“KARINA, MY DARLING…”
“KARINA, MY DARLING…”
By Ermin Garcia
August 1, 1965
Karina, ever my darling—
After many months, I go back to this folder (your own) and put down once again my thoughts. Distractions from various quarters—largely work on the paper and its business and civic work have kept me away-. But in the interim, I have lived as ever on thoughts of you.
The days and months have not in any way dimmed the memory of you nor exhausted or weakened the love I have for you. Hardly an hour passes that my thoughts flit back to you, wherever I am, whatever it is I do.
As the months rolled by, I felt I was getting closer to you. It’s not only that each day brings me closer to Eternity. In my own journey as a pilgrim to the Everlasting City, I feel that I have been making some headway—not by leaps and bounds, but in painful single steps, weak and clumsy yet still I think that overall I make some progress to the objective your going away has set for the taking as you did when you were with us.
I seem to have found my bearings. YOU HELPED ME and I have found it easier TO LOVE GOD FOR HIMSELF, FOR WHAT HE IS, AND TO TRY HONESTLY TO LIVE FAITHFULLY BY THAT LOVE FOR HIM. I NOW REALIZE THAT HE IS ALL- GOOD, ALL-LOVING. That His love is ours for the taking as you did when you were with us. We have had several inquiries about your life, requests for vignettes and anecdotes. Those who have had the joy of knowing you and those who have known you only through others are highly confident that you have joined the heavenly host.
In their admiration, faith, and love for you, they have been praying to you for your intercession, and they tell me most joyously that God has been kind to their prayers to Him through you.
The faith of strangers, as well as of friends, has touched me deeply. It makes me humbly proud of you, unworthy a father though I had been to you, in the awareness that you are everything you have been, utterly regardless of me, inspite of me.
I think that all that you are can be traced back to the fact that you eagerly made yourself a true child of God. If there’s anything I would count as my most cherished blessing, it is the inexplicable fortune of having such splendid children as you and your sisters and brother. I am as grateful to Him for you all as I am of the talents He has provided me.
And just as you all are directing your lives to the love of God, I now aspire to employ my talents in His service. I shall work in my occupations in the full understanding that He has given me my work to accomplish for Him- and for His children.
Pray for me, my darling, that I may yet put in some constructive effort in His scheme of things, that I may justify the gift of His talent by putting it to salutary use, however humble and small. I hope and pray that my life would be as meaningful and constructive in His plans as yours was in its fleetingly brief span of twelve years.
There is no way for me to divine His plan for me, to find out what it is He wants me to do, but to seize every opportunity TO BE IN HIS SERVICE—DIRECTLY OR TO THE PEOPLE—and to apply myself with all serve Him through my pen. I regret that in the past it had been used at times in perfidious disregard or violation of His wish and commandments.
This school year I have started paying for the tuition of a very deserving seminarian of Binmaley—Camilo Natividad of Mapandan. I met him when I had my Retreat in the seminary last year. Father Tito assigned him to attend to me in my room, and he was especially selected because of his personal qualifications, according to our beloved Father Tito.
As you know, I make barely enough for the family and the education of your sisters and brother, but I feel the boy needs help, as he comes, I understand, from very poor parents. Right now I can’t recall his face, all I can remember was that he was a very alert and respectful young man, and from his letters to me I know he’ll make a worthy minister of God. Beyond providing for the needs of the family, I HOPE AND DO INTEND TO GIVE ALL THAT I HAVE TO THE POOR.
In my boyhood, I had admired the ministry as a vocation but I realized (too readily) that I was destined for another kind of life. The monthly expense for Camilo is not much, compared to the annual outlay for Josie, Junior, Charisse, and Frieda. I’d like to think of my expenses for Camilo as my expenses for your own education, my darling, if you had stayed around—part of it only anyway. I know you’ll be happy and honored to have the priesthood take the vocation you would have picked for yourself.
I am indeed humbly grateful for the opportunity to contribute in a small way to the making of a minister of God. Some priests, starting with Father Tito, have been very kind to me. They have been taking extra pains to help me on my road to God—and you.
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