To my dearest husband and comrade

(Read by Comrade Julie de Lima during the last farewell ceremonies for Ka Joma in Utrecht, The Netherlands, Dec. 27, 2022)

I was with you in the last few hours of your life. It pained me seeing you suffer so I asked the attending doctor to ease your pain and give you morphine. I hoped it would help but I still could see you straining with pain as I watched the rise and fall of your chest. And I wished so hard that I could breathe for you. But my wish was not to be.

And so you took your last breath. Now you are relieved of pain. And now the pain is with me and forever will be. It squeezes my heart every time I breathe. And it will always until I join you.

The projects we were supposed to finish keeps me going. I have all the help I can get from our comrades and friends. They give me comfort and company every day.

And you left so many notes for writing projects that we planned, including requested interviews you had no more time to answer. And so, these will never be written as I cannot do all these without you.

Love bound us on the day we got to know each other. It is love that binds us and to our four children and two grandchildren, to our comrades and friends and the people whom we have served all our lives.

I shall always love you. I shall always feel your presence with every breath I take, in the air that I breathe, in the sunlight that shines on me, in the water that I drink, on the ground on which I tread, and in all the things I do.

I love you as you loved me, your children and grandchildren, and the Filipino people that you served with determination to your very last breath and even beyond as the following notes you left on your writing pad in almost illegible handwriting.

Notes (for a poem)

It is unfair that an entire society

Is called capitalist and yet so few

Can call themselves capitalists

And look down on the rest of the people.

It is outrageous

That the capitalists boasts

Of being the real creators

Of the wealth created by labor.

It is simply unjust and revolting

That the capitalists dishonor dead labor

To usurp power and wealth

And dominate and exploit living labor.

It is best to fight for a society

Where everyone can call oneself

Like others as socialists

And live with honor in equality.

I have spoken in behalf of all our children. We all are devastated by your passing and they wish to bear their grief in privacy, thus, they are not here with me today.

I Wish to Be Taken for Granted

I wish to be taken for granted
Like the wind that you breathe
Like the sunlight on your face
Like the ground at your feet
Like the water that you drink.

I wish to be taken for granted
Like birdsong lofted by the breeze
Like wood on fire for your comfort
Like the grass greening the fields
Like the silent swan afloat on the pond

I wish to be taken for granted
Like the workers in the factories
Like the tillers in the farms
Like those who dwell in schools
Like those who recreate the world.

I wish to be taken for granted
But I shall smile with satisfaction
If some people sometimes remember
That I did what I could in my time
To add to what is now commonplace.

One new generation after another
Shall create new ideas and new things
To surpass the feats of the past
There are no limits but the sky,
The sun, the earth and the waters.

July 25, 2012

As my tribute to my dear husband and father of our children, I adopt the resolution of the Second Congress of the Communist Party of the Philippines, “Great communist thinker, leader, teacher and guide of the Filipino proletariat and torch bearer of the international communist movement” on November 7, 2016.

As we grieve his passing, let us turn our grief into revolutionary courage and resolve with ever greater determination to continue the struggle for national democracy until the Filipino people win their victory and proceed to socialist construction and revolution.

Let Ka Joma live in the victory of the struggle.