Dreaming of a Mango Farm

Last week I was feeling nostalgic and a bit sad. My lolo and lola (Filipino grandpa and grandma) have both passed away and I think that as time passes…I start to realize how young they really were. While grieving, I don’t think that I ever fully processed how the change would affect my life or that they would never meet my own children. My lola passed away a little over two years ago and she was only 74. I remember when I was twelve or thirteen she told me that our family’s farm in the Philippines was holding a logo contest and encouraged me to enter. I don’t really remember if I submitted anything but she later decided it wouldn’t be fair since I was family. So last week I decided to Google it. Sure enough, I found Rosa Farms. I figured I wouldn’t find anything interesting but as soon as I clicked over to the About page and I couldn’t help but smile. My great-grandparents! How beautiful were they? It was like a little scrapbook that I never knew about. Photos of their home, their farm, and what it is today. I felt a sense of pride seeing my maiden name, Jocson, and at that moment I wished I could have called my lola to hear more stories. I did, however, text my dad a screenshot and said, “Hey look! That’s your name!”

For some reason, this whole discovery really stuck with me. I was telling Adam that weekend that I tend to embrace independence…moving to Ohio and getting married young, working for myself, and not really digging into where I came from. I’m sort of rambling now but I do think it’s important that we stop and remember that our great grandparents, grandparents, and parents worked really hard to help us get to where we are. I need to take advantage of all the time I do have with my own parents, family and friends. I need to ask questions and listen to stories. It’s enriching.

Here are two photos that I have of my lolo and lola (I even make a cameo in the left photo). Such beautiful people. I want to take a trip to the Philippines with Adam sometime in the near future.

Where do you come from? How do you stay rooted in your heritage? How do you stay connected with family despite distance?

April 3, 2012