I opened the CT scan result, read what was written there and I understood that my beloved father was very sick. So sick that I knew he wouldn’t be with us for a longer time. I buried my head on my car’s steering wheel and sobbed.
I’m like my father in some ways. We both have an eye and appreciation for art. In fact, my father was a fine artist. He worked on different surfaces and with different materials. He was good at everything he set his heart into creating. He was one who had great sensitivity; he felt deeply for the things that mattered. And he was a good storyteller. He communicated well.
But unlike me, he was naturally sweet and generous. He didn’t know how to hold back anything that he could share.
One day, I arrived in the hospital from a business meeting, and he laid there on the hospital bed, gaunt and weak, but he greeted me softly and asked, “Naning*, how did your meeting go?”
After New Year of 1999, after spending time with my sick father in our home in the province, I was back in Manila to attend to my fledgling business. One morning, my then-fiance (now my husband) Felix and I were preparing to travel back home to the province when I received a call from my sister informing me that our father had died, just moments before her call. Felix at once wrapped his strong arms around me and held me tight and rocked me until the sobbing subsided.
More than four years later – years that witnessed our happy wedding, the birth of our daughter, and later, our marriage that fell apart – the arms that held me then, still held me when I was shaking in fear due to anxiety attacks brought by my illness, after living a sinful life estranged from him. His strength and calm always stabilized me.
We received the Lord Jesus in our life. And my Savior who mightily came and snatched me from the enemy’s clutch, didn’t cast a single stone at me. His was all forgiveness and love and acceptance.
And it was what He put into my husband’s heart: forgiveness and love and acceptance.
In Him is a new life. I am forever grateful.
*Naning is an Ilocano endearment for a daughter.
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