Family Members in California

My Dearest Friends & Family,

Thanks so much everybody for being there for me and my brothers and their family! The Phone calls, e-mails and outpouring of support. Mama's passing was so sudden. It was a shock to everybody. Your presence and your support during those difficult times I will forever be grateful for.


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My uncle Rene, My cousin's Mark & Roy


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My cousin Abby and her hubby Allen .

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My uncle Mike, my cousin Michelle & Myself.




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Some of my family in California



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Uncle Mike, My niece's daughter, Erickson, Cherylyne, Richard (with their friend) & Ben..


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My cousin Mike and his Girlfriend


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My niece Cherylyne - what would I have done without you?



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Auntie Getty, Me, Auntie Angie & Uncle Rene.


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Auntie Getty, Jerry, Auntie Angie & Uncle Rene.

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Allen, Me, Dad Jerry, Michelle, Auntie Getty & Uncle Rene. When we saw the Picture, Michelle had goosebumps. I was happy though. It was like Mama's energy was there and she was trying to say goodbye too.

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Thanks to all my love ones in the US. Love you all!


In Canada . . .

Also much thanks to Ron (who was always supporting me in every step of the way and back) , Kerry & Shawn (in Vancouver) , (Alvin of North South Travel who booked my tickets in Vancouver) & Bill who picked me up at the Calgary Airport when I got back. Friends and Family. - all those who sent e-mails and made calls (I can't name all of you now but you know who you are).

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I really appreciate you guys. More than words can express. I am forever grateful.

Big Hugs,

09. September 2006

"Every single person who's drifted in and out of your life is a part of your divinely chosen experience. As you move into the world of inspiration, you'll find it easy - and even necessary - to give thanks for all these people, and to take serious note of what they brought you" - Dr. Wayne Dyer

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01_15
September 2, 2006 ; 5:57 PM
Nelson City, BC, Canada






02_15
September 3, 2006 ; 2:14PM
Nelson City, BC, Canada








03_16
September 5, 2006 ; 7:58 AM
On my way back to work from my day off








04_15
September 8, 2006 Friday at 7:28AM
Chatting with my brother Timothy and Lito and My sister in-law ate Imee. Mama's Yahoo Messenger Icon was Online. Mama was tired that day. She went to work and got so worn out.







05_15
Mama got checked in the Hospital yesterday night (September 15, 2006). Today is September 16, 2006 Saturday 7:00 AM and headed to Calgary to work. I got called by Luke saying he needed me to go there. So with Ron's help, off we go.






06_14
September 16, 2006
On the Road again. Mama is always on my mind. Really worried about her being sick but knowing she will be doing ok. I was just talking to her recently and she was going to be just fine. Prayers to God please let my Mom be OK.







07_14
It was on September 18, 2006 - Mama had just passed away at 7AM in the hospital. I couldn't think normal for a quite a long time. I find myself in shock and disbelief and silent tears just kept flowing endlessly. Never have I felt so much pain and sorrow in my entire life. I couldn't fly to the US. I didn't have a visa! I was like losing my mind. I didn't know what to do. My life was falling apart. I called the US Embassy right away. I had to see mama.

