My mind woke to the sound of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy being played like a lullaby. I promised to be awake until it was time, but the tiredness my body suffered from the journey, paired with the comforting embrace of the AC made it impossible for me to stay true to what I swore. “Did they hear my snore? Is it possible that I slept-talked, thus revealing the bittersweet dream I just had?” were the questions that flooded my thoughts immediately.
Then the painful truth dawned on me, as if my truest friend shook me up just to remind that in a couple of hours’ time, she will be gone.
She will be gone.
We had months to prepare for her departure to the Emirates: our eyes wouldn’t pick an appropriate time and place before they sting, and every moment leading to this was treasured and carefully said I-love-you’s with; I accompanied her as she was gathering the required documents for her visa, and I prayed hard with her.
This is the culmination of your tears and toils, my mind said to me. I didn’t want to accept it. I felt pain and sorrow. At that time, I just wanted to shout with all my might how I wanted to take it all back. Never mind that she’d be startled by my voice. Never mind that her brother and her nephew would see me as a lunatic afterward. Never mind that all her efforts would be in vain.
But because I love her, and that I would support her no matter what, I had to shut my mouth.
Of course, I know full well why she wanted to work overseas, and it’s nothing short of glorious and sacrificial. All Filipinos risk being separated from their loved ones for the same reason. And because we know the reason for the sacrifice, we are able to carry the burden.
At that time, my only wish was for us to stay huddled together, with her unruly nephew and her brother and sister-in-law, listening to Beethoven’s pieces arranged like lullabies. Even when it was time for us to get up and prepare for the trip to the airport, my mind kept repeating just stay here, like this, a little longer. A little longer. A little longer.
It’s only been two weeks since I’ve seen and embraced her for the last time at the airport, but it feels like years already. How I yearn to feel her warm arms wrapped around me, her curly hair tickling me, her tender voice telling me how much she loves me.
Right now there are two things that keep me inspired and faithful to the decision we have come up with: (1) that we agreed to this setup because we’re doing this for our future, and (2) that one day, we’ll be together once more.
As I have been doing since the day I’ve decided to pursue her and win her heart, I try as much as I could to see God in our relationship. Somehow in our setup — especially in our setup — I begin to understand God a little more. As a friend of mine explained to me, it wasn’t really God’s design for people to have long-distance relationships. And if it gives us any comfort, the nearest example found in the Bible which we could learn from and emulate is the one demonstrated by Jesus’ and the Father’s while he lived as a man.
For my sake, I’ll take it even further: the time that we are spending waiting for the day when we’d be together once again, and for good — that is what I would call Christianity.
What we do while we’re waiting to be together with our loved one once more, those are essentially the rules set by Jesus: be faithful, communicate with each other as often as you can, make the most out of every opportunity, comfort those who are also in similar setups, and finally, set an example to those who are not.
I found out that I learn best about God if I would use foreshadowing, so I’m using this. After all, it’s also the technique the Father used to introduce Jesus and His redemptive plan for mankind.
So I’m waiting for her return. I promise, just as any Christian would, that I will be faithful to her, as if I’m incapable of looking for another woman. I will make time for her, even if it means I have to wake up at 2 am every single day. I will hone myself to my full potential and try unceasingly to become a better person, regardless of whether she sees or not (she wouldn’t). Finally, I will strive to show people that we’re sacrificing a lot of things because we’re doing it for a purpose, and that we love each other enough.
All of this sprung up from the fact that we are not contented with how things are, and that we are dreaming of a better life for us. And isn’t that the reason why we Christians were chosen by God? To herald the coming of a better order of things? To exhibit the kind of love that would not fail? To demonstrate the fact that we might be weeping now for the loss of justice today, but that one day, all our tears will be wiped out from our eyes?
For now, I’m willing to put up with anything for a little longer. A little longer, for her. A little longer, all for my King.