of these cherished memories and hardships shaped us individually and only strengthened the cousin bond. Though there may have been communication lapses, we always somehow managed to come together and pick up the phone and reconnect as if time had never passed between us, we would always pick up where we left off. Even at times when I felt defeated, I knew I could always count on one of you for love and support. More then often, it was you Cheryl. Again, you helped me find my way home.

When I first arrived to San Diego from Hawaii, it was hard for me to get out of my shell. Insecure over my English(because I only spoke pigeon, A slang used by locals in Hawaii) I kept to myself, but through your constant love and support San Diego became my second home. You were the one who taught me how to drive the crazy freeways,the one I would call to talk to about anything, and you were the one who told me that if I were to ever get lost, to always find the south freeway and head towards Mexico and I'll find my way home. In more ways then one, you have shown me the way home. Growing up we were so close that I know nothing could ever separate us. Even though there were obstacles, like the trip to New York when we got into an argument, nothing has weakened my love for you and life and time has only made our bond stronger. No matter the distance, problems, or heartache, you've always been here. Standing here today I can not help but think about all of the great memories that we have shared and I know that I am who I am and where I am, because you were a part of my life.

This letter and these words can not began to express to you how much you are missed. Not a day goes by where i don't think of you and I wish I could just pick up the phone to call you for advice or to talk to you about nothing and anything and everythings. I frequently listen to your message left on my voicemail back in May of 08' so I can find comfort in your voice. I yearn for the days where we could get together for breakfast,lunch,or even a drink. A lot has occurred in this past year for me but losing you was one of the most difficult and heart breaking. I wish I had told you more often what a genuine, humble, down to earth person you were. You are so beautiful inside and out and you brightened the world around you with your smile and grace. It breaks my heart that God took you from us, especially when the life you longed for was right in front of you, but I take comfort in knowing that this world we live in is just temporary and I know one day you and I will meet again in a place that matches the beauty of you.

Evan, you brought so much happiness and love into Cheryl's life. I remember vividly the first day she shared her "Evan encounter" I've never seen her so happy, excited and hopeful for love. She was just smitten. Evan, we cannot thank you and love you enough for sticking by Cheryl through this long and hard battle when you could've easily given up. You never stopped believing and always instilled hope in all of us. Never leaving her side, I truly believe she survived and fought so hard because of you and Cevan's presence and unwithering love. Cezel(My bestfriend) Shared a story of her last visit with Cheryl. I was so touched that I wanted everyone to know and share how loving and hopeful you were to the very last day. Though Cheryl slept for most of the time during the remaining days, you never missed the opportunity to urge her to fight and let her know she wasn't alone. Cheryl opened her eyes momentarily; Evan rushed to her side and put his face in front of Cheryl's to assure she could see him and softly kept rubbing his nose against Cheryl"s. While repeating "Whose a fighter?" "Whose a fighter?" Evan was so happy and full of love and excitement to see Cheryl open her eyes, not letting the moment slip away.

Evan Cheryl loved you deeply. We love you Evan and no matter what you will always be a part of our Ohana.

Cheryl, until that day comes I thank you for leaving behind a precious gift and legacy in the form of your daughter Cevan. Through her your spirit and presence will forever shine and I vow to you that I will remain colse to her and Evan wherever they may be. Cheryl, although your no longer with us I wanted you to know that I wanted you to be one of my matriant of honor and Cevan as my flower girl for my wedding. I'm so sad you won't be there but, I promise you I will honor you and dedicate my wedding to My papang Ephraim Amodo whom I lost early this year, My father in law Papa Cezar Sunico, and last you my beloved cousin Cheryl.

Although you are gone you will never be forgotten your memories will be in our hearts forever. My dear cousin Cheryl, today we mourn your death tomorrow we celebrate your life and legacy. I Love You Cheryl!!! Till we meet again......

GBMbattle said...

My name is Roberta Cullen and I knew Cheryl when she was at the Sheraton. We served on the Aloha Society of Association Executives Board together and I just loved her! She started a new event for the organization - networking social sessions which were held after our educational sessions. It was such a success that she won the first ever President's Award and she was a hard act to follow. I'll never forget her spirit and beauty (you are right, she was beautiful both inside and out) and also how kind she was. She was also full of life and did what she said she would do. I am so happy that she found you as she deserved a great love.
I am so very sorry for your (and our) loss and I thank you for sharing your and her story on your blog. I will never forget your beautiful wife and I hope that your daughter grows into a wonderful woman, too.