My Facebook news feed was flooded by posts of photos and greetings for Father’s Day yesterday. I was fascinated reading and gazing at the precious pictures of fathers and their children. It’s a bitter-sweet experience because it made me long for my own.
I’ve changed my display photo last week and it’s one of my favorite old portraits of my father. I didn’t look forward to Father’s Day though. For two years, we had fatherless Father’s Day. Every day, his fondest memories resurface, and those are really a reminder I still ought to be grateful even he’s no longer existing physically. His legacy lingers in his family.
I’ve got so occupied working out my new website, Wanderful Wordsmith dedicated to Papa. It was so timely that when I went to my friend whom I arranged having my web hosting and domain purchase, we were able to accomplish it in spite some technical challenges.
What can be conceived can be created.
~ Dr. Toby Cosgrove, CEO of Cleveland Clinic
Of Wandering and Wondering
My father had been an adventurer since his younger years until his late years. His wanderings had caused a lot of wondering, not only among his family, but in others as well. I’ve got that similar trait, and it’s two-faceted. It has pros and cons. While being a wander woman doesn’t assure me to be a wonder woman, I’ve taken some risks to let loose of my fear and fly away, or travel somewhere far. After all, life is an adventure itself.
The first fearless solo trip I had was when I was thirteen. Those were the days when traveling to Boracay Island from Oriental Mindoro, the province where I grew up, wasn’t exciting, and unlike the earlier trips we had for vacation in Aklan, the province where I was born. I needed to travel by myself because my mother can’t do it, and her trade of buying and selling native mats made of “bariw or bilibid” (a native plant similar to pandan, but bigger and has thorns on the leaves), relied on my quasi-quest. It wasn’t a complicated travel by the sea, if only the weather was tame and the sea wasn’t tempestuous.
It was very unforgettable because it unleashed the intrepid, inner self. Actually, my mother didn’t like the idea of me going alone, and yet she had no choice. My grandmother and other relatives got mad because of worry for me traveling alone, but they tried to understand my parents. They had no choice but to let me go.
My trip going back to Oriental Mindoro was surprisingly crazy! Because it was on a stormy December 30th, the weather seemed excited to herald the New Year too! We can’t have the straight trip from Caticlan Port, Aklan to Roxas Port, Oriental Mindoro, because of the typhoon, so we had a cutting trip. We went to Looc Port in Romblon and stayed there for a night, then early morning sailed to Roxas Port. At first, it was tolerable, but it became was traumatic because the boat almost capsized!
I didn’t wanted to linger longer in Aklan because it’s a family tradition to be together on New Year’s Eve, for a unified and happier year ahead. We had no cellphone yet that time, so, the communication was limited. Due to that, I had no idea that my mother got sick. She was supposed to meet me at Roxas Port (more than 2 hours trip from our town), but there was none to meet me. Though I was clueless, I braved to travel back home alone. I needed a van to ride, and carry the mats in bulk (30 pieces). I was still dizzy from the tumultuous travel at the sea, but I managed to keep my equilibrium.
It Was Well with My Soul
Looking back at the unforgettable voyage (as if it took days of travel), there’s one significant Biblical story which set my faith aflame amid the fierce and boat-sized waves which almost engulfed us, and the horrible tempest. Jesus, calming the stormy sea on a night in Galilee encouraged me to never lose hope. I was actually contemplating a survival plan if ever the boat would capsize. I had a basic skill in swimming, and I was very light, so I thought, I could really survive.
Everyone was frantic! From the old ones to younger ones, I could vividly remember their horror. The gigantic angry waves. While some were vomiting, others were crying and cussing. I was holding tight at a post, and tried to calm myself. I shouldn’t lose hope, we’ll all be fine, I told myself again and again.
There was a man who talked to me and wondered why I seemed fearless and calm. He looked for my companion, only to be amazed that I was alone, but seemed to be brave enough. He was actually starting to be anxious because it seemed that we’re in a hopeless situation. I said, I believed that Jesus who calm the storm then in the Sea of Galilee would never forsake us.
He smiled and told me he’s a minister. But that stormy day, he was revived by my ministry. A simple act of faith, relying on the grace of the Creator who is in control of the sky and the sea. He actually invited me to have New Year’s Eve dinner at their home, when he found out I had no vehicle to ride anymore. But God provided on the last minute. The driver of the van lives in my town, and I was the only passenger going home. It was the most comfortable trip I had after a topsy-turvy one. My family was tremendously surprised when I entered the door and greeted them “Happy New Year!” with imaginary fireworks!
Whenever I am down and in the verge of despair, I would look back at some wonderful experiences I had. I no longer have a father who could protect me, but my Heavenly Father is always there to give the maximum protection. There would be some storms to assail me , but with the Captain of My Life, I could be at peace, and sing even amid the turbulent sea — it is well with my soul.
*Related article: Dual Citizenship (Birthday tribute March 26, 2015)
© 2015 LAF