We are really never alone

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By Evelyn R. Luab

Light Sunday

Sunday, August 10, 2014


YOU cannot have someone forever. People don’t stay in our lives for long. They come and go. Children grow up, get married, choose their vocations and leave our homes. Eventually some of us are called home earlier than others. Even our helpers, our drivers, our gardeners change employment and go tp-o greener pastures. For many of us, greener pastures mean leaving the Philippines to seek fulfillment in terms of better pay. Life, however, does not stop. It prods us to go on.

Widows and widowers manage to occupy their lives with children and grandchildren. Estranged people try to prop themselves by moving forward and putting a closure on their pain. Those whose caretakers have opted to seek better pay try to find replacements. Nothing stands still. The human spirit normally does not give up. It fights to survive.

Faith and trust in a loving Father is what strengthens most of us. We know that as long as we put ourselves in the hands of God, we will be safe.

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We have seen so many widows with six children survive in rearing their families, in sending their children through college by making do with what help they get from relatives and from friends. Others through sheer grit and will power manage to get through the hardships in life and come out on top through very hard work.

I once applauded a friend when the last of her sons graduated from college. With motherly pride she turned to me and said, “I took care of four boys after my husband left us. I managed two jobs. I was a desk clerk during the day and I handled some night classes in an accredited school. It was so tough on me because these were times when I worked even if I had fever but I and my boys managed.”

Single parents manage even without the help of their own parents. They accept menial jobs and are able to send their children to school.

One of my domestic helpers sent her son through school. He finally graduated and eventually became a member of the police force. The minute he got his first salary, he approached me and with pride requested that his mom stop working. He said, “I will take care of my mom now.” I saw the grateful tears of his mom.

Awareness of what we can do when we are alone is really what is needed in our life. Loneliness can be assuaged. People whose love life has been shattered because they have been literally dumped on the sidewalk can still stand up and face reality. So often in life, when we think that the end of the world has come, the tide of life turns. The saying, “A big tumble need not keep you down” is true. The bruises fade, the heart becomes whole again and one can still find happiness in one’s work, one’s interests and one’s apostolate.

Happiness does not depend on other people. Of course we are blessed if we are given the right mate in life. For many of us who are not so blessed, happiness can spurt from so many other things. Friends can make us happy. Hobbies often do. Service to our brothers not only brings happiness but also a sense of satisfaction.

Simple people often teach me how to be happy. Early in the morning, I enjoy, watching the helper of my neighbor romp with their brown and white Labrador. Her laughter, coupled with the dog’s barking, is such a joy behold. It is not only the dog who enjoys running but the girl’s as well. Even her employer joins in the laughter. In my case I look forward to their morning jaunts.

I’ve also seen the happiness which some trisikad drivers enjoy when their families join them for lunch. Most of their families join them for lunch because by that time, they already have money to buy lunch. The trisikad terminal is just outside the gate of the subdivision where I live. Some wives bring their infants along. You have to see the faces of these people and hear their laughter as they partake of their simple meal.

Pain, loneliness, financial problems, health problems can seem insurmountable but we have a God who promised to be with us until the end of time. Banking on this promise, we know that we are never really alone.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 10, 2014.

Lifestyle

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