I am blessed to have a cousin in her person. When I was younger and she would bring us to Olongapo City where she worked, I would only appreciate the fact that I am going to see another place. I really didn’t enjoy being with her at that time because a child would love to have this and that, and she’d say, “no…it costs too much..” My relatives know very well what I mean
I’d start with that, in writing about a model cousin I have. Actually each of my cousins has his/her model example of good nature and admirable lifestyle, but Ate Vi will be my talk about this mid-Feb. I believe this can not even match to her priceless contribution to my growth as a person, and a character.
I will share to the world a glimpse of this woman, from what I know (without so much of a research.. so relatives, feel free to correct me for anything;). She is a lover of the Bible since when I was a young child; my mother would have me and my sister go with her always to Bible school then. I learned she used to work with the DSWD Philippines being a social worker by heart, but when given a chance to cruise around the world through the largest floating book store, the then called Doulos ship, she accepted the blessing. With other cousins i was able to have my first overnight at a ship’s cabin, meet nationalities who work for/volunteer for the Doulos ministry, walk around “inside” the ship (that, to me, was very amazing!), and carry loads of books from the bookstore.
And then Ate Vi’s Tatang (father) got sick and bedridden, she left the ship and went home. I saw how lovingly she attended to Uncle, and she would invite us for a nightly gathering so we can sing and pray together, as a family. She would even ask me to lead a prayer and i’d think I should rehearse! Currently, she works at an alcohol and drugs addicted rehab center in Antipolo. I contemplated about this once, why she chooses to be there. With her resume of volunteerism and service, she could be in Canada, too, along with her siblings, or some place else better, but then she told me, she has found her happiness extending her heart to these addicted people, listening to them, counsel them by the truth of God, and see them go out of the center, free from addiction and the old way of life.
All yestertimes with Ate Vi, though I barely understood about it.. the daily vacation bible school, the water baptism, the praying together, the control in buying this and that..surely I grew up still enjoying everything, after all! I would have a cheered heart whenever she talks..it’s like my heart is being opened to so much things to know about and these are not the “usual” things, but of the heavens. Times with her around went simply content..(but then of course, i’d have to tell that when I’d have to wait for her for sooooo long before adventures can begin, I’d just leave her a while and be back when she has made up her mind
Ate Vi is still single, and she’s not very young. But I believe that whether she will have her own family or not, she has already fulfilled so great family service. She is one who never tired praying for us all, giving out Bibles, talking to us about the grace of God, listening to our stories, inviting us for hearty conversations, and giving counsel when we need it the most.
This is a woman whom God loved, and who loves God.. a woman from whom the love of God just flows, and flows…maybe to time everlasting, for you can say from her life decisions and her character, she just entrusted and dedicated it all to God.
I am happy, that I am able to write about such woman now. I am blessed, just reflecting her grace and cheers and heart as a fine lady. I am happy, just thinking about her and the example I now follow. I am blessed with her counsels and prayers for me, and surely, a lot more to come between us, and among us in our family.
You are ever so lovely Ate Vi! I love you!
blessed, and may you be, too,
this one from my best stock photos, was taken inside the Doulos ship when it visited Manila. I’m with my sister, niece, and a dorm friend. of course we all enjoyed everything about the ship! thank you Ate Vi (center)!