Trip to the airport was noisy. In the jeep were mother, father, aunts, uncles, siblings and a handful of tiny nieces and nephews who can fit in the space, and a few close friends. Mother tearfully wondering why her baby has to leave. Father saying, you be good, study hard. Oldest sister telling her, don’t forget to help everyone. Friends telling her, hey, bring home your diploma. After a lot more cheers, banters and tears, time to board Philippine Airlines 100.
Flight was smooth. Crossed the international dateline with the magnificent golden sunray shading over the Pacific. Stopped in Honolulu, Hawaii, the official port of entry, “melting pot”, gateway from Asia. Proceeded to San Francisco. Life in a foreign land begins.
Lived with a generous young couple and their two children. Many stories along the way. Many experiences of joy, challenges, successes and accomplishments. Journey in a path less-perfect, yet overall a road travelled with determination. Dreams realized to get a good education. Worked in one of the top international companies in the world under the tutorial of managers-turned mentors-turned lifetime friends. Family members came as promised. Met many people that enriched one’s life with compassion, respect and understanding. The gift of a wonderful daughter any mother will be so proud of, for her kind and humble ways.
Now, August 6, 2013, in San Ramon, California. Time flew by, memories of the past fifty years almost clear as glass. Feeling blessed with the presence of the beautiful surroundings in the presence of good family and friends. Learning anew. Cherishing the many people who made life rewarding, too many to mention, while making new friends and acquaintances, sharing bits and pieces of knowledge for one’s enrichment, never about self. Just enjoying life’s bountiful harvest. Tomorrow is yet the beginning of another fifty years. What’s ahead? No one knows. A time for more memories. Life is good!
“Dedicated to my host family – Jaime and Dativa Millare, parents of Lynn and Matthew Millare, whose generosity is forever embedded.”