“I’ll lend you a for a little time, a child of Mine,” He said,
“For you to love the while he lives
And mourn for when he’s dead.
It may be six or seven years or twenty-two or three,
But will you, till I call him back,
Take care of him for me?”
(excerpt from the poem “A Child Loaned”)
The Lord gave me and my family 22 colorful years with Paolo. It was Mother’s Day, May 13, 2012. We received that fateful call that my son, Pao, was in a car accident.
At the wake, droves of people from all walks of life came to take a glimpse of Pao. Everyone was in disbelief, seeing him lying there lifeless. He was a charmer, the life of the party, and a natural athlete. He lived making everyone believe that he was “invincible”. On the other hand, he was very sensitive to the needs of the people around him. He used his gift of music to be of service to our parishioners, playing the guitar and singing for Sunday masses, as well as for retreats of different communities. His happiness was making the people around him happy in his own simple ways.
“In His time, He makes all things beautiful in His time.” As a grieving mom, listening to the endless stories of Pao helped lift my spirits. He experienced failure, but learned to get back on his feet. He experienced hurts, but learned to love even more. Growing up, he may have been a little bit on the mischievous side, but at the end of his 22 years on earth, everyone who knew Paolo had only good words to say. Reflecting on all the stories told about Pao, we believe that the Lord took him back at the perfect time, in His time.
At this point, my husband, Philip, and I can say “we did take care of him for You, dear Lord, until You called him back.” We did our job, nurturing and loving Paolo who was loaned to us by God, together with all the other characters in his life. Though we miss him so, so much, we take joy in knowing that he had lived and celebrated a life of Christ to its fullest.
It was Mother’s Day four years ago, May 13, 2012, also the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. I am sure Paolo was embraced by our dear Mama Mary, and in her loving arms took Pao back to our dear Lord. What better way is there to leave our earthly life than that image of Pao in Mama Mary’s embrace? So, we return Paolo to you, dear Lord. Thank You for the 22 years with him and the beautiful memories we can hold on for all of us to treasure.
It will be Pao’s birthday tomorrow, May 16. Please join our family in prayer of thanksgiving, celebrating his life and death.