It’s been almost a month since we lost Daddy (my father-in-law). It took me this long to muster enough strength to write about it. His demise didn’t come as a shock to us for he had been ill and weak for so long, but no one is ever really prepared to lose a loved one. We miss him terribly, especially on Sundays, our family day. I personally miss how his face would light up as soon as he sees us, how he would pucker up his lips asking for a kiss, and his playful sense of humor. So many people mourned his passing — his former colleagues, former staff, former students, friends, family members and even complete strangers. Daddy was a
good great man. A man worthy of emulation. He was greatly admired by people who knew him in the academe and in the judiciary. I only knew him for an entire decade — a very short period, really — but I consider myself very blessed to have known him as a devoted husband, a loving father and a doting grandfather.
Today, April 16, is the anniversary of Daddy’s appointment to the Supreme Court 27 years ago. During his brief 8-year tenure in the highest court of the land, Justice Isagani A. Cruz earned quite a number of distinctions as a legal luminary: Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee described him as “the lyricist of the Court” while Chief Justice Andres Narvasa called him “an incisive thinker and logician with a rare gift of language and a felicity of style.” In Tañada vs Tuvera, Justice Cruz wrote “The furtive law is like a scabbarded saber that cannot feint, parry or cut unless the naked blade is drawn.” In Amadora vs Court of Appeals: “While we deeply sympathize with the petitioners over the loss of their son under the tragic circumstances here related, we nevertheless are unable to extend them the material relief they seek, as a balm to their grief, under the law they have invoked.” In Chua-Qua vs Clave: “Where the two fell in love despite disparity in age, it only lends substance to the truism that love has its reasons which reason does not know.” BRILLIANT. These are just excerpts from some of his ponencias that earned him legions of fans and immortalized him in law books.
When he fell seriously ill, there were some days when he didn’t recognize some of us. But I will never forget the time he told Mommy, referring to me, “I like her. She is my daughter.” I will always treasure that moment. I will also always remember how Daddy, on a few occasions, teased me to give him a grandson, to which I replied, “Nooooooo!!!! Sorry, Daddy, I don’t want to have another baby.” We all miss Daddy so much but we find comfort in the thought that he is in a happier place now. We can always look back to the many happy times we spent with him — too many wonderful memories. I’m glad we were able to celebrate, however simply, Daddy and Mommy’s 60th wedding anniversary in May last year. Theirs is a love story that inspires us all. In his handwritten last will and testament, Daddy described Mommy as his “richest treasure” in life. Ahh… Daddy! Such a true romantic. And a patriot until the end. To his children and grandchildren, he wrote: “Love our country despite its faults and always remain Filipinos.”
Indeed, he is one-of-a-kind. And he will always, always be loved.