Just right after I woke up, Sunday Morning at exactly 7:01 a.m., I heard my cell phone ring with a message from a dear friend, cousin and sister, Abeth Sorra. Her message to me read: “DAI NA SI MAMA”. I was taken aback because I told her a couple of days ago that I will send her a letter which was supposed to be read to her Mom as my way of thanking her for all the good things that she had shown me and for accepting me as her own son when my parents died. That letter was not finished and was never sent. Now, here I am, not knowing what to write as I really hate doing things like this for persons who became part of me and my life.
“DAI NA” is the Bicol translation of the English word “gone”, which means someone has left the place and is no longer there or that someone had ceased to exist. Abeth sent me these exact words because, as an ordinary human being, she really felt the void or the emptiness in her heart by losing her mother. I couldn’t think of words on how to console her right after I got her message and I just prayed that all of them may be able to find the grace of letting go of their beloved mother and to keep their faith in our God of love, forgiveness and consolation.
She felt this emptiness because I know her world revolved around her family and her Mama, Nanay Sonia, was her best friend and ever-caring mother. Of course, this same treatment which Nanay Son gave to Abeth was also given in the same measure to Ate Peachy and Nenen. For quite some time, these three sisters, together with their father, Tiyo Efren, spent sleepless night in prayer that their mom may survive her battle against the Big-C. But, it is God who decides and He knows what is best for all of us. We may have a lot of questions in mind right now and we may not understand His wisdom yet. However, in time, we will come to understand.
I was in Albay some weeks ago but I decided not to visit Tiya Son at the hospital where she was confined because I didn’t have the strength to look at her in her dying state and I just simply want to remember her smiling face and even her angry face when she would scold me in the past over my wrongdoings than to remember her in her suffering look. I hope masasabutan niya ako as I have told my side to Ate Peachy before Tiya Son passed out.
My heart goes out for the family as I am no stranger to what you might be feeling right now. I lost my Dad in 1996, my youngest sister in 2013, and my Mom in 2014. I even cursed God for letting these sad things to happen. I may be a sinner even as a priest but why was it that I was not the one who got the punishment? I wanted to die during those tragedies because I felt DAI NA man ning halaga ang buhay ko ta DAI NA su mga inspirasyon ko!
Thanks to my seminary formation and my close friends who never left me alone during my moment of sadness because, if without them, I may have committed that unforgivable sin of despair by taking my own life just to be with my beloved ones. I am so thankful now because it is really true that, if God closes the door, He would surely open a window! In my life, when the seeming door was shut off, God did not merely opened a window for me but he tore even the walls and fences which blurred my sight to see the wonders and beauty of life! My two other sisters, Margie and Malou, and I are now closer as siblings than ever before in our younger days and I believe that this is one of the good things that can come out from a bad experience.
As the saying goes: “when it rains, it pours!” and I do believe that sometimes it really does! We are no longer afraid of rains because we were located in this typhoon-friendly province and we have already proven to the whole world that we can still sing out loud even if we are stressed out to our breaking point. Who can tear us apart? Who can break us and put us to the ground of sadness and misery? I think the one who can do that to us may have not yet been born and will never exist for as long as we have this faith in Him which can really move mountains. If that faith can move mountains, then, it can also shoo typhoons in life away from us and banish our emptiness and sadness. We are strong because God is always with us and we only need to keep that faith in Him.
Tiyo Efren, Ate Peachy, Nenen, Abeth and to all other relatives close to Tiya Son… just keep praying to God for His graces and soon you will learn to accept the fact that EVERYTHING in this world happen according to His will, to His plans and purposes for us all. DAI NA siya it is true, but only physically because she will always be with us now in a more extraordinary ways of being with us. She may be that new flower in your garden to cool your mood, she may be that song which can inspire you to appreciate all the graces coming from above, and she may be a drizzle on your face to comfort you against the harshness of the sun. DAI NA siya pero ang mahalaga UYA PA kami for all of you! My heartfelt sympathy and prayers to the Sorra family!