While many Filipinos would take all the chances to chase dual citizenship, many of them would shun by all means the looks of being senior citizen. For some Filipinos who are forever stuck in our country, they aren’t aware that they could also have dual citizenship when they turn 60 years old.
For men, there had been a famous maxim, “Life begins at forty”. If that’s literal, my late father had lived only 18 years. He’s still young if he’s still alive today. But he already rested in the Lord the other year, and he missed his dual citizenship today.
With nostalgia, I ran down memory lane and reminisce the wonderful moments with Papa Benny. His life has been full of lots of twists and turns as a growing teenager and more of those on his 20’s until he found and married Mama Linda. Life wasn’t a bed of roses, and yet, they had a fulfilling one that surpassed thorns and thistles.
I remember him cuddling us and laughing with us during family time. He’s a good storyteller. If you also find me as a good one, I got it from him (haha). Me and my siblings would memorize verses during family worship, and sing our hearts out. More children added to the family, and that meant more demands and needs, especially financially. He’s been a man of adventures, so from being a literature evangelist, he ventured out other trades and businesses, which demanded a lot of travel and sojourn to far and different places. Without his physical presence for many months, we’ve learned to be more independent and responsible children. My mom stood firm and fervent in faith, and strengthen the family, when the pillar isn’t there. My brother, at his young age helped out as well, and we’ve learned how to be more unified and dedicated to help each other til we grew, and until our parents grew old as well.
Throughout the most crucial years, with the most unfathomable crucibles we’ve encountered, God has been gracious and faithful to His promises. We’re indebted to God’s sustaining grace. We’re almost broken, but He put the shattered pieces together. We’re emotionally draining, but God’s love sustained and kept us holding on. We’re physically deteriorating, but God restored us, tho’ two among precious branches fell off, with half of the family tree trunk went six feet under already. The spiritual root, grounded in faith kept us standing still. The fiercest storm of life has passed by, we found shelter and peace in the bosom of the Loving Creator and Giver of Life.
On January 4th, our family reached another memorable milestone. My younger sister got married, and it could have been more meaningful and wonderful if three among our loved ones were still alive and have shared the joy of celebrating their marriage. I’m simply grateful for the new family that my sister Zola Fiorella got — Becbec family. I’m also proud of my wonder mom who’ve been strong and so loving. I remember our late father teasing Zola and I that we should be married soon and give them grandchildren. But he wasn’t able to witness her wedding. And even mine in the future, if that’s God’s will for me is.
As what I’ve heard and read again and again, you can never choose a family, or parents, but you can choose to accept them and love them unconditionally. God has a purpose for allowing things to happen. My birthday tribute for Papa last year was entitled,
PAIN: A Blessing Not Everyone Appreciates (click the title or the link below to read)
Our father has been gone for almost two years now, but his loving memory and special place in our hearts would remain. He might not enjoy the privileges of being a senior citizen starting today, but the citizenship in heaven in God’s appointed time is the best security he could have, and our family could have. I long for the great resurrection morning when I shall see and hug him again.
“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” Philippians 3:20-21, NIV
© 2015 LAF
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