Several small round yellow fruits covered the Iba tree’s branches.
My cousins and I used to eat the fruits when we were younger. I don’t know if it is its season this summer, but this tree is thriving. I didn’t even know that we still had it until I heard it from Tito Pads, one of my Mom’s older brothers.
He came back to the Philippines and stayed for four days here with us in Lolo’s and Lola’s home. After breakfast, around 7:30 probably, he would don his working clothes and spend the whole morning at the back of our home where tall grasses have already covered the path and most of the backyard. He would only stop when it’s lunch time, rest for a few hours, and continue again when the sun isn’t too harsh anymore in the afternoon.
Viva and Liit would be with him, but Liit was more malambing, so she accompanied him more than Viva did as he worked. These two love playing in the back. Liit still hops around and chases butterflies.
(These two sure do know how to look cute in photos!)
Summer in the Philippines isn’t a joke; it can get really hot – one time it was 37 degrees hot. But Tito Pads spent all those hours in the sun and helped my Mom and me. I’m just thankful for the time, sacrifice, selflessness, and service Tito Pads gave for us then when he recently visited.
I’ll treasure the moments he, my Mom, and I would talk about their childhood memories, recent memories, Lolo and Lola, our family, our loved ones who have passed away Tito Cutie and Tito Cesar, and how Tito Pads is an amazing fisherman.
He just loves doing it, and for some reason, every time he fishes, they come to him automatically, as he is magic to these marine creatures. While he talked about his fishing adventures ever since he was little, I could imagine a children’s book that I could create for him!
We also brushed dust away from old photo albums and reminisced. My Mom told him to take his old green photo album too.
After my Mom and I drove Tito Pads back to Pampanga, we came back home, and I missed Tito Pads and his presence with us. I learned a lot from his example of selflessness and service, and I think these two values are present in my Mom and Dad, in all our families.
If one would see the back of our home, he would say that the person who cleaned it was a hard-working man who labored under the sun.
He may not know him, but his values and sacrifice could be seen in the results, in the work he had put in.
Like how I didn’t know that the iba tree was still thriving even after many years. The ground was fertile, and the tree was well taken care of. The bougainvillea plant from Lola’s time was still here, the banana trees, the indian trees.
Unknowingly, without our consciousness, good work was being done.
Even if we cannot see it, Jesus is doing good work in our families, in our lives, in our homes, in ourselves.
Only He can help us grow like how this iba tree thrives.
“Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing.” – John 15:4-5