Grabe. I don't even know how to start. I am crying like crazy here trying to figure out how to even say it. FACTS: yesterday morning at 7AM. Sept 18, 2006 - in San Diego. My Mother Died of Colon Cancer. Chemo Therapy complications Blood Pressure Drop, Both Kidneys Failing, Toxic Poisoning etc. She will be Cremated (I don't know when just yet - also depends if I get visa or not). Her ashes will be buried in San Diego (Where Jerry - her husband and my step father) will be buried too when his time comes. It was her wish. To be buried in the family plot. She died alone in a hospital bed. None of us her kids made it there to even visit her in the hospital while she was alive, She died in her sleep. Ang sakit isipin, I never even got to hug her or kiss her or touch her. The last time I saw her was in Calgary in 2004. Because I didn't have a US Visa I never had the chance to visit her. In my mind, I thought she would be with us a long time. That she would live to be 90+ so I took my time and just called her regularly. She was always cheerful and sometimes we would talk more than half an hour. Ang hirap, para akong mababaliw. I wish you were all close by. Hirap talaga ng magkakalayo. Tonight gusto ko maglasing with friends, pagkatapos. Gusto ko lang matulog ng matulog , alam naman niyo ganun ako pag depressed diba? puro tulog- but I Can't do that. I have to work and focus on getting all the paper work done to get a US Visa the soonest possible time. My ability to even get to the US is at the mercy of the US embassy. If I can't get it done right then I never will get there. I am so stressed. I think I got it all put together though. Just some few paper work for tommorrow - kumpleto na siguro. Financially, I can't even afford to travel and pay for the fees and expenses. I feel so low and so helpless and useless. Sh*t ! ano ba naman ito!! Buti nalang Ron is here. He has been keeping me sane somehow. Mas Iyakin at mangit pa nga siya sa akin e. hehehe. Akala ko nung hindi na ako mahinto sa kakaiyak ako na ang super mangit of the world. Daigin ba naman ako. But evertime i see him crying for me I get reminded - ok tama na ang iyak iyak - mag focus na ako sa kailangng kong gawin para makapunta sa US. A black sad cloud hangs over myhead 24 hours a day....I don't know kung kelan ako magiging feeling normal ulit. Maybe soon. Hopefully soon. Love you all. Miss you guys. Sana ganun kadali na makasama ko kayo sa mga oras na ito. Hirap talaga. Miss ko kayo. Dibale. Hindi ko naman hahayaang mabaliw ako. Ang sakit. Dami ko gusto sabihin, hindi ko man lang alam kung paano ko sasabihin. I'm so sad. so sad i can't even think. I am not even sure if this email is making sense at all. basta saka na. saka ko na babasahin ang sinusulat ko...






08_15
September 22, 2006 at 10:22 PM
I got an emergency appointment at the US Embassy in Vancouver and was finally given a VISA that same day - 4 days after mama had passed away. Everything suddelnly seems surreal at moments and I found out that will be like that for days to come.






09_15
September 22, 2006
Looking down at San Diego from the airplane. I see the place where she spent the last 6 years of her life. My dear mama, we never even got to do the things we have always planned on doing together in San Diego. The sadness and regrets I had. If only I had worked harder on getting a visa last year then maybe we could have done all those. Once again, it seems like everything is surreal. This must be just a bad dream. I go blank. I am there but not really there. Like a zombie I was - sitting there filled with regrets and sadness.






10_15
September 25, 2006
Mama's funeral. I had no desire whatsoever to take photos that day. I saw mama's dead body for the first time in a brown casket. I looked at it and had to tell myself that that is no longer my mom. That was just her body. Mama's essence lives on. The presence of her physical death was too painful for me to deal with. Thanks to my cousin Michelle for taking the camera. It now helps me deal with the reality of mama's passing.







11_15
September 26, 2007
Mama's Burial Service was at the Alpine cemetary. It was a bright and sunny day. It was peaceful and serene day. It felt like summer. I could ever hear the birds chirp. In my mind I know that mama wants me to be happy now. I could almost feel the warmth of her hug and her love telling me she is in a much better place away from all the pain and suffering. That I must let her go now.







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September 26, 2007 We buried mama's ashes into the ground. Surreal as it felt to me, I had to snap out of it. Beside her grave I quietly whispered my goodbye to her and thanked her for all the love that she has given me and everyone else. I thanked her life that she had unselfishly shared with me and my family. I asked her to help me heal. I will miss her so much. That I will never ever forget you and the love you have taught me. I will always love you mama. Someday we will be together again all in God's perfect time.







14_15
September 28, 2006
Flying back to Canada - I look out to the clouds and think that mama is back with God and now on a different level of her journey. Her physical journey has come to pass. She had now graduated and now on a much much higher level surrounded by the love of God. It must be beautiful there where she is now. She only lived 56 years.

My family members and relatives in the US who have given me so much love and support when I was at my weakest. I love you all!

Big Hugs,

A Tribute To Mama

A Loving Tribute to Digna's 56 Year Journey

02_16

September 2006 turned out to be a tragic and painful time for me and my family. It is on this month when we lost a most wonderful human being who had such positive and powerful influence in our lives. Her love and her life was a shining example of a truly worthy life.

