Eulogy for CECILE M. CAGUICLA
From the Caguicla Family
Delivered during the Memorial Service for Cecile on October 7, 2002
All of us gathered here this afternoon have been touched one way or another by this beautiful person who is known as CECILE to her workmates and friends, AUNTIE CECILE to her extended family here in the US, ATE INING to us her 6 siblings and in-laws and MAMA INING to her 18 nephews and nieces back in the Philippines.
Twenty seven years ago, Cecile migrated to America which became her adopted country. She fully gave her talent, time and forbearance to the cosmopolitan life of New York. A lover of music and theater, she would take pains to bring every new visitor from the family to famous landmarks of New York which she loved so well. If she hadn't been an Accountant, she would probably have made an excellent Tour Coordinator. That's the light side of Cecile.
On the deeper side, God fashioned our eldest sister to be patient, diligent, incorrigibly hardworking , a ready shoulder to cry on. In fact it is easy to take advantage of her innate goodness, for she would prefer to take on unnecessary burdens rather than risk hurting others.
Beyond her infectious laughter was a profound individual, so deep yet so simple that she would find joy in picking, arranging common garden flowers, making and receiving calls (just checking she would say), reading inspirational books. A nephew, now 25 years old, remembers to this day his early introduction to colors when his Mama Ining during one of her short vacations to the Philippines, taught him at age 3 the difference among 8 shades of blue. Another nephew who was her most recent visitor had the great fortune of being doted on by his Mama Ining a couple of weeks before September 11.
A superficial reading of Cecile would reveal an outgoing person, forever on the go, but the real Cecile was reflective, appreciative of silence, of minimalist and uncluttered environment and deeply religious. Her anxieties and pain she mostly kept to herself, revealing only bits and pieces as in a challenging puzzle.
That's why, reflecting on this tragic event, our limited minds and human emotions cringe at the cruelty and unjustness of it all. But knowing Cecile's deep faith, I am sure she sees beyond the cruelty and knows that God's great wisdom has gifted her with the supreme GIFT OF PURE JOY and FULFILMENT in a most spectacular way.
She is finally free of anxieties and pain of petty interactions.
As a fitting tribute therefore, to Cecile, let us also go BEYOND OUR PERSONAL GRIEF AND PAIN AND CONGRATULATE HER ON A LIFE SO WELL LIVED AND A NEW LIFE SO RICHLY DESERVED.
ATE INING, WE LOVE YOU!mcc.4.10.01
Preserver of Flowers
At the house in Boonton, N.J., that Cecile M. Caguicla shared with her friend Maria Luciano, there are flowers everywhere — dried hydrangeas and other delicate varieties, suspended in time. Miss Caguicla knew how to preserve them so their beauty would never fade.
She chose them from the buckets filled with blossoms at the farmers' market that was always outside the World Trade Center on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. She was a steady patron of the market, buying baked goods from one vendor, cheese from another, stopping there on her way to morning Mass at St. Joseph's Church. On Sept. 11, 'we separated at 8:10, and she was paying for a blueberry muffin,' Miss Luciano said. 'She always bought pastries for her office mates. It was a happy morning.'
Miss Caguicla, who was 55 and had emigrated from the Philippines in 1975, was a vice president in the corporate accounting department at Marsh & McLennan. Her friend is planting a garden in her memory, with hydrangeas and sunflowers and geraniums — some of the flowers she liked best. There will also be evergreens, to last forever.