“KARINA, MY DARLING…”
“KARINA, MY DARLING…”
By Ermin Garcia
November 1, 1964
It has been exactly a year since you left us, and yet it seems only yesterday that I last saw you and hugged you in my breast.
Looking back to the first twelve months of your absence, I can say humbly that they were the dawning of another life.
Let’s say it started that day, about two weeks before your departure, when you told me to listen while you gave me a sample of your Bible lessons in your catechetical work. I was lying then on the red sofa in the living room and my heart pulsed with pride as you explained to me a colored picture from the Bible.
Of course, it was your sudden leave that jolted me to my senses. And while it has been a painstaking effort, my erratic attempts often threatened to break up our joint undertaking. My weak, spineless character often wilted in the face of constant, incessant pressure. But each time I have gone down, I have tried always to rise again from my failure—chastened and humbled, but more determined than ever.
I have prayed to God and for your intercession that I would someday grow to be worthy of having been the Father of Karina, to walk in your footsteps, to trace the quiet paths you left as my legacy from you.
My mind is much clearer now. The fog that has settled around my soul all through the years seems to have lifted considerably. And I seem to have found, through you, the meaning of my life. In you and from you I discovered the simple truth about this life and about myself. I no longer grope in utter darkness. It is still somber, and shadows keep flitting, but my vision has cleared somehow and I have found the courage and the humility to live as you had lived and as you wanted me to.
“THE BEST THING A FATHER CAN DO FOR HIS CHILDREN IS TO LOVE THEIR MOTHER.” This is the message you left behind for me, as you wrote it down in your slum-book. Aside from indicating how quietly you had suffered because of my thoughtlessness for your beloved mother, that advice you so pointedly imparted to me has never dulled in my sight or in my mind.
Because of you, my darling, I have since vowed to love your mother as you had wished me to. Pray for me, my beloved, that I shall never be wanting in measuring up to this wish. I thank you, Karina, and most humbly I shall try to live by your precept.
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