As if it was just yesterday when my eldest daughter Maria was born. I can still remember the first time I saw her face at the hospital, I had mixed feelings then. Happy on one side, and fear on the other. Happy because I became a father, and fear because I don't know if I could be a good father for her. I remember the time when she made her first step, it was amazing. And it was awesome when she spoke her first word, "Dada" - she said.
But of course it was not all amazing, and awsome when you come to realize that this beautiful baby would start growing, and would need things like diapers, milk, clothings and would one day go to school etc. During this time I didn't have a job, I only depended on my parents for everything, (that's so typical of Filipinos, you know!), and I think it's one of the mistakes most young Filipino parents do, and never realized, getting into something without planning, or metaphorically, going to battle without a weapon. But God is good, He gave me a job!
And that was one of the reasons why I am here in Saudi Arabia, to give my Maria (...and Celina) a good future. Looking back, it was a struggle really just to put food on the table back home, and to prove that I'm a worthy father for my children. I've been through a lot since I had my first job, ranging from having a low salary, depression, battling insomnia to having problem with some of my co-workers. I'm doing this for my family because I love them so much, and I don't need appreciations, just to see them happy is enough for me.
It was that time when the tree bears fruit. Maria graduated from college last April, and it made me even happier to learn that she was 'Cum Laude' in her class. I was a bit disappointed because I wasn't able to attend her graduation. It would have been great if I was there to witness it for myself -- the fruit of my labor. Hotel and Restaurant Management was her course, it was exactly the same course I took in college, but didn't finish. In a way, her graduating from HRM somehow fulfilled my dream.
Maria turned 20 last week. When I told her on the phone that she's no longer a teenager, she replied that she's 'twenteen' now. Yup!, I'm old. I'm proud of her, and I'm so thankful to God for the wonderful blessings. It's Yahweh who made it all possible! I'm praying that the Lord would bless Maria with wisdom and knowledge, and to guide her walk in this dark and wretched world. Thank you Jesus for all the blessings, and for giving me two wonderful and amazing daughters. Halleluiah!
O give thanks to the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endures for ever. ~ Psalm 118:1