I notice most of my posts have the word forever or its synonyms in them. Probably an ideal concept and favorite theme of mine even though nothing in this world truly lasts that long. No argument to that. But what do we make of the greatest love of all – the love between parent and child?
My son’s recent trip to Cebu had him gushing, “It’s been the best time of my life.” It was then that I realized my boy is fully grown up.
In the recent months that I’ve been watching him, oft from a distance, fractions of our history slice through my mind and warm memories seize me. Twenty one years of sheer togetherness. Now my baby is getting set to spread his wings. He’s excited about his future that seems rich of promise. A year of preparation and hard studying to become a licensed Engineer is about to culminate in a grueling two-day (national board) examination this March. Aside from that, he has already expressed his enthusiasm for independence – to be on his own – as soon as he finds a job. It’s about time; I know. No filial cord should tether him from stretching his courage and gumption.
Lying in wait, both our destinies have paused for a moment of breath.
I’ve no doubt my son loves me in his own peculiar way; in much the same way he has perfectly known how I’ve always loved him to pieces. But there’s a world outside waiting for him to explore.
Doesn’t love allow for trust in the unknown – no matter how heavy the price it exacts on our peace of mind? I’d be lying if I said I have no worry as to how well my son would blend into that broad, distant horizon where he plans to go. I may be looking forward to retreat into quiet happiness and bits of adventure in the near future myself – but I have begun envisioning, too, how much I’ll be missing him when he has already flown away from my nest.
Sometimes, being a parent doesn’t fully justify the fire of love and concern that burns in your heart for your child.
But what do I really know about life and love and loss anyway? What with the past year that has seen me dismantling and overhauling the personal ideologies I’ve kept for so long.
Our doors invariably remain open to everything uncertain – good or bad or worse. The world will keep on orbiting in its inscrutability regardless; clutching each of us in its course.
Eventually, we’ll all bend down to the conceit of time, the inexorability of change, and the ruthless wiles of the Ultimate Equalizer.
Yet I have also learned that love expands to an unexplored breadth – as soon as everything’s lost to eternity.
A beautiful poem titled “You Shall Be Free” by a Filipino poet, from one of my son’s college literature textbook, has appealed to me. It goes:
I will not hold you by restraining hands
For you shall be free like waters on the strands
I will not speak of days to remember
Of lanes we trod through April sun and shower.
No, not a word to hint of that or this,
Lest speaking so, your going I impede.
I will resign myself to all that is –
Like unto sands when cooling waves recede.
O while the strength of seeing love undone
Still stands by me, I pray you, Love, be gone.
– Trinidad Tarrosa–Subido