How does one start when writing about a woman who's life was filled with many interesting chapters through the years, facets so varied that so many lives have been touched in some way or another, enriching them with gems of wisdom GYN loved to share?
We start by working backwards. I would like to chronicle and share her life one decade at a time. If you have met GYN anytime this past decade, you would have met a small, frail looking, white haired (sometimes hennaed brown) woman with wide eyes, almost unwrinkled skin.
Yesterday,Monday, August 25th, 2008 at 5:05pm CST, she passed away peacefully after a short struggle with pneumonia. Patricia and I, along with number one grandson Anamite (Noel Angelo), Kylie (her granddaughter she left Manila for) Mite's wife Dawn, grandneice Lita Rebodos, watched as she fought the ventilator mask which at her frailness seemed to be a fear instead of an aid to keep her breathing. The decision to change to care, comfort and dignity came when no improvement showed with the treatments made as the pneumonia was far too rabid and invaded her whole lung system. She would not have wanted to be intubated and be a "living vegetable".
In the surreality of it all, it has been her teachings and being exposed to her quirky thoughts as we were growing up that helped me and Patty deal with her final moments. All the afterlife, near death and death bed lore and readings and paranormal genre that she shared with us, helped us deal with this particular moment.
That she was hanging on, I was driving back from work with Kylie, and was thinking"who is holding on to her?" and at that moment, Patty called me frantically asking to give the go signal to change from ventilator to the oxygen thingy and that mom was having an episode struggling and asking "Help me, I don;t know what to do!" and then said Kylie's name. KYLIE! I turned to my daughter and realized that it was baby Kylie who did not want to let go, more strongly than me, as I just wanted some more time to think. But Kylie was adamant and she was holding on to her Lola in her heart and mind. Through tears and chiding, I kept telling her, say good bye Kylie, look at her, she wants to go! I also wanted to wait for the evening when the other "apos" Bambi, JB and Migay got there to make this change but mom's struggles with the mask were too painful to watch. Within 10 minutes of the change from mask to regular oxygen, after readings of Psalm 23 both by Dawn and Lita, and with Kylie reluctantly letting go, mom sneezed twice and we all chorused "Bless You!" each time, she looked around and then was gone, asleep, smooth faced, at peace. Anamite was choking as he read Be Not Afraid.
Gone was this frail looking but actually, strong woman with a mighty interesting and colorful life.
A woman who raised two kids in an unorthodox way, raised 5 grandkids as if they were hers, and "lambinged" and held 5 great-grandkids with pride and love.
A woman who was ahead of her time when she was trend setting cakes, food and lifestyle in the Philippines.
She came with nothing and left with nothing but touched many lives with a richness of gems of wisdom, lifestyle, thought forms and philosophies.
Gloria Yandoc Galang Nichols, February 25, 1917 to August 25, 2008.
- wife, mother of 5, lola(grandma)of 5,joined facebook and still wonder why friend, cook, baker, decorator,daughter,sister, Mrs.A'sCupcakes&Cookies Virgo Year of the Snake St. John's Academy 1970 University of the Philippines BSHRA I'm afraid to admit this, but oh well, Jack of all Trades, master of some. Football fan. Totally. Mrs. A's Cupcakes & Cookies, my latest venture.