She is now 82 years old. We held hands. Her hands, now with traces of wrinkles, are the hands that used to hold me steady when I was learning how to walk, the hands that held on to my arm when we crossed the street, the hand that held a pen to write me letters of wisdom. One by one, I touched her fingers. These fingers, I still could vividly remember that at one point in time poked my dimpled cheek, or traced the form of my face. Unknowingly, tears started to form at the sides of my eyes and trickled down to my cheeks. All the bottled emotions overflowed, as I sang with her.
It has been 4 years since I last saw her. Much as I wanted to visit her more often, the distance from where I live, is a hindrance. But every time I get the chance to take my vacation, I always find time to visit and spend precious time with her.
As I look at her, I cant help but ask myself: “where did all the time go?” I could not help but turn back the hands of time. She used to be a vibrant person, a nurse and a Catholic nun, whose whole persona emanates a bright light that serves as a guide and inspiration to everybody. This special person, very dear to my heart, who played a salient role in my life: my guide, my inspiration, my role model…is now helpless and dependent with all her needs. She is just so lucky that she is being tenderly cared for by her congregation, the Sisters of St.Paul de Chartres. And, she seems happy where she is now.
Yes, indeed she is that “Tree”. The only tree that I know…so strong, so sturdy, so deeply rooted and nurtured by her Christian faith; a tree that looks at God all day. She had her time to spread her leafy arms, and cuddled the nest of robins in her hair. Because of her undying Love and Obedience, she is my Tree of Life.