Digna F. Simpson
Her Journey Began: June 14, 1950
Her Journey Ended: September 18, 2006

She was my mother, my best friend and confidant. I don't even know how to move on from here. Ever since she left - there is this big emptiness in my heart. I was at her funeral. I carried her ashes and buried her. I went to places where she once was - her house, her room, her bed, her car and touched all the things she had - her clothes, her shoes, her computer, her scrapbook and pictures and up to now, as I struggle to carry on. It's hard to not cry over such a great loss. I miss her so much.


Digna's 56 Year Journey
By: Edgar Lorenzo F. Nievera


03_17
It was on June 14, 1950 at 5:30 PM when my mother’s 56-year journey began.

She was the 5th youngest of 6 siblings to Dr. Alfonso Floresca & Nurse Francisca Agaat of Bontoc, Mountain Province, Philippines.

They named her Digna - from the Latin word dignus (fem: digna) meaning "worthy". Like any loving parents would, they wanted her to have a worthy life.

She was a loving and caring sister to Angie, Dennis, Christopher, Francis and Michael from the very start.

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My mother was a rare kind.

She had so many good qualities in her. She loved God. She loved life, friends and family, enjoyed children and animals and plants, great sense of humor, inventive and intelligent, a well-balanced personality. She was loving, self willed, strong minded reliable, independent hard worker who was honest and steadfast. She hated arguments and disputes.

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05_16

Moving from Mountain Province to Baguio City; On April 14 1967, so reckless and passionately in-love at 16 years old, she got married to Jose "Pepito" Nievera who was then 31 with 2 kids from a former marriage.

She became Pepito's loyal wife, and at an inexperienced age, She became an Instant adoptive mother of two - Emmeline (who was 4 years and 6 months old), and Joselito (3 years and 1 month old).

It was essential during those arduous times for her to grow up sooner than she needed. She nurtured them and loved them as her own. On Dec. 27 that same year, Their 1st born son - John Andrew was born.

She now had 3 children to take care of while Pepito left for work the rest of the day. She learned to be tough and not buckle in times of adversities. Instead, like the jewel that she was - she became a precious diamond as life became tough

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The year 1967 was a challenging and wearisome year for her.

At 16, she was working on getting a degree in Nursing. Back then - religious private school requirements in the Philippines made pregnant students ineligible to continue in that line of study. Married, Pregnant and broke, she independently put herself through school by competing for scholarships (of which she won).

A few years later, she would graduate cum laude from University of Baguio with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education and would then start teaching Home Economics at the Baguio City High School in 1973. She was a 16-year-old full time mom and student and they were exceptionally poor

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07_15

Digna and Pepito lived in a small shanty in Quezon Hill, Baguio City where there was no water access, electricity or proper sanitation. My Grandparents (from my mother's side), being well to do as they were, saw the dreadful living condition under which Digna and her family were all living in and decided to buy A house for them as a birthday present. My mom had tears in her eyes when she recollected to me that very moving and touching day on her 18th birthday in 1968, opening the door to a house they can now call their own. Later she would give birth to two more sons; The second one when she was 20 in 1970 (Timothy Rhey) and the third was when she was 25 (Edgar Lorenzo) in 1975.
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Disappointing to say, but 12 years later, that house eventually became an unwholesome and nasty living environment when my Uncle Dennis and his Family moved in to live with her family. Mama and family (although difficult to do) gave up and sacrificed leaving their 1st home in 1980 due to some unfortunate and embarrassing family feud and law suits.

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08_16

In 1980, She took her family away from the chaos of it all. Although it broke my mom's heart to leave the house her parents gave her, she knew peace of mind was more important than real estate.

