(a prose poem by Ting Pantoja Mañalac)
After school, we would lie under the tamarind tree in your mother’s garden and talk about who we would be. It was never too hot that a roving breeze didn’t swim through those leaves to cool our eager dreams. You were smarter, swifter, sold on life, and ready to climb the mountain we could glimpse over the garden fence. I was softer, slower, given to daydreams and beautiful words, fairy tales about princes and princelings. I danced the cotillion, all icy long dresses and glimmering hair on your eighteenth birthday at the navy club. You met your prince and married him in a cloud of fairy dust and swords. I came to your wedding and cried.
You became all we said you would be, more than honor and brains,
more than community and commissions. You cared little
for recognition and rewards,
choosing to raise children in your own
loving, child-like, cherishing ways,
in laughter and love for the Lord.
We lived in separate continents, sang different songs, chased different dreams. But I was godmother to one of your twins, and you stood by me in despair when my middle son died. We passed each other often, like those ships in the night, managing a wave, maybe a whistle hello. Christmas, and birthdays in March and June, mostly Easters—increasingly Easters, as the Lord took over your life, and His Mother, your time, stringing rosary beads, crafting hymns of praise, writing books on the spirit of life and the law—from home, often from a hospital bed, breathing shallow, straining to keep awake, tired and trodden, but joyfully faithful every day of your life.
I visited you one last time as you struggled with the cancer that would take your life. With my own eyes I saw your photograph sitting in front of Christ’s image of Divine Mercy, bright rays of light streaming around you from His Heart. God is good, you repeated, through your bouts of extreme pain. I wept as I said that your suffering was severely testing my own faith, but you only smiled, and were happy. I wrote to you after that last visit, remember (?), praying for your deliverance:
That’s all we really are, right Jo? Stones exploded into existence by our Creator, life our mountainous path to the sea. I think of you as a special stone, “daughter of the volcano,” battered at every turn, pained and sundered, refined by fire. Now, polished and perfected, you stand on the shores of our Heavenly Sea. May the rest of your journey be a happy one, as you rest on the shoulders of the Shepherd, who has carried you down the mountain to His home in the sea. I love you, my dear friend, and keep you always, always in my heart.
Nowadays, you can submit a prayer intention for the Lourdes Grotto online, and even have a candle lighted for you.
Here’s the link to the Lourdes website: http://en.lourdes-france.org/
If you have any experiences involving Our Lady of Lourdes, please share them in the comments below.
Thank you and God bless you, gentle reader
Specific purposes of the Children’s Rosary Foundation include, but are not limited to the following:
Click on the links below to listen to the songs composed by CRF Founder Josefina Atienza Salvaña. The links will open the songs in Soundcloud. Most of the songs have lyrics.
Please listen, learn, sings and share. But if you want to record or reproduce, please contact the Children’s Rosary Foundation +639178265997.
EACH HOME A LITTLE CHAPEL
Songs from the album produced and released by Star Records
Each Home A Little Chapel
Halinat Tayoy Magrosaryo
Si Hesus At Si Maria
Childrens Rosary March
Brand New Start
I WIll Sing To The Lord All My Life
Every Bit Of Love We Sow
Let Us Pray And Live The Rosary
Let’s Gather Ourselves Together
Each Home A Little Chapel (Reprise)
Mary, Queen And Mother
Jesus Told Us We Must Love
He Is Risen
He Stands By Me
I Am In The Joy
If I Really Trusted You
In The Ways of a Child
Live Jesus In Our Hearts Forever
Make Our Nation Rise
My Grace Is Enough For You
Sing of the Joy Within
So We Could See You
The Greatness Of God’s Love
The Time Will Be Right
When No One Seems To Listen
You Love Me
If you want to record or reproduce the songs, please contact the Children’s Rosary Foundation +639178265997.
The Children’s Rosary Foundation (CRF) is a family foundation created to spread devotion to the Holy Rosary especially to children. Our mission-vision is expressed in the song Each Home a Little Chapel:
Each home a little chapel
Where Jesus Christ is Lord,
Where God Father, Son, and Spirit,
Each moment is adored.
Jesus is the reason
For all that’s done and said,
And every thought, and word, and deed
Is by the Spirit led.
Each home a little chapel
Where every child is blessed,
Where all is for God’s glory
So each one gives his best.
Jesus is the Treasure
Filling every heart,
All are truly family,
Each one does his part.
Each home a little chapel,
Where love forever reigns,
Where every prayer’s with Mary,
The angels and the saints,
Make each home a little chapel,
Help every child to pray,
Guide each one to Jesus,
And on to Heaven someday.
The founder of CRF was Josefina Atienza Salvaña, mother, educator, public servant, editor, composer, artist and all-around-multi-talented awesome person.
There are five of us siblings lucky to have her as our mom and committed to continue the mission to spread devotion to the Holy Rosary. All for Jesus, through Mary.
To contact us, email [email protected] or text +639178265997.