‘We wish her well, as she leads a conga line of angels and saints’ | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

(Eulogy delivered at the Soccorro “Cottie” Donato-Pantaleon  funeral service, White Plains, QC, Friday, June 17)

Thank You. My name is Tinoy Lichauco and I have had the honor of having Cottie as mother-in-law for 21 years, by virtue of having married her daughter, Rubi.

Our beloved Soccorro Donato-Pantaleon, always the businesswoman. God gives her 75 years on this earth and somehow she packs 100 years of living into it. That’s a 25-percent patong, tax-free!

So how did she do it? What was her secret? That’s what we’d all like to know. Based on my observations, I’d say a big part of it was the way she lived a life without fear.

Oh sure, she would be afraid of some things, like mga kapre and mga multo. When she’d visit us in Boston, she’d say, “Hindi ba kayo tumitingin sa ilalim ng kama ninyo?”

“Bakit?” I’d reply. “Puro alikabok lang naman diyan.”

“Hindi, baka may mama diyan.”

But for the things that really counted, she had, essentially, no fear. In fact, you could almost say she led a life of reckless abandon.

For example, who else would have the nerve to chase down an airplane to find the airport, and to drive the wrong way down a busy California freeway while doing so?

My friends, if that plane had not been coming in for a landing, if it had instead been taking off to cross the Pacific, we would have been here celebrating this Mass 25 years ago.

But, no, because evidently God had more for her to do in this world.

I sometimes picture each one of us as a window with heaven on one side and earth on the other. And it’s through these windows, through each one of us, that God’s light can enter and illuminate this darkened world. Like the windows right here in this church, some are grimier than others, some smaller than others. Yet there are a few people among us who are like picture windows of the clearest glass through which God’s light can enter the world in all its brilliance and glory. Cottie was one of these people.

Last weekend, around this time, many of us were busy attending graduation parties. God must have planned such a party for a favorite angel, who had just graduated into a set of wings. He needed a real leader, someone who could liven up the party. And so, he reaped what he had sown on this earth 75 years ago.

We gather here today to wish her well, as she shakes her maracas, and bangs her drum, her hair adorned with flowers of purple, leading a conga line of angels and saints and heavenly hosts as it snakes its way around the throne of God. And we do so knowing that we, too, will one day join in that eternal dance.

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