While waiting for service at a restaurant the other day, I had a chat with a lovely young couple, parents of an only child who, by the their own admission, is pretty spoiled.
“He is not a brat,” the mother quickly added. “But he is used to getting his way. We are worried that now that he is in a ‘big school,’ he will get hurt or perhaps disappointed. We are afraid he is unprepared for what may come next. What should we tell him?”
How does one give sound advice between soup and the entrée? I was grateful when the appetizers came.
Later that day I came across an interesting commencement address, unlike any other I have heard. United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. delivered a most unconventional speech at his son Jack’s middle school graduation at Cardigan Mountain School in New Hampshire. I wish I had seen it earlier.
Let me share part of it.
“Now the commencement speakers will typically also wish you good luck and extend good wishes to you. I will not do that and I will tell you why.
“From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice.
“I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty.
“Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted.
“I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time, so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either.
“And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship.
“I hope you will be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion.
“Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.”
What a speech. Tradition sidelined by wisdom.
All about rain
A Facebook post asks: “Who likes to sit on a porch and watch it rain?”
I do. It’s one of my favorite things. I am transfixed looking out a window when the rain comes down, watching droplets trickling down glass windows chasing one another.
I love to hear rain on the roof. There is a rhythm that soothes, reminding me of childhood siestas. There was no air-conditioning then, just a gentle breeze and the steady patter of rain. Heavenly!
I remember beautiful rainy afternoons in Baguio. An eerie mist envelops the mountains. It is an irresistible invitation to do nothing, except perhaps sip a cup of steaming Benguet coffee and wait for it to clear. And when it seems never to end, you just pour another cup and listen to another story.
I recall days like that in Hawaii. They call it liquid sunshine in that island paradise.
I remember my quiet house. I would take my banig and pillow close to the open jalousies in the family room. It was my time to take a snooze, while a huge pot of ox tail soup simmered over a low fire in the kitchen. The broccoli and rice would come later for an amazing dinner, Hawaiian style.
In my sister’s house in Atlanta, the rain does not make a sound. We don’t know it’s raining unless we look outside.
I don’t like lightning and thunder. They scare me.
Just give me rain, the kind that revives everything on earth after a long dry spell. It is delightful to see the plants perk up and drink it all in.
Much like any one of us, parched and thirsty, walking through the barren deserts of life. We look up to heaven and pray for His rain, for His times of refreshing.
A sad time
Someone once wrote, “How can words make sense, or music, when the heart is broken? It would be best not to speak, and just weep, because for this moment, it is all my heart can do.”
Indulge me while I grieve and remember Isabel Razon Puyat, the youngest fourth-generation Razon, daughter of Col. Jose Razon, wife of Jose “Popit” Puyat—my first cousin, and my best friend.
Bingle was generous, gregarious, funny and witty. There was never a wasted moment with her. She made things happen. And it was all for the good, always.
She was passionate about family; a devoted wife and mother and a doting lola.
We spent long hours together wondering about our children and grandchildren, reluctant to admit that there was nothing much we could do; that events were happening too fast, that life was changing even faster. We prayed. And sometimes in tears, we managed to laugh.
Bingle was my avid reader. She often scolded that I wore my heart too much on my sleeve. I guess she was afraid I would get hurt all over again. But when I tried to assure her that I was really okay, she didn’t believe me. I guess she knows now.
On July 7, Bingle left us and went home to be with Jesus.
I have lost part of my heart. I will miss her forever.