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It feels lonely around the house today. Coming home in the early afternoon from Vic's speech therapy session, and then just watching TV as we usually do, he in his chair and I seated beside him, we catch the tail end of a noontime show, and the soap opera before the news. I come out here to my "office" at the dining table and do a little writing... a bit of thinking... or just listening to old music on the radio and reminiscing. Old people like to reminisce, I can tell you that. Or I make my endless to-do lists (only half of which I get done) or just indulge myself and my many moods.
But sometimes it's a sadness that goes beyond mood or memory or time of day. Sometimes it's a heaviness of the heart brought about by circumstances and events that have nothing to do with you personally; that may even have happened in some other place you're a total stranger to, such as, more recently, in Jopin, Missouri, where the tornado came swiftly and suddenly, and killed more than a hundred people, among them a couple of Filipinos (one of them a mother who gave her life to save her son); such as, a couple or so months ago, the execution in China of those three Filipinos accused of being drug mules.
First it was a vague shadow flitting in and out between earthquakes, tsunamis, radiation; wars in Libya, Yemen, Bahrein; oil hikes, and most of all, corruption. Then shadow become reality when the execution was carried out, and Sally, Ramon, and Elizabeth passed into the pages of future history books. They were strangers—just faces on the TV screen, names in print media; yet when they were gone, they were no longer strangers. Suddenly they might have been a brother, a sister, a relative, a friend. Remember that line, "Ask not for whom the bell tolls... it tolls for thee." Even the President, one broadcaster said, went to the chapel in his Palace to say a prayer for the three who were executed in a country not their own, for a crime that if, indeed they were guilty of committing, surely had not been committed willingly.
Perhaps the President also mourned their death. They were, after all, his people, part of his flock. And perhaps if anything good would come out of this tragedy, it would be that he would resolve to do something to stop Filipinos from leaving home, that he would resolve to take better care of them and provide for them, and make this country a safer, happier place to live in. Perhaps this tragic event would serve as a lesson to those of us who think that money is the answer to everything.
* * *
My daughter Nikki and her husband Jed had a "problem" recently—their two sons, Niko and Jon, were both going to receive awards, one in the 8th grade, the other a Senior in high school. The thing is, the awards would be given on the same date, at the same time. No choice except for each parent to go separately to each of the two schools and just meet up afterwords for the celebration.
Ah, what a lovely problem that was! Would that life were made up of such quandaries all the time! Everyday life, however, is made up of not-so-easy decisions. There's the RH Bill causing sparks and brickbats among us, and close on the heel of that, talk of allowing divorce in our country.
Is it really the answer to our marital problems? What about the children? How will divorce affect them? In the same way, I guess, that the absence of one or both parents affects a child. The bottom line really is the child—the son or daughter who will have to cope with a situation he/she isn't equipped to cope with. In the end really, we go back to the child, even where the RH Bill is concerned.
Who doesn't want a baby to be born healthy into a family that's composed of a mother, a father, and maybe a sister or brother? Who isn't appalled at the sight of little boys and girls filling our streets, weaving in and out of traffic; knocking at car windows begging for food or money to buy food with, or similarly, children squatting on the sidewalks, sniffing some substance from a bottle or smoking cigarettes picked up from the gutters and trash cans?
Me, I really just want a baby to look like those babies on TV—happy, gurgly, laughing, healthy. I really just want children to be children—innocent. Safe. Unafraid. Secure in the love of parents and grandparents and everyone else around them. I really just want a family that's together, that prays together, and stays together.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of HerWord or BusinessWorld.
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