Déjà vu .. YAH, IT FEELS LIKE IT.
QUIET FRIDAY MORNING ON MY FAVE PLACE AND COFFEE BREAK.. I CALLED GOD, AND YES, HE IMMEDIATELY ANSWERED. I BEGGED HIM AND HE GAVE ME PEACE. TILL NOW AND FOR THE LAST 31 YEARS, I STILL CAN’T FATHOM GOD’S AMAZING GRACE AND UNBELIEVABLE MERCY. A THOUSAND TIMES THAT I QUESTIONED HIM, AND YET A MILLION TIMES HE NEVER FAILS TO ANSWER ME. I HAD WALKED THROUGH THE VALLEY OF PAIN, HAD GONE THOUGH THE DARK DAYS OF DEPRESSION AND EVEN HAD WALKED THROUGH THE STORMY WEATHER, YET THROUGH THE SILVER LININGS, HE REMAINS MY STRONG TOWER, THE EVER PRESENT BEST FRIEND.
I took my usual nap after watching ASAP. When I woke up, Papa just came back from his Sunday hang-out.He’s kind of bothered and irritable and not on his usual self. His face is tidy and his tired. For the last five years, his health has slowly been failing due to his diabetic & kidney disease. Medicines and treatment are all there.Insulin injections were the usual stuff found at home and yet, no matter how he fights, it’s just kind of inevitable. It never cures and it’s killing him softly. We were talking then about my job at the government. I just graduated few months back and landed a small time job in the office. Told him what stuff I did at the office and he just listen. That moment is kinda peculiar, because I was a grown-up then, am 21 and here we are a father and daughter chit chat.
Needless to say, I have been a papa’s favorite. My sister was born five years later, so for the early years, I was such a pampered kid. Papa had me when he was 30 so his kinda prepared for his family. Proud to say that I was born with a golden spoon, they had two trucks tagged with my name, and La Vonne jeepney’s were familiar name on the roads. Later on, stores were open and just like playing papa’s girl, my name appear on every Christmas calendar La Vonne’s copra buyer. I came to live on a thousand square meter house and week-end as what I understand as a child was party time. Saturday’s were barbecue night and Sunday’s were family hang –out at the beach. My parents were travelers and they always tagged us along.Fiestas, birthdays, holy week were spent wherever they like best. It was a high-end lifestyle and in my heart, I always felt that I and my sister are loved very much. Yes they did, and 100%sure of that. The kind of love that for everything they do is for the family and the kids. Papa though is a disciplinarian; I have always been scared of him once he looks me in the eye seriously. And yet, papa never fails to show his love.
He started seriously getting sick getting sick during my 4th yr stint in college days so basically am not there to see him every day, and when I finally stayed after grad, that’s when I truly feel that my mighty papa is not so mighty anymore. He was almost blind and for his 51 years, he looks so old. He brought us some snack, our favorite bibingka, and I just started to kill time in time for Sunday night wrap-up. In between chat, he encouraged me to try abroad. He understands that time how I wanted to but fate was not at my course. He knew I went to Davao just to try my luck at NZ, he heard me talking to mama how I badly want to see places. Papa knows my heart’s desire, and for a fraction of second in between our conversation he told me one thing “Anak, never let go of this house. Never sell this as this is the only property I can give you and to your sister. I have built this at my own sweat, for all the things that have gone lost along the way, this house is the only memory that will remind you as your father, promise me”. “Yes papa, I promise not to let go of the house”. Unknowingly thinking,what future holds.
Papa died a month, on Christmas Eve after that father and daughter talk. Later, unexpectedly without much effort, I was hired to work in Palau, a dream come true, and I still believe that papa help me get that job.
All bags were packed and we are all ready to go. After 15 years, we are about to let go of the only home we knew about, and to start a new life elsewhere. Time to forget that Mangiskis house ever existed, and only take the memory with me. Mama was sick by then,she just had here second heart attack and her face still deformed. She can hardly eat and talk, but she chooses to work. I was so messed-up up still so mama has to be strong for me and my sis. She has the spirit to continue living life despite what she feels. She has the courage to show to us here children,that she is still very strong and able, and she has the faith that one day, I can soar high again. What mama feel wasn’t easy, what she heard from neighbors were too painful, and what she experienced is killing her slowly, and I was so helpless.
Years before that, I choose to stay after a year long stay in Palau. I have made some wrong turn, but I was blessed with a gift. I saw things and I choose hate, which again is another wrong choice. I was so caught up in my little understanding that I have gone along way torturing myself and mama. She felt it, but she remains silent. And as years passed, I started to see true, real individuals. By the time I realized and woke up into reality, it became too late to help mama. By then, she was crushed by her so called friends. She was betrayed by few acquaintances and families too. She was hurt but I never saw mama cried. She’s one hell of a woman, she truly is. Along the time, I experienced what mama felt. And I just hate it.
