To understand this story, please check out the previous reflection.
It was the longest night of my life. Then, morning came. A sister – friend called me before the plane took off. She fiercely said ” Ate B, I called not to make you cry. I called to say to use all the courage that you’ve got. Do all your crying inside the plane. Feed yourself inside the plane. Take a nap if you can. Pray for the best version of yourself at this trying times. Cry in between but go ahead with what is the next right thing to do. We will be praying for you.”
I only said “thank you” and she hung up the phone for the boarding has started and so was my battle.
You see I always believe that in every princess there is a lioness inside in her and this sister – friend who told me that called – out the sleeping lioness in me.
I arrived in Manila. I did all the prayers inside the plane holding my Ate’s hand.
After discussion with parents and other siblings, we decided to have his wake at Don Bosco Memorial Chapel at Makati which is just beside the Church, instead, at the local baranggay hall where my father initially planned. Mama did not want him to be back there and so are we, his siblings.
Our place where we were staying was close to 200 meters away from the Chapel but I remembered walking that distance in less than 7 minutes. So, I arrived at the place, rushing, every now and then I would be teary eyed but I remember all my thoughts were in placed, what to do next and I have everything needed in my bag. I could even recite my passport number at that very instant.
Looking back, I could only account that kind of clarity of thoughts during the darkest times not to my prayers but to a legion of people praying for me and family around the world. (*Tears*)
The ladies at reception of Don Bosco Chapel was so gracious and they requested me to take a seat. They sensed immediately what I went through the night. I told them that I will buy something first and I will return. I head down to nearest food store outside the Don Bosco premises so I can bring warm foods home upon my return.
I noticed that the lady who got my order was packing a different food from what I ordered then I gently corrected her. She packed a different food again. I sensed that she was not focused on what she was doing and I knew right away, like me, she was bothered by something.
So, I said “Ate, wag mo isipin yun. Mahal ka nun.” (Sister, don’t think about it. He loves you.”)
“Pasensya na, Mam.” the lady said. (Sorry, Ma’am.)
While we waited for the rice to get cooked, she dropped a bottle.
I asked her “Ate, ok ka ba?” (Sister, are you ok?)
“Mam, kaka-text lang po ng boyfriend ko kasi. Nakikipag-break.” (Mam, my boyfriend just texted me. He broke up with me.)
If you are my closed friend you know what would be the first word that will come in my mind – “Pambihira” (Remarkable)
“Yes, te, ako tanungin mo? Bakit ako nasa Don Bosco.” (Yes, Sister, why don’t you ask me? Why am I in Don Bosco?)
Of course I did not say that…aloud 🙂
She was completely understood by this heart but I just hope not at this time. (Moment ko to e)
I inspected her looks. This lady is still very young, I thought.
“Alam mo, Ate, walang babae na kapareho mo. Unique ka. Dahil nagta-trabaho ka, malamang masipag ka pa. Walang ibang babae na may katangian na tulad sa ‘iyo. Nasa tabi ka lang ng simbahan, minsan bisitahin mo ang Dyos at tanungin mo Sya ano ang plano Nya sa iyo. May magandang plano Sya sa iyo.” I said in my normal speaking voice. (You know Sister, there is no other girl like you. You are unique. Because you are even working, I guess you are a hardworking person. There is no other girl with similar qualities that you have. You are very near to the church. Take time to visit Him and ask Him His plans for you. He has a great plan for you.)
She listened and said “Mam, naiiyak ako. Gusto ko po yan narinig ko.” (Ma’am, I feel like crying. I like what I heard.)
She asked me if I were going to buy again at lunch time, I said, I’m not sure if ever I would be back but I told her, “I will pray for you. Please remember to go to the church today.” I left the food stall and ready to for my next step.
Looking back, that was my darkest day, so I thought. How could I still afford to be gracious and kind to a stranger, when few hours ago, my brother was shot to death and there was news about a driver shooting a cyclist over a traffic haul?
There is so much evil, there is so much of darkness.
Darkness is when there is absence of light but the light is within us. Evil can never triumph if that light continues to shine within us whenever and wherever we may find ourselves in.
And that is possible because we have the source of light who guides us along the path making His presence even stronger during this kind of times.