Friday, August 30, 2019

Living Life to the Fullest – Remembering Eliza Navo-Kalaw (August 11, 1975 - July 30, 2019)

The five of us.
One of the hardest times of life is losing a sibling in their prime. Adding to the grief is seeing the youngest among us gone. However, knowing what she went through and how she exhibited strength while battling cancer in the past six and half years, provided relief. Why? Growing up with Eliza, I saw two distinctive traits: strong character and charm.
I was 12 yo and
she was 6yo.

Our childhood provided many opportunities for developing our individualities. Most importantly, she knew her value in our family and even took advantage of it as the youngest one, both in a good way and in the cleverest way! Her ability in talking her way out of things especially in a bad situation was
With Mom and myself
priceless. In retrospect, she took us all hostage to her charm. Also, adding liveliness to the process resulted in getting what she wanted without any opposition. And that’s a very good problem we all knew we had with her. Simply, it all boils down to this fact: we all had our soft spot for her because we loved her too much.

Eliza loved life and the many adventures it brought her. Illustrating in the many faces of Eliza below, one can observe how she enjoyed living life to the fullest.

Even when faced with a stark reality of approaching death, her ability to impress everyone with cheerfulness was evident. At all times, she never looked back at the “what ifs” but always looked forward to the various “why not?” Any opportunity, however small, became a possibility and even when experiencing pain, her aim was attaining fulfillment with joy. Witnessed by many, her endurance in seeking joy at every moment inspired those around her. Always looking ahead and never giving into being bedridden. Given the chance, even with an ounce of strength, accommodating people was her priority. She loved people and showed generosity in doing so.

Having cheeseburger dinner
with her husband, Stefano.
It was her last meal.
With Evelyn, Arlene,
and Joan.
Throughout her journey, however short it might be, showed courage under pain. She displayed faith at every moment and encouraged others to do the same. She was unstoppable in pursuing the best at every chance she gets and facing the end of her life was no different. Eliza only allowed the positive view of life and the prospect of going home in heaven became her last battle cry. I am certain, given more time; Eliza’s motto of living life to the fullest is something everyone must attain no matter what the cost.

Thank you, Eliza, for imparting your life to many you’ve met and encountered, both personally and professionally. You displayed how one’s life is lived even with death hanging on your head. You’ll never be forgotten and will be remembered for the impact you made.

We’ll meet again in heaven. Enjoy your new adventure there!

Eliza Navo-Kalaw obituary: