Archive for March, 2011

Heaven’s GATE

March 30, 2011

At exactly 12:04 am on December 01, 2008, my father died at 65. After 5 years of  being in bed and with a mind like my 1-year old son, he passed away peacefully and, I must say, miraculously.

My father did not live a life of a saint. Neither he  lived a modest nor a honest life. He was a normal human being…a monster when I was a child…and a constant pain in the neck when I grew up.

He became bed-ridden when he suffered a mild stroke in 2003 while working on building the house of my auntie Elvie in Taguig City. He was partly blind then when they brought him home. He can barely walk. The doctors said that the stroke had led to a very poor eyesight and it will further lead to total blindness in a few days or a month. And it did.

We always said that it was his fault. He was a chain smoker and an alcaholic before I even realized that I have a life to live and a future to build. He always come home drunk most of the time. And when he is drunk, he beats the hell out of me. There are times that I wanted to fight back. But I cannot turn against my own father. I was so sure that GOD let things happen for a reason and it is for the common good of all those who are concern. Even how bitter it has been…and even how painful it can become.

The night my father died I cried as if there is no more tomorrow to cry for. Not because I was happy being relieved of the cost of medecine to make him stable in bed. And not because of the gain for having the “pain in the neck” or the “monster”  finally gone.

 I cried because I finally realized that my father did what he had to do to make me what I am today. He had physically and emotionally hurt me so that I could refrain from hurting myself further that may be more painful and irreversible. He had hurt me to stop me from causing greater damage to myself in the future. He had hurt me the way I am hurting my children today. To make them reliable persons… strong and dependable individuals which can be good instruments in sharing God’s given grace and blessings.  I am sure he cried each night too, each time, as I do when I hurt my children. For the hurt I am causing them is hurting me much much more.

Heaven’s gate was literaly opened that night for my father’s entrance. I know I am not the only witness because pastor Nery was the first one to break the silence about it. A minute before exhaling the last air in his lungs he was able to see. I was so sure because he looked at us one by one. Then came the circle of light around my father from heaven. Not to mention hearing voices of angels singing…rejoicing. He died in my arms that night. I cried as if there is no more tomorrow to cry for. Because my father has gone to heaven. And it was too late to tell him… I love him so…

Leaving Home

March 22, 2011

It was already midnight. Koyang, Ma and myself were crossing the slim footbridge that Kapitan failed to improve that year, adding to his long list of broken promises. It was so dark and I was so afraid. I never really understood why we have to leave home. I just heard Ma and Tang argued and then suddenly me and koyang were ordered to pack our clothes and stuffs. Only then that I realized that we were leaving. Only the three of us and I didn’t know why. So then I have to leave you behind, brother. Our young brothers were asleep while you and atse were crying while I was still astounded by the turn of events. Yes, we had to leave…in the middle of the night.

As we reached the paved road ma took a peek of her wallet and tried to count the money she had. I gasped and put my hand in my pocket and found a 25 centavo coin in it and wondered what can it buy. It can’t buy me a single meal for sure. But I was happy because it is very seldom that I find something inside my pocket. Upon realizing how much ma had in her wallet,  she gave us a hug and I felt her tears from her cheek as they fell right inside my ear. I figured out that we don’t have much money as we always do. And so I was not afraid in the dark anymore. But in the days that have to come…without food…without a home…

As soon as a jeepney pulled off, koyang and ma boarded it right away with our box pull of our stuffs.  But I took my time. There was a lot of things spinning on my mind. I thought if ,maybe, it is that easy for adults to leave a life behind  just like that, for us young people, is not as easy. Our lives belong to the field where we were used to spending times to forget the misseries that life constantly brought us. Our lives belong to the place and way of life where we can share laughters with familiar friends who toil with us against the odds made cruel by poverty and hunger. Our lives belong to us and we must gain control of what must be done to make survival easier… to rely on what we need and not on painful circumstances that we cannot understand.. or to events that push us deeper down the abyss of nothingness and hopelessness.

