I awoke to the jagged rocky road as the van struggled to make its way up. My cousin poked me and whispered “we are here.” I slowly opened my eyes to see a large brown disfigured structure. Opening my eyes a little more, I realized that this was it. We were finally here.
My grandparents house. Built in sometime in the 40’s 50’s. Built to house a family of 9+. A house built to last.
You see, it may just be my grandparents house, but I was raised by them. For 12 years, I had no sorts of understanding on how to sleep alone. They were always there. Helping me and teaching me the greatest lessons – values I hold so dear to my heart till this day. To stand in front of the house my grandparents built from the ground up meant everything. This was the house they left behind when coming to take care of me in America. This was the house that was waiting upon their return. This was the house my grandfather so tirelessly built with his bare hands. This was the house my grandma tucked my mom and her brothers and sisters as they go went to sleep. This was the house my mom grew up in. This was it. It built them, and its own way, it built me.
I covered my hand over my eyes to block the sun. I sighed at the sight. It was falling apart. But the soul inside was strong enough to withstand any storm. Honestly, I’d never seen anything more beautiful. I finally broke down into a flood of tears. Tears of sadness. Tears of happiness. All into one.
I promised I would write my grandparents love story down one day, in hopes a movie producer would read it. Their tales of love, lost and war would keep you turning the pages for more. To sum it up, their love was just like the movies. Unbreakable, passionate, enduring, faith filled and committed. Mix it in with WW2 stories? You’ve got the greatest love story ever told.
I walked around to take in the miscellaneous details that I came upon. I looked around every corner of the house with intention, wondering what the purpose of every little nail, wood, paint chip, and window was for. I glanced around old little memorabilia that remained, and when the prayer you have been praying for night and day stops you in your tracks, you let the tears flow. That’s exactly what I did.
My mom and aunts and uncles that were with us walked me around the house and showed me where they ate, where they slept, where they cooked. My mom had such a great time showing me all the trees she helped planted. One coffee bean tree, two mango trees, three coconut trees, 4 papaya trees – punch. I was ecstatic to see it all.
Today it remains standing, with house caretakers rotating out to watch the house. They have opened a pig business in the back of the house to generate income to maintain the property.
Across their house is acres of luscious rice and coconut tree farm fields, all beautifully planted by my grandparents. When they died in 2006, each child had their own plot. Some of have been sold, some still remain, and one is even being used for a cock fighting/breeding business.
I walked on the farm fields, taking in all the history that once walked these lands. With every step, it became more clear to me the reason I was there.
In the light,