Thursday, 19 January 2017

My cousin Gerald

This is my cousin, Gerald. The photo was taken on December 17, near Hong Kong.




Gerald lived and worked in Moncton, New Brunswick, one of Canada's Maritime provinces. He was from a little hamlet just outside of Saint John. Gerald was my first-cousin, once-removed; that is, his grandmother, Sittoo in Lebanese, and my mother, were sisters, his mother being then, my first cousin. He was also half Irish, and seemed to become, through his friends and his cooking, an honourary Filipino.

I've not seen Gerald since we were young, my not travelling to New Brunswick in too many decades and Gerald not to Toronto. But we kept in touch on Facebook and mostly, he just let me win the argument. 

Gerard's funeral was held yesterday at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Rothesay. 

Gerald died on December 21. He was on vacation in Asia and was in the Philippines on a beach in Casiguran with friends. A storm came up and a woman in the water was in crisis, struggling and drowning in rough water. 

Bearing more the physical resemblance of Vox, than an Olympic swim champion, Gerald ran into the water in spite of the protests of his friends. I am told that he shouted, as he ran to the water, "well somebody has to save her."

Both perished. 

Gerald's body was finally returned home to New Brunswick and to his beloved parents Dolores and Frank a few days ago. May they, and Gerald's siblings, be comforted at this time by the words of Our Lord:


"Greater love hath no man than this;
that a man lay down his life for his friends."

Eternal rest, O Lord, grant unto the soul of Gerald and may perpetual light shine upon him. 


May he rest in peace. Amen.



30 comments:

Oakes Spalding said...

"Well, somebody has to save her." Heroes don't walk around wearing capes. They simply respond when needed. That was a great eulogy, Vox. The story was sad but also inspiring. I didn't witness what happened. It sounds like not many people did. But God saw it.

Anonymous said...

condolence. may gerald rest in peace.

and thanks for your work. reading it everyday here in the philippines.

God bless you!

Anna Everskemper said...


Eternal rest, grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May s/he rest in peace. Amen.

Dave Heath said...

My sincere condolences, my Friend. I will remember to pray for the Repose of his Soul at tonight's Rosary, as well as for his and your family...

Vox Consolatoris said...

Prayers are and will continue to be offered for the repose of his soul. What a way to go. That line will define him: "Someone has to save her." Like the line from the Four Cardinals toward the Church. May Gerald's selfless death purify him and may he intercede for the Cardinals today.

I had a Sitto too said...

What a hero! What a MAN!

May both souls rest in eternal peace.

Anonymous said...

Don says

I am sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

May they rest in peace... Amen!

Ana Milan said...

R.I.P. Gerald & condolences to you Vox & the other members of his family. Very sad indeed!

TLM said...

May he rest in the peace of Christ! AMEN

Aged parent said...

Thanks for letting us know about this, Vox. There still are a few men left in the world.

Kathleen1031 said...

When God made man, this is what He surely intended, that man should lay down his life for his friends, and be courageous. Here we have a man and he's gone to his reward. Eternal rest, grant unto them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
I will remember them both in my prayers.
I'm so sorry for your family's loss Vox, and for our loss.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. What a heroic death! May he rest in peace and may God's perpetual light shine upon him.

Toronto Catholic

susan said...

Courage indeed runs in your family. May God bless and rest his soul.

Sandpiper said...

May you be comforted. May his memory be cherished.

Enrolling Gerald in the Rorate Caeli purgatorial society. May he have Eternal Refreshment.

Osusanna said...

Tears Vox. No greater love. Prayers for you and family.

Bear said...

May eternal light shine upon him. I will remember him in my prayers.

DJR said...

Eternal memory, eternal memory, blessed repose and eternal memory.

Dorota Mosiewicz-Patalas said...

Thank you for sharing this.
May he rest in peace, may God bless your family.

Steve D said...

Vox, very sorry for your loss...

Barona said...

Vox, May God grant eternal rest to Gerald's noble and brave soul. I shall keep him in my prayers.

Dymphna said...

May he rest in peace. May perpetual light shine upon him.

“His life was gentle; and the elements
So mixed in him, that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world, THIS WAS A MAN!” William Shakespeare

Matt said...

"Well, somebody has to save her." This is how a man dies. This is how a man LIVES! Gerald was tested by fire and found to be more precious than gold. By God's grace may we learn to live as Gerald died.

Anonymous said...

So sorry for your loss. Sounds like Gerald was a wonderful man. Prayers for you and your family.

~Christine

Mike Poulin said...

Peace and blessings to you and your family.

Sofia said...

Dear David...
I see that bravery runs in your family... Be assured of my prayers for Gerald's soul as well as prayers for you and your family...
God love you, your wife and your family,

Sofia

raphaelheals said...

How touching. What comfort for Gerald's loved ones that he died imitating his Christ. How comforting for GERALD that he died imitating his Christ! He probably lived the most normal of lives.....and then he was given the grace to shine in bravery and then he was gone. Rest in peace Gerald....oh and could you please pray for us who are still here on the battlefield please.

Kathleen1031 said...

And I must say, he looks like such a sweet, sweet man. Heartbreaking.

Anonymous said...

AMEN.

Only chaste and Immaculate Virgin, who gave birth to God without seed, intercede before Him for the salvation of his soul.

Theotokion, Panakhyda

Anonymous said...

An example, a hero, may he rest in our Lord's presence.