My mother was persevering and determined to build a NEW home for her family even if it seemed impossible to do at that time (she and Pepito were not making much money). In 1981, through tireless willpower, Brains and hard work, that dream came true when she was able to build a small 2-bedroom house in Baguio (that's the small house above). Peace and quiet at last – just as she wanted for her family. (the house has since been remodelled and extended, and eventually completed)

That same year (1981), at 31 years old, she became a grandmother to her daughter Emmeline's (and Ricardo's) first born - Cherylyne. Years later her grandson's Erickson and Richard would be born and granddaughters Adrienne and Nicole (from Joselito and Lucille) were added to her list of growing grand children of which she was very proud of. The passing of years were very swift

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09_16

1994 was a very exciting year for her. At 43, her dream of becoming a biological grandmother was fulfilled. Timothy and Imee gave birth to a son Ivan. Only a few days later, John and Josie gave birth to Joe. A few more years later, and 3 more grandsons followed - Jack, James and Tryan. To her pride and joy, she had a total of 10 grandchildren by the time she was 50.

Unfortunately her marriage with Pepito had been in a state of distress since she was 30 and never got restored to a healthy state - which was a huge source of dreariness for everyone in the family. In those 20 years, she never got discouraged but instead kept the family together. She wanted her children to have a happy home. This was the time when as a child, I realized that she put everyone else's happiness ahead of her own. To her, family and children came first

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10_16

She became an active churchgoer at the Worldwide Church of God. Found strength in studying the bible and God throughout her downhearted marriage and she pursued further education to keep her going, where she later won an International Mombusho Scholarship grant in Japan. She studied there for 2 years and when she came back home to the Philippines, she expanded her studies and succeeded even further by graduating with a Masters Degree in Education, and later a Doctorate in Educational Management

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Teaching was her passion. She taught Home Economics at the Baguio City High School for the 28 years. Several years before she retired at age 51, she was an H.E Department head and later got promoted as Principal for Lucban Elementary School in Baguio City. Her life encouraged and touched thousands of students in all those years

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12_16

It was in 2001 at the age of 51 when she immigrated to the US to start a new life. By this time, she and Pepito had been separated for a decade. All of her children were living independent and favorable lives. Except for the youngest son, everyone of them had married and had children of their own. The wretchedness from an unsuccessful marriage was obvious to her children. None of us said anything but we understood when It was time for her to find happiness for her own

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13_14

In San Diego, California,

between 2002 to the last days just before she passed away, she continued teaching in San Diego California.

She taught in the following educational institutions :

1) Grossmont Union High School District
2) San Diego Mesa College and
3) Palomar College, San Marcos.

Up to the end - she tried to make a difference. And she did

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14_16

At age 54, just when she started to have frequent tear-jerking thoughts about growing old alone, God found a way for love to come along and sweep her off her feet. No one deserved more love and happiness more than my mom did. She and Jerry met on April 2005 and started going to the Seventh Day Adventist church together on a regular basis.

Their love for each other brought so much happiness not only to them but also to her children and siblings and friends who understood her life

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15_13

Jerry and Digna's love for each other can no longer be contained and with God's grace, they got married in February 2006. She was the happiest she had ever been in an incredibly long time. I could tell just by the bliss in her voice when I spoke to her over the phone, that finally, she felt certainly loved by her new husband – just as it should have been in all those washed out years

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16_13

Only 4 months in their marriage when the doctor’s report confirmed the alarming and frightening reality that she had colon cancer. This was shocking and ghastly news to everyone. All we could do was cry and pray and try to be strong for her

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17_12

Being the strong woman that she was all her life, she put on a brave face. Sent e-mails and made phone calls to family and friends about her uncertain circumstance assuring everyone that she was going to be alright and that God will take good care of her and that she needed our prayers. She even told me that she was not afraid of death, for God was with her

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18_13

Unrelenting, she was optimistic and positive that she will survive cancer. It was a most painful and overwhelming time

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19_12

In my heart I wanted her to grow old to a hundred plus years. The rest of her life will be filled with love, peace and happiness and laughter and surrounded by the ones who care for her so much

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20_12

But God had other plans.

56 years ago her journey started at 5:30 PM. It was dusk and heading towards the night.

On September 18, 2006, just three months after turning 56, her life's journey suddenly and unexpectedly came to an end at 5:30 in the morning. She had died. It was dawn. Soon the sun will rise. She lived her life the best that she could. She tried to be the best she could ever be.

