Remembering: Lolo Eddie died in a casino

2 kidneys? I’ll take them!

By Menchu De Luna

Whew! What a journey!

When my transplant did not push through in the Philippines in August of 2019, I thought that I was done! When the doctors told me that they cannot do my transplant anymore, I felt that the world fell on me, and I lost all hope. Thank God for my husband’s quick thinking to come back to the States and continue on this journey.

I had been on dialysis for five months, getting up at 4:30 a.m. three times a week, sitting on that dreaded chair for four hours with a rosary in my hand reciting it over and over until the nurse unhooked me from all those dialysis cables. I would be all worn out after dialysis, and the following morning I would still have to work. I never stopped praying.

Then one afternoon, I got a call from the transplant coordinator, that I might have compatible kidneys available. All I could remember was that the four of us were all jumping for joy and I could not stop crying, thanking God that hopefully this is it.

“We are giving you two kidneys! Do you like that?” That’s what my transplant coordinator said! I exclaimed, “Oh yes!”

My husband was all alone in the waiting room the following day, January 26, 2020. He waited by himself for 10 hours praying and informing my family and friends near and far about my condition. My daughter Michelle had been sharing the news and keeping our Facebook friends and family updated, doing all our errands, taking care of our house and daily necessities, as well as driving us everywhere. My son Jude has been so strict with people wearing masks around me. Our dog Moana has been my forever companion, always staying by my side and checking in on me even when I went to the bathroom. My plan is not God’s Plan. God has the best plan ever!

Social media has turned us into spontaneous storytellers. Our new feature called “Remembering: Pinoy. Powerful. Personal” is a collection of short essays of memories pushed aside by time and making themselves apparent in the writer’s present. Some of the essays are contributed; others culled from social media posts. To send your essays, email

Lolo Eddie died in a place he adored: A casino

By Julian Santos

My grandfather, Eduardo Alonso, has been laid to rest alongside my grandmother.

He was an extraordinary man, having made it to the age of 98 years old. Having raised five wonderful sons and daughters, including my mother, he left behind a huge family with many grandchildren and even great grandchildren.

There’s always the assumption that all old people grow weary and tired towards the end of their lives; not Lolo Eddie who was energetic right up to the end. He loved going on long walks, socializing at family parties, and visiting nearby casinos. Even calling him this last Christmas, I never got the sense that he was any less animated than usual. An eternal optimist, he always had a loving, composed attitude: one which I’ll always seek to emulate.

A year ago, he was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal for his service in WWII. He was one of the few Filipino soldiers still living at the time who served us in the Pacific. He didn’t often talk about the war, but he did his duty.

He passed away peacefully — not in a hospital or medical facility— but with his family at Cache Creek casino, a place I must reiterate he really did adore with all his heart.

One of the worse things you encounter as you get older is losing people. Lolo Eddie was the last of my grandparents and I will miss him. But 98 years is a long time, and I’m thankful for the 23 of those that I got to spend with him.  

NaFFAA continues to update its list of newly elected, re-elected Filipino American officials in 2020. Email for information.

(C) The FilAm 2021

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