“KARINA, MY DARLING…”
“KARINA, MY DARLING…”
By Ermin Garcia
April 25, 1964
As I write this, my darling, the sun sets on a day of observance, of another day 43 years ago in that small town so dear to our hearts, San Fabian. As you have known, I never was for celebrating the day. I have always felt that nobody in the world is the richer, materially and spiritually, by my birth. And as I could recall, I could not see any reason for self-congratulation. The joys of my life never could match the extent and the profundity of the myriad sorrows and tribulations I went through.
With your passing almost six months ago, the mood of grief seems o be permanent. On occasion, with your sisters and brother, your Ma, and close friends, I smile and even dare to laugh. But in my subconscious mind, a pall of mourning never lifts. I laugh as best and as frequently as I can—and I’m quite aware that these are far between, so as not to deepen the sorrow that I know they are all bravely trying to fight back and hold down.
The intense devotion that fills their prayers for you more than proves that their grief is no less heavy than mine. And I can see too the special effort they are making not to show it to me, knowing how broken my spirit has been by your passing. In this loving thoughtfulness, they prove themselves to be of tougher fiber, of much greater and finer character than me, for I think that in my selfishness, I have been thoughtless many a time, and in their midst I have been moody and distant from them. And yet I know that if anything should happen to any of them, my grief would not be less severe.
I have let the word pass around to my intimate circle of friends headed by our Father Tito that I would very much prefer them to lay siege on Heaven on your beloved behalf rather than spend to buy gifts for me.
I have everything for my simple needs, and a gift for me would almost be meaningless but for the cherished intentions of the giver. If they really wished for me to be very happy, it would only be because they offered special prayers and mortifications for your happiness in God. I know that if you have any to spare, you would ask Him to apply the graces to me. The best gift, aside from all those given for you, is a small book, in very readable type, of Thomas a’Kempis’ “Imitation of Christ” from Miss Liwanag, who has, together with Father Tito, helped me immeasurably in my finding the way back to you and remaining on this path resolutely inspite of my weakness. But what I love best about the gift was the dedicatory note. It reads: “To the Father of the lovable little angel, Karina, in the hope that this little book will act as a bridge to reach his little one.”
In this short but magnificent note is included all that I ever care to be and aspire to: the deathless pride of having been your father, unworthy though I am; the frenzied desire to get to you, to reach you—and reaching you, find my way back to God.
I keep going back to the days between my First Communion when I was ten years old and my twelfth year. Those were the years I walked with God in my innocence and intense devotion to Him. It gladdens me to note that in His Love for you (and possibly for me), He plucked you at the height of your innocence and the crest of your devotion, your missionary work for Him. For your own sake, my darling, I am happy that He took you when He did—before the world could infiltrate your soul. For I recall that in my own case, I started to stray not very long after my twelfth year.
The memory of my twelfth year gives me assurance that then I yet walked in my innocence. It was the year your great-grandfather, Ambrosio, died, and I remember how I felt and prayed for him.
On this, my 43rd birthday anniversary, my thoughts go at the same time to your grandmother, my beloved and most loving mother, for whom I pray always. I like to imagine both of you together Up There, having met each other, watching and praying for me and the rest of the family, for your grandpa who loves you deeply and of whom you were very fond, for your great-grandma, in my great love for whom you readily joined me, and for your loving grand-uncles and grand-aunts.
* * * * *
Share your Comments or Reactions
Powered by Facebook Comments