Perhaps that was God’s way of saying things will be all right. I find comfort, in the thought that she passed on peacefully in her sleep and that she was ready for God. I know that in God’s perfect time, mama will wake up to a new morning in God’s loving embrace

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21_12

It is upon writing about a summary of my mother's life that makes me realize even further how fleeting life is. How can such a wonderful, amazing and full life be written in a few short paragraphs just doesn't seem to do justice. My mother was more. She was the best Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Aunt, Sister, Best Friend and Confidant, Teacher, Adviser and above all, she was my hero

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22_13

She was the light at the end of the tunnel. She was the one that carried me and nurtured me and tended to my siblings, and me. She took care of our needs as children and even as an adults. She was a strong woman. Only 5 feet tall but to me she was the tallest and greatest person in my life

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23_14

In all of her struggles, It amazed me how she overcame tribulations with such flair and energy you cannot help but admire her.

I was so lucky. I had the best mom in the world. Her life taught me how to think, to feel and to be sensitive to others. She taught me to imagine, to believe, and above all she taught me how to love myself (with all my imperfections) and tap into my inner strength through God and to remember to never quit trying to make the most out of my life and to love others so God will be pleased

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24_13

No matter how old we are, losing a mother is one of the deepest sorrows a heart can know, but her goodness, her caring and her wisdom live on like a legacy of love that will always be with the ones her life has touched

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25_11

All I now have are my memories of her. Memories of her voice, her smile, how she walked and talked and how she looked at me in certain warmhearted ways.

All that I have now are memories of the things she said to me - some funny, and most of them wise and precious.

All I have now are memories of what she did for me, and how happy and loved and complete she made me feel

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26_10

She is gone from me – physically.

Reality is I will never be able to hug her and kiss her again or hold her hand. We will never have phone conversations anymore, We will never go out to dinner and laugh together again. . . . .

Never ever will I forget you ma

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27_11

These precious memories that reside in my heart will light up my darkest days. Our mother is always with us. She's the whisper of the leaves as we walk down the street and the wind that caresses our face on sunny or rainy days. She is the warmth of sunshine in all the days of our lives.

Mother lives inside our laughter and keeps us sane when things go crazy. She's the place we came from…our first home. She's the guidance we follow with every step we take. She's our first love and our first heartbreak, and nothing on earth can separate us from her ... Not time ... not space ... not even death!

Her name was Digna. It means worthy. That name suited her perfectly, for she lived a an Incomparable, beautiful and truly worthy life. She will be mournfully missed but never forgotten by all whose lives she has touched. I love you mama - I love you forever.

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28_11

You were my mother, confidant and best friend,
Somehow our characters still blend:
Your wisdom and my will.

A glimpse, and you were there for me;
I verbalized, you understood.
I felt cared for, but also uninhibited;
You loved, and I was obedient.

I'm fortunate that I was born
To someone just like you;
I love you forever. Though you are gone,
You will now continue to live
In all the Love and Happiness
I feel all the days of my life

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If you would like to share words of comfort from your memories of my mother or anything as a tribute to Digna, Please send them to Edgar Lorenzo F. Nievera through e-mail :

humanoid247@yahoo.com

We will gladly post them on this and other sites that pay affection to my mother's life

Love & Prayers,

Authors_signature_18

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31_9

September 25, 2006

Dear everyone,

Today I wish to thank all of you who have given your time, love, concern, support & grief over my mother's death. I don't know how I could ever return all the good things that you've shared to us. I write my letter to you in tears, wish to express my true thankfulness for all your kindness. I hope God repays you for all the things youhave shared to us.

Most of all, I THANK GOD for giving me a good mother. For all the time we shared, all the way she has raised me from birth, and most of all her sacrifices in guiding us and giving us the best she could give all these time.

I would like to let you all know that she she has been a VERY GOOD MOTHER. Her love remains in my heart as long as I live. Now that her physical Presence has come to an end, I believe that she will always be in my memory as the BEST MOTHER I have known.

Finally, I wish to express my true thankfulness for all these things that you have extended to us - her sons Edgar, Rhey & John.

My Family Sincerely Thank you,
Timothy Rhey F. Nievera

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Remembering Mama

Mama