She was the “big” woman of the house with a commanding presence that tells you “You better behave!”. But it is not out of fear, but a complex mix of her personality that draws you to her. She was Rosita Diaz Lasco. Just a mention of her name triggers a heaviness that brings tears to my eyes. She died a week ago and I just miss her – my mother-in-law.
I married her eldest son when we were yet juniors [LR(1] in UPLB. Suddenly all hopes of a bright future for her son were crushed. Surely, it was not an easy emotion to dealt with. Yet, even in the early years of our marriage, I only felt a welcoming hand. She lovingly took care of our daughter in support of our studies. We lived with Inay Rosing and the rest of her family for two years.
Through the years – and two sons later – she walked side by side with us in the ups and downs of life. Our common Christian faith sealed the bond between us. I saw her personality softening up which overflowed with love and generosity. Before, I wondered why she chose to retire early from teaching – though teaching was her passion and she became one of the Kiwanis Club’s outstanding teachers in San Pablo City. When I gave birth to my three children, she was with me in the delivery room. Whenever i called, she would answer, whenever we visited, she would welcome us with a warm bear hug. It became clear to me that she retired early because she wanted to give her children the best gift – her [LR(2] gift of time.
She, who was not fond of cooking, developed her signature dishes when she retired. She delighted us all with a lavish spread of her delicious cooking every time we visited, complete with take-outs.
Her house became the summer destination of all her nine grandchildren. A stickler for cleanliness, she did not mind the chaos and dirty floors. She would order a cubic meter of sand every summer for her grandchildren to make “putik river” – never mind the water bill, and the board and lodging cost of nine rambunctious kids.
Her champoy business, which she established when she was 70 years old showcased her generous spirit. “I am not really concerned about profit. Just to get-by is enough.”, she often said. So she did not mind giving away her champoy [LR(3] products to everyone who dropped by. When friends and relatives came to buy, they would get more than what they paid for.
Rosita Diaz Lasco was a diamond. Her faith in Christ as her Savior and Lord refined her character. She was an outstanding teacher. But her best lessons were not taught in the classroom but lived-out in the everyday: Expressive love, Desire for Excellence, and Abounding Generosity. Oh the grace to have them in our hearts! Only then can we say, she never left us at all.
[LR(1]Don’t capitalize po