I never heard Mariel laugh so heartily, except on that day when I had told her at the hospital that I have decided to make her quit her job at the Bangko Sentral to make her finally pursue her passion for flowers. I said she can have her flower shop and maybe her little garden too as soon as she gets well. We were in the hospital because Mariel was just diagnosed with interstitial lung issues brought about by an undifferentiated connective tissue disease a few weeks before.
Was Mariel’s exuberance out of a sense of relief that she can at last follow her dream career ? Or was it simply because she knew that perhaps I was just idly boasting?…For she knew that at the moment I had neither the resources nor the know-how to make this dream come true. I think it’s probably more of the latter. But then, I guess I will never really know, because Mariel had passed away four days later on Sept. 20, 2007. She nevertheless left me the joy of her life and her life-long vocation, our talented and lovely daughter Samantha.
Some people say that no one lives forever except through the hearts of people. I know too that wonderful memories left behind by someone so special as Mariel, seen from many other people’s stories of how their lives were touched by her, will always remain with us.
Mariel’s Garden is such a place. A place to share or to receive. A place to grieve, because Mariel’s life with us was much too short for what she can give. To heal, as it could eventually lead to our acceptance of God’s perfect plan for her … for us. In Mariel’s Garden, one may find some comfort as it could be the place to celebrate life and know how to really love. “To find one’s happiness in the happiness of another.”
I lost my partner, my teacher, my best friend and loving mother to our 9- year old daughter to a strange and cruel illness. But I want the world to know that while Mariel has left us for a far better place, her spirit of giving lives on through her words, deeds and the countless individuals and friends, who one time or another, have been touched and will be touched by her unwaivering spirit through this Blog.
Mariel’s zest for life and love of flowers continues to live on through this Garden. A promise made, a promise kept. For Mariel is too well- loved to ever be forgotten.