On January 11 we celebrated the transferring of my mom's ashes to the crypt just over a year after her death. It was bittersweet occasion for all of us. It was a reminder of her departure and gave us the sense of closure we needed to push us along accepting she is gone.
It was a beautiful and simple celebration that started with mass at Manila Memorial, followed by the blessing of the crypt and transferring her ashes into the crypt. It was a sunny day and we all sat outside in garden chairs listening to the priest talk about his own personal tragedy of losing his father. When you go through the trial of losing someone close to you, you often feel like you are alone in the world. While the world around you continues to turn, you often feel frustrated that the world doesn't stop for you. It's comforting to hear stories from people who have gone through the same challenges, it reminds us all that we really aren't alone at all.
After Manila Memorial, we all headed over to our apartment for lunch. My family and I have always loved Cibo. Every vacation to the Philippines we would stop at the glorietta branch, which is just across our apartment, to have lunch there. It's quick and easy Italian food. No fuss, just simple pastas, yummy dips and our favorite white or red grape juice shake. My dad raised the idea of asking them to cater and it turned out to be the perfect choice. Although we were initially concerned about fitting 30-40 people in our house, with 2 tables for 10 inside, 1 table for 10 in the balcony along with several cafe tables and cocktail tables sprinkled around it turned out to be perfect with more than enough room.
Cibo's buffet spread was delicious. From a delicious truffle pasta to rosemary garlic beef, thinly sliced, to deep fried stuffed zucchini flowers, everything was presented beautifully and certainly satisfied everyone's appetite. The flowers they provided were beautiful, all white with just a hint of green here and there. My mom always loved arranging flowers and with her excellent eye for color and design, people were always impressed. We wanted to make sure that the flowers would not disappoint her and Cibo certainly rose to the challenge.
The party was filled with family and friends who were close to my mom. We were especially touched that our family friends, the Lais, flew all the way from Vancouver to celebrate the occasion with us. Karla's boyfriend Kendrick flew in from Hong Kong as well. All in all, it was a great gathering, with the wind blowing a cool breeze throughout the apartment. My mom always loved throwing parties, she loved preparing the food, planning the menu, picking the color scheme for the flowers, table cloth and plates. Arranging the buffet table complete with candles and decorative accessories depending on the occasion. I think she would have been thrilled with this one.