To Mother, With Love

Written By: Jose G. Baradi

TO MOTHER,WITH LOVE A Son’s Tribute for Eden Guevara Baradi Montauk Community Church, Montauk, NY, February 25, 2012 One cannot imagine how to describe a beautiful and wonderful woman, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, unless you have known, met or lived with her sometime during her 101+ yrs of existence on this planet. Although we would have wished that she lived longer, death really comes like a thief in the night not knowing when it will come and under what circumstances. Eden Guevara Baradi has been lucky all her life. She was born on June 12, 1910 and grew up in a former sleepy and now most progressive town in the Philippines, Marikina. Her family came from hardworking shoemakers that put Marikina on the map, as the Shoe Capital of the Philippines. “Marikina shoes” are known to be as one of the most durable, elegant and reasonably priced shoes in the Philippines. Although Eden could have had a sedentary life, her parents taught her how to make shoes at an early age and raised her to value more family and good relationships with loved ones instead of amassing wealth, power or prestige. While still under the umbrella of very protective parents, Eden was adjudged a Marikina beauty that caught the attention of available bachelors in Marikina, more so after she luckily won 2nd prize in the Philippine local version of the Sweepstakes/Lotto in 1935. Doctors, lawyers, rich, prestigious and even con men came a-courting, but it was a struggling but very hardworking lawyer Mauro Baradi that luckily wooed her to elope and get married. Since Eden’s parents were so much against Mauro Baradi because they had heard that he was a married man who was only after the money, Mauro vowed that he would not touch the money and make enough on his own to keep Eden happy and contented for the rest of her life. The prize money was eventually distributed equally to Eden’s three brothers, two sisters and herself. It’s been said that the power behind a man’s success is a woman. Eden bore four children: Perla, Mauro Jr., Jose and Patria. She became a loving and supportive wife to the late Philippine Ambassador Mauro Baradi during the latter’s stint in the continent of Africa for a total of ten years. The couple finally came home to the Philippines in 1977 and Eden continued to keep the family together though thousands of miles apart through plane trips, letters and phone calls. After the death of Mauro Sr. in 1979, sister Pat and brother in law Cam Pacis lovingly took care of her continuously in Elmont and in Montauk, Long Island, NY until her death February .18, 2012. Eden was very lucky to have her children Perla, Mauro Jr., Jose and Patria make her life happy and comfortable in the Philippines and the U.S. She travelled yearly back and forth New York-Manila-New York to visit her son Joe and spouse who remained in the Philippines, while Perla, Mauro Jr. and Patria and their family remained in New York. The venue and celebration of Eden’s birthdays was something to look forward to. Her children tendered a big formal dinner party in Marikina City, Philippines on her 95th birthday on June 12, 2005 and a bigger dinner dance party in Marriott Hotel, Uniondale, New York on her 100th birthday. On her 101st birthday, she had a simple celebration by having her four children and “Saint” Cam for a delicious and very filling lobster lunch special at St. Peter’s Catch, Montauk. Chances are on her 102nd birthday we would have celebrated it again in Montauk, her “home away from home” with her four children in attendance plus Cam. Chances are we will still celebrate it Montauk on June 12, 2012 in memory of Eden. Eden has been lucky all her life, but in the end it is we, her children, her grandchildren, and their spouses and great grandchildren who are left on this earth who are luckier for having Eden as their matriarchal head of the family from 1979 to 2012. Thank you very much to family, relatives and friends for your love and prayers for Eden. Thank you God for taking Eden peacefully in her sleep in the presence of loved ones. Your Loving Son, Jose (Joe) G. Baradi