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Unexpected 2020…

You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen. – Paulo Coelho

It was an unexpected turn of events since the opening of the year 2020 for my family.  Events that made occasions or celebrations meaningful ones and definitely unforgettable.  We were spending our New Year’s Day at our home in Alfonso, Cavite when we learned that the result of my husband’s Prometric exam was already available.  He was supposed to surprise me with the result.  (Epic fail…Hahaha!)  He was having a hard time figuring out the right login details for his account because I was the one doing most of the tasks for his application and updating and checking emails and instructions.  So, in the end, he was the one who got surprised!  (Hahaha!)  It was mixed emotions for all of us for it was one of the signs that he was really a step closer to leaving us and working abroad.  We also got to celebrate the positive result of that exam that night.  Days went by, his birthday came.  We planned a different celebration this year and spent an overnight stay in a rented condo unit in Tagaytay.  Our daughters were so happy so are we really got more time to bond with each other, thinking that it was really unpredictable when my husband will leave.  We checked out lunchtime the next day and went straight to our house again in Alfonso for the continuation of the celebration.  We celebrated with my brother and some relatives that night.  We had barbecues, crispy pata, few cans of beer for me, and brandy for the guys.  I went to bed earlier with the kids.  The guys spent the night drinking, eating, and playing online games until late midnight.  It was Sunday and we’re about to go back home to Carmona.  We left Alfonso before lunchtime as we always expect traffic to be bad during lunch for a lot of people are in Tagaytay to eat and chill.  It was that day that traffic was really bad because the vehicles are stopping on the side and getting a glimpse of the Taal Volcano.  As dazzled as other people, we also stopped to check what was happening.  It was then that we saw the volcano emitting smoke high enough to reach the sky and eventually the places nearby.  My husband was a bit overwhelmed and concerned with what’s happening during that time.  A lot of things already happened since that first day of the year.  Next, was a beautiful phenomenon that of the Taal Volcano ash eruption that happened just a few days after his birthday.  Days went by again so fast.

Fast forward to February.  It was Monday, February 24th, an ordinary day for all of us.  The kids went to school while the husband went to work.  After an 8-hour shift in the hospital, my husband came to work with some pasalubongs for us.  All of them were our favorites.  (Hahaha!  Spoiled wife and daughters…)  We were chatting with the kids and resting when he received a sudden call from the agency handling his application. Astounded as it may seem, we didn’t know how to react and answer the person on the other line learning that he is about to leave the country in 2 days.  I cried after that phone call.  (The crybaby in me…  Hahaha!)   Good thing it’s a holiday the next day.  Cramming and with no enough time, we just bought the things that we can think that he needs.  Everything was in a rush.  Arrived home late night already, we’re all tired especially the kids.  As soon as I put them to bed, I went straight to packing and fixing all the stuff he needs.  With no enough sleep, I woke up early in the morning of February 26th, the day of his departure.  We both got up and prepared ourselves to leave without saying anything to each other.  (It’s is our first time being away with each other since being together in 2010.)  I decided not to take the kids along with us for I can’t stand to see them cry when they see their father leaves.  We left early, I drove for him all the way to the agency in Cubao.  After dropping him off, I decided to wait for him for a few hours.  When he informed me that there will be a service that will take them to the airport, I decided to leave and drove there to wait for him.  While waiting for him for hours, he never failed to update me.  Soon enough, they came.  We bid our short goodbyes to avoid crying and showing too many emotions publicly and I left.  (Hahaha!  He’s not that showy.)  Driving alone along the highway with lots of tears in my eyes.  I went straight to my daughters’ school to fetch them and we all went home.  Quiet and sad, we all lay down on the bed and prayed for my husband to be safe at all times.

It’s been 2 month and 12 days now since he moved overseas. My kids and I are still adjusting with everything so as him. We are forever grateful to God for this opportunity for our family.

Patricia Anne Libertino

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