Yesterday, February 18, 2008, my beloved uncle passed away. Judge Juan Berjamin, former Roxas City RTC Judge succumb to a cardiac arrest at the hospital in the same city. He was scheduled for an operation which did not push through because his condition was not stable.
I love this man. He is the husband of my mom's sister, Rebecca Acevedo. He's such a jolly person, always teased me since I was yet a child. He had stayed with us for a while when he was to take the bar exam. But I fondly remember him as my "financer", when he would sneak some money to hand me while I was on vacation with them in Capiz. He would call me to his office and ask if I still had some money. Of course I'd say no. Who wouldn't? But he knew I was lying because I'd be smiling mischievously whenever I said no. Just the same, he'd give me 500 pesos. Back in 1986, that was a large amount to spend in a province such as Roxas where you hardly find any movie house, nor a mall, nor a first class restaurant. No Sir. There was none. But, my uncle just wanted to please me. He and my aunt always did.
The last time I had seen him was some 2 years ago in Roxas shortly before my auntie Rose Acevedo died. He was weak because he just came from the hospital. I had learned he was suffering from diabetes and a kidney condition which I have yet to find out. I teased him on several occassions that I'd buy some of the sweet food that he liked and he would wink at me and chuckle. Reminds me of Dennis the Menace specially when my Auntie Becks would ask why we were whispering everytime she'd catch us and he would give out his grin. That's Johnny, the jolly man. I'll miss you uncle. We all will. Till we meet again.