As I took my seat inside the jeepney I asked ma where we were going. She told me that I will be dropped  in Angeles City, at dara’s house. While koyang will be left in bapa’s care somewhere in Cutud. She never mentioned where she’s going. She just looked outside the jeepney and never looked back at me until we parted ways that evening. As soon as I set foot inside my new home I knew right away that I would be facing a tougher fight, brother.  Because on that night I slept in a chair after some cleaning that must be done. And because on that night… I was thirteen years old…and I was alone.

THAT GUAVA TREE

March 15, 2011

We are up in that guava tree picking some fruits and looking below at folks busy cooking for tomorrow’s feast. While the abundance of food below is extra-ordinary, at least for us, we tried to get as much fruit as we can so we can fill our stomach and hope not to be bothered by it while we are asleep during the night. We never had gotten enough that day. So we went to the field to look for sugarcanes no matter how long will it take. For we have brothers waiting for us at home. Expecting a lot from us. And so we carried loads too much for our young legs to bear. Because we are afraid that we cannot find enough tomorrow. So it took us all night to bring all of it at home.

 That’s how it was. And you constantly asked me how many more days or weeks. I was so sorry. Sorry because I was just a child just like you are. And I don’t even have answers to my own questions. Because maybe I was just too little to understand life. Or maybe God kept it that way so we can still put a smile in our faces…even when we teased each other for falling…because we are tired…and because we are too young…

But together we managed to condole ourselves with our make-believes. We were so good. We ruled the world inside our sky castle up in the bamboo tree where we can see as far as the sky extends. We built garrisons in the midst of the sugarcane plantation even out of Mang Kiko’s disapproval so we ,and our friends, can practice on fighting the illusive  Japanese forces to end world war two. We are the brother robot Cuodine  against our Voltes V and Masinger Z friends. But the Guava tree is our favorite. It was our Batcave , Starship Enterprise, Camp Big Falcon and many many more.

That GUAVA TREE served as our neverland. A metaphor of life’s abundance while we scape the realities of our world. A place to whisper to the gods our dreams and forget for a while that our tomorrow cannot even promise that there is food to eat… or enough money to pay for a jeepney to bring us to school. But after realizing that our guava tree is just a simple tree in Apung Urik’s backyard, you will start throwing me questions again. It was a fight we cannot win, you always say. And whenever you do this I’ll just looked away and try to find the face of God in the clouds. Trying to find the answers to my own qestions. Maybe trying to ask God of things i don’t fully understand. Because my body aches too much for the chores that you and I have to do each day to stay alive. Or maybe because I cry each time you fall with the sugarcanes in your shoulders and i cannot do anything about it…because I too feel my body trembling.

It was a fight we cannot win, indeed. But we have to fight it anyway.

We have to fight like how the guava tree managed to push it roots against the ground in search for water. We have to stand tall like how the guava tree pushed its way up against the roof and huge columns of Apung Urik’s house. Perhaps to look for God in the clouds just like I always do. Or perhaps to tell us that the tree is there because God put it there for us. To tell us that God provides for us. And He is really there in those clouds.

But look at where we are today brother. Time may had taken away that GUAVA TREE from us because apung Urik had died and the new owner of the lot does not care of what that tree meant to both of us and have it cut down to its last branch. But no worries. We can always buy the lot back and plant a new guava tree to give us hope to our new fight.  That lot is reserved by God for us to make our mark on the face of the earth so our story can be told by the same place where we had search for Him time and time again.   THE GUAVA TREE may have fallen. But we won the fight, brother.

Today, I am ready to answer your questions. And I think you are old enough to understand. This is the day that God has made for both of us to look back at yesterday and share the answers that we both thrown to ourselves 30 years ago. All things happen for a purpose brother. We have to undergo life’s process to make us a better person.

It is not what we want that the LORD giveth. It is what we need. It is the will of GOD that should be done. Not your will or mine. It is important that we share this story to our children and maybe to other people’s children. Because what we had gone thru is worhtless unless we keep the lessons we have learned and share it to other people. Because God had really never left our side. And all we did was learn to listen.

I love you so much, bro. Take care.