Saturday, October 6, 2012

# 59 in His time.........

in all of us, there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage -- to know who we are and where we came from.     -alex haley, roots

she was adorable. everybody's darling. at 3, she aced every singing contest she joined. she was a natural performer. she took to the stage as a runner would to a track or a swimmer to a pool. at 4, she was famous. fifty years ago, when a child from a very distant, sleepy town in bohol is brought to manila to perform on stage with big-name stars, that spells stardom. with a capital S.  at 6, she was gone. brought across the oceans to distant shores. very distant shores.

her story was passed on, a staple at family get-togethers. famous young cousin, whereabouts unknown.   at our young age, that was hard to comprehend.  what was she like? why is she lost? how can she get lost? so many questions. no answers.

he searched for her. nothing more gut-wrenching than a parent waiting for a child's return. days turned into months. months rolled into years. years dragged on to several more years. always holding on to hope when all hope was gone.  clinging on to a memory that had sadly become but a blur through the years. an old man's heart so consumed with the loss of a child.  pining till his last breath. a woeful unspoken cry silenced forever.  never to be heard again.

 a single black and white picture was the only remembrance the family had of the little girl who captured the hearts of many yet unknowingly broke their own.

the clan's family tree is documented in a book that highlighted the grand gathering in 2009. the online version of the book paved the way for a long-overdue reunion that spanned decades and miles.

her father was desperate.  time was not on his side.  he wrote a letter that her family sent to as many people as they could reach with a prayer that somehow it would find its way to her. daunting task at a time when social networking was unheard of. 

it was almost theatrical.  a search on the internet two years ago brought her to the family book. a stab to her heart when she could not find her name under her father's family tree. nor her mother's name.  hurting, she did not bother to turn any more pages. fast forward to the present. her daughter comes across a repost of the real father's letter, surprisingly, in a humor blog. the daughter feels a connection. she goes back to the family book and turns more pages. she had to look. her mother should be there somewhere. indeed, she was! under the family tree of the father's twin.  a friend request on facebook to a newly-discovered sister. no accompanying message, just a request.  an american-sounding surname explains the sister's momentary hesitation to accept. 'are you filipina?', she asks. so it came to be that all pieces of the 50-year old puzzle started to come together.  pieces frayed but never forgotten through the years.

she is home. she has found her roots. 50 years is a long time but family knows no distance nor time. while the internet played a major role in the unfolding drama, it had more to do with keeping the faith. believing that He writes the script. He directs it, too. God's hand at work it was.

in His time, He makes all things beautiful.  in His time, He makes things happen. bringing her home to family where she truly belongs is as beautiful as a thing of real beauty could be.  as wondrous as only His hand at work could be.  isn't that most awesome?