Sunday, January 1, 2017

Losing No.1

   Compensation is restitution or making amends for an injury or loss.  Losses are quantified in terms of material goods or cash.  When a mother has to raise a child after losing the father, there is no accurate amount that would equal the value of that loss.  There is a tendency to over-compensate.

   I married at seventeen and from the age of twenty, I have been twisting myself in a knot to make up to my son for our losing his father.  First I got my son a nice stepfather with no spanking rights.  Then I got us a home where my son got his own room with a nice bed and study table.  On weekends, we went biking in the park behind the Cultural Center where bicycles were available to rent.  Otherwise, we went swimming in YMCA or Los Baños hot springs.  If there was a good movie for children showing, I made sure we saw it.  When the mall arcades arrived on the scene, we went there too.  We were never home on weekends.  If I didn't have money I pawned a piece of jewelry.    

   My son got birthday parties with some surprise gift every year which included an Atari game console, an electric guitar, a bike, Game and Watch and a Karaoke set.  At sixteen, his birthday bash was celebrated with a rented mobile disco transforming the venue into a virtual nightspot with a rotating mirror ball, colored spotlights and a disc jockey playing the current hits.

   After graduating from high school, my son drove himself to college in a black Volkswagen Beetle while the rest of the family took public transportation.  As typical of teens, I bailed him out of police custody twice.

   Then my son got married before finishing his college course.  I negotiated with my father to let him have my late mother’s six bedroom hilltop home overlooking the Laguna Bay in Bicutan, Taguig.  When that property was liquidated, I gave my son a part of my share which he used to buy himself a taxi cab for business and personal use.

   After all of the above, some thirty years later, I realized my son and I never got over losing his father.  There was no compensating for losing the man we had for a mere three years.

   In the Bible, Job lost his fortune, ten children and his health but not his wife.  The God, who reads the heart of man, replaced everything  Job lost but let Job keep the same wife. (Job 42:10-12)

   “Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower.  We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind.” – William Wordsworth.

See also: 
Losing No. 2

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