Last summer, I went to Davao at the end of July for 2 weeks. I planned the date to coinside with the birthday of her neice Mona. Monaliza is the middle of the 3 neices living with Elena. She has a sense of humor alot like mine. It is a dry humor. She will say something and wait and watch to see if and when anyone will get the joke.
Once when she saw me come into the room, so said “oh no, more english”
But the most wonderful thing she has said was last Christmas, after she jumped on my back and I gave her a piggyback ride, she told Elena I feel like a father to her.
Last August, while I was there, Elena and I flew to Manila because Elena had her visa physical at St. Lukes. Elena’s nephew Peter was in Manila waiting for his contract to be renewed for his ship. He is a Marine Engineer. Peter met us at St. Lukes, and since they would not let me go inside with Elena, Peter stayed with me the whole time I had to wait. Elena came out at lunch time and joined us for lunch. Peter was reaching into his pocket when the bill came, but I told the waiter his money was no good. He spend a day just keeping me company, how could I let him pay for a meal. I still had a job. hahaha
We talked about my life, his life, and anything we could find to talk about. About 3pm Elena came out and told me she had to return again the next day.
Well, we had flown in the night before, and already had tickets for our return flight that day. Well, from all his time in Manila, Peter walked us to Robinson’s Mall and to the Cebu Pacific ticket office to exchange our flights. Elena and I sat inside while Peter waited outside the office. We were there for about 3 hours waiting. When we finally got done, Peter was there waiting for us with a smile and no complaints at all. Then he walked us back to the area of the hotels and helped us find something else since we did not like the accommodations the previous night. Of course I had Peter join us for dinner.
A few days later Peter flew back to Davao. Because of all the Typhoons, his ship was delayed, so he could not get on board. He talked to me and to Elena, he told us he felt of me more as a father than a new Uncle.
On my way to the airport when I flew home, he kept texting Elena’s cell with messages about how he loves me as his dad.
Elena’s nieces and nephews love to me is priceless and I will always cherish them and never abuse their love for me.