One thing great about unplanned meeting is that, it almost always pushes through unlike other times when you have anticipated and looked forward to it only to find that it was just that – a plan. You feel disappointed. Last Friday was one of those spur of the moment decisions to have lunch with the kids. Since it was a Friday and Josef was still on vacation leave so off we went to Makati to meet Nissa during her lunch break. She needs a xerox copy of Nate’s birth certificate for their flight on Tuesday so I have a perfect excuse to tag along. We had lunch at Cafe France. I enjoyed looking at their display of French bread, croissants, pastries and cookies. My busy mind was at work the whole time I looked at the arrangement on their shelves. I was thinking, “I’ll bake my own Vienna loaf or sourdough one of these days.” I was pleasantly surprised when Nissa told me that it used to be called Deli France and she meant my favorite hangout with some friends years and years ago. Have I grown that old that I never noticed that it has changed its name all these years or have I become such a recluse, often afraid to go out alone?
I used to attend high school reunions on a regular basis but then even that has lost its magic. Seeing my former classmates on Facebook is now enough for me. I have my group now, mostly members of our Catholic page where I am an admin. They are OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) who make sacrifices being away to earn a few dollars to support their family back home. When they go home for vacation, some of them drop by to see me and we usually have long chats on how life is away from one’s family. I know, I always tell them, I was a OFW wife for more than twenty years. I know what one feels when you are faced with a gargantuan task of raising a family alone while at the same time trying to balance a day job. Maybe, I was luckier than most to have found reliable minders to my kids back then.
Things do not always end the way you planned. Sometimes, there is a greater force you have no control of. These are those things that make you stronger in faith that you will get through it all. The richness of life does not always come from good things thrown your way, most of it comes from your experience of what pain is all about and how you cope with it. You learn and you learn well. When the journey becomes a perilous path of uncertainty, you pray hard for guidance and God never disappoints.
On a lighter note, I am quite happy that we have finished putting some Christmas decor. Most are recycled and favorite pieces over the years. I took advantage of Josef being home to help me hang the trimmings. I am still thinking of putting Christmas lights on the newly trimmed tree in our garden. We have this kind of pine tree that I can’t identify planted near our little pond and I think it would be perfect for that holiday touch.