If Only…

by

Yesterday, I bid farewell to my mommy who went back to her temporary home in the US. She came back to Manila last month after finding out that her half-brother was dying of cancer. She, together with her father (my grandfather) came to attend to a family emergency.

Though my mom’s stay was short, we were able to spend time with her again. Seeing her leave and travel thousands of miles away from us is never easy on both of us. I wish she never had to leave. I wish she never had to decide to live there for 9 years now. And at the end of the month, my youngest brother would be joining her too.

Days before her departure, I was feeling sad after knowing that my family and my father will be the only ones left here in Manila. I have another brother who left maybe five years ago and is now living in Canada with his family.

Because of these circumstances, I began to look back and recall why my mom decided to leave our homeland and move to the States. Realizing the reason, there was a momentary feeling of resentment towards my parents. You see, I grew up seeing my parents fight all the time. I love them both but it’s just the reality I had when I was a young child. I don’t blame them. I know they didn’t want what happened to them in the past.

They became “friends” after they separated. I’m not agreeable to their decision  but who am I to decide for them? But honestly, during that time, I had a sense of relief. It seems selfish but I thought, finally, some peace and quiet!

But then again, we had to face the consequences of that decision. It was not an easy journey for my mom and me even for my brothers. She had to endure hardships too in the states without us her family beside her. I too had to care for my youngest brother who was 12 years that time. I had to stand in for my mom because my father was working. He got into trouble in high school that I pleaded my mother to either come home or take him with her to the states. I couldn’t handle it anymore as I was a first time mom then, I had my own family to attend to.

But I’ve moved on after that, so did everybody in the family. Now, this is the life that we have. My mother is living in another country and will soon be joined by my youngest brother. My father has his own life but is sad to know that his “baby boy” will be leaving him too.

Tears are welling up my eyes again as I write this. If only things were different, no one in my family would have left. If only…if only…if only…

In my quiet time yesterday, I was comforted by Psalm 18:30 which says,

As for God, his way is perfect:
    The Lord’s word is flawless;
    he shields all who take refuge in him.

I know that whatever circumstances my family faces today, it’s all because God allowed it. He has purposes set for my family and for each member individually. My soul may be downcast because of the turn of events but His ways are perfect. His ways are better than mine. I pray that God would bless them wherever they go and whatever they do. For my brother, it has been my prayer that he will truly seek the Lord in this new chapter in his life. May he search Him with all his heart and lean not on his understanding but acknowlege God in all his ways.

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I’d like to borrow some of the words in Lea Salonga’s old song:

If only

If only I could find a way to say the words
I’ve kept for a long time
Oh if only I could stay to make you
Feel the way I do
With us not parting I can