Last Sunday night (April 1), I thought of texting my mother who lives in the province to come to Manila to attend my niece’s birthday celebration and to bring lobster. (She knows where to find those delicious crustaceans in our town which is near the sea). But when I looked at the time, it was late and so I decided to text her the next morning.
When I woke up the next morning, my mother had a message for me in my cellphone: “Rina, I’ll travel to Manila tomorrow. I’ll be bringing lobster, squid*, and vegetables.” (*This is the plump, with very thick ink and really flavorful variety which my husband loves). My mother knows how I love to eat lobster and how I have never forsaken my penchant for native vegetables.
My mother lives in our home in the province with a girl she hired to accompany her and to help her with the chores. All of us her children have long left the nest and settled in different places with our own families. My father died in 1999, a year before I was to be married.
My mother is nearing 70 but I’m so thankful that she’s well and still strong to travel to Manila, about 6-hour bus ride. Although the long trip strains her, she delights in visiting us, especially her apos (grandchildren). We would have loved to be visiting her instead, but sadly, I’m still unable to travel that far.
When she comes to visit, she also takes the opportunity to have a long chat with my youngest sister who now lives in California with her own family.
I’m so grateful to the Lord Jesus for my beloved mother’s good health and also, that she lives simply, thankfully, and joyfully, always trusting in the goodness of the Lord.
Also on the same day that my mother arrived, my old-friend way back in college and Hannah’s godmother and whose son I’m also the godmother of, came and brought a Labrador pup. Hannah was so delighted to have a new pet.
We’ve had two pomeranians: the first one was pitifully attacked and killed by a bigger dog in our village while Tim and his Dad were walking him one morning. The owner of the “dog-killer” dog replaced it but we eventually sent him to my husband’s home in the province because he had so many ticks and it was hard to control them no matter what we did.
The family was so excited again to have a new pet in the house, but more than that, I’m thankful to the Lord for lasting friendships. Malu was my friend way back in college. It wasn’t an ordinary friendship for we shared a room in the university’s ladies’ dorm and we were also classmates in Chemical Engineering.
Our friendship, together with Joy who now works in a food processing plant in Papua, New Guinea, saw the hardships we had and victories we garnered during our five years in college and even beyond: review for the board licensure exams, job hunting, heartbreaks, success, etc.
Nowadays, it’s rare to find friendships that last through life’s storms. The kind of friendship that you can be yourself, with all your mistakes and failings, and still, you’re loved and cherished.