I hate those people that truly hurt my parents and I greatly hated the community am living with. They don’t have the right, and surely no right to insult us as a family. What they did to my parents, they also did it to us,children. The moment the plane took off for Qatar on the summer of 2009, a tear feel. That’s when I made a promise that for a lifetime, I will never forget the bad guys and have my own sweet revenge one day, yes one day.
And then mama died and I lost my sanity. I lost an inspiration and a hope for a family. I was burned up and to top it all, we lost everything, everything including the house I promised to my papa. Hate started to seed out.
Life was never the same again. I was living a life in the Middle East, career started to soar, money is life. And yet, I am not whole. Four years passed and if feels like yesterday. The feeling is till so intense that when I had a chance to go home on 2011, I never step out in Mindanao, it was just hard to bear, and think about.
2012, I realized one thing..Depression. It was depression that have stop me living life for a while. The guilt of not fulfilling my father’s promises, the guilt of not able to help mother when she needed me the most. The hatred I felt to individual that had hurt us, and bottom of it all, the anger I felt for God for taking my parents so early. All this time, whenever I remember my parents, the pain is still unbearable,and I was like cut by a knife. Almost the same when the father of my child left us. I had stopped seeing God and going to church was like a torture, seeing families, kids, happy faces of couple together. It was kind of a dream, and I was not it. So I drifted away. It was a lonely road but I have to live with it.
I WOKE UP EARLY TODAY EVEN IT’S WEEK-END, WONDERING WHAT TASK TO DO FIRST. I DECIDED TO TAKE MY MORNING COFFEE AT MY FAVE PLACE, A PATIO UPSTAIRS AND TO HAVE A MOMENT WITH HIM ALSO. I THANK HIM FOR THE BREATH OF LIFE ALONG WITH GAY GAY AND TABEBE. I THANK HIM FOR THE JOB AND BEING HERE IN QATAR, A PLACE A I NEVER KNEW ABOUT BACK THEN.
AND AS I CAN’T HELP IT, I STARTED TO ASK HIM OF WHAT I HAVE FELT LATELY. I QUESTIONED HIM ABOUT HIS DISTANCE AND WHY I NEVER FELT HIS PRESENCE ANYMORE. I THEN FINISHED MY COFFEE AND DECIDED TO START MY DAY.
I TUNED IN TO JOEL OSTEEN LIVE SERVICES BROADCAST. FOR YEARS, LISTENING TO JOEL SERMON HAD BEEN MY SILENT SANCTUARY. WHENEVER I FEEL LIKE STOP LIVEN, I CHOOSE TO LISTEN. MINUTES LATER,I STARTED TO REALIZE THAT GOD IS TALKING TO ME. JUST AN HOUR AGO I ACCUSED HIM OF LEAVING AND YET NOW, AT THIS VERY MOMENT, I FEEL LIKE HIS TALKING TO ME THROUGH THE SERMON.
HE MADE ME CRY AGAIN. THIS TIME IT’S DIFFERENT. I CRIED BECAUSE I WAS REMINDED THAT ALL THIS TIME, HE NEVER LEFT ME. I CRIED BECAUSE DESPITE THE ANGER, THE FRUSTRATION, HE NEVER GIVE UP ON ME.
I LOST MY HOME, I LOST MY FAMILY,FOR YEARS I WAS LOST TOO, BUT HE NEVER TURNED BACK ON ME. I WAS LOOKING FOR LOVE, I WAS LONGING FOR A MOTHERS TOUCH, THE COMFORT OF HOME, AND A SECOND CHANCE TO DANCE WITH MY FATHER AGAIN, YET DESPITE ALL THIS, HE NEVER FAILS TO LOVE ME, I WAS JUST TOO BLINDED TO SEE IT. AGAIN AND AGAIN, HE’S CALLING ME HOME. I HAD BEEN LONG ENOUGH ON MY JOURNEY WAY BACK. BUT HE’S THERE, HE PROMISED again NOT TO LEAVE ME.
AM EXCITED TO GO HOME NOW AS I BADLY MISSED HOME. THIS TIME, IT’LL BE DIFFERENT.
PAPA WILL UNDERSTAND IF I HAVE TO LET OF MY PROMISES. MAMA WILL BE HAPPY IF I FORGIVE THOSE WHO HAVE HURT US.
I HAVE TO DO THIS SO I WILL BE WHOLE AGAIN. I WANNA SEE THEM BOTH IN HEAVEN, AND FOR THAT I SHOULD CLEAN MY HEART. AM AMAZED HOW GOD SPEAKS IN SO MANY WAYS. AND AGAIN, GOD NEVER FAILS TO SHOW ME HIS PRESENCE, AFTER ALL THIS TIME.
AM FORGIVEN AND I FORGIVE YOU.SEE, MY SMILE IS GENUINE AS I JUST RECLAIMED MY TITLE, THAT EVEN THOUGH I AM AN ORPHAN, AM STILL GOD’S LITTLE PRINCESS.