On December 22, a fire started on the third floor of the NCCC Mall in Davao. One of my former students, Maryjoy whose wedding I attended just before I left Davao in August, was trapped on the fourth floor. All day (which was their night) on the 23rd, I waited along with many others to hear news, praying and checking Facebook every free moment with high hopes that plummeted with each passing hour. "No survivors." was the cold announcement as the snow began to fall here in Nebraska. How do I process this grief when I'm so far away, in a often foreign environment? A poem:
Tidings of Sadness and Joy
by S. Farlin
Here, a blanket of cold and white
There, you were wrapped by inferno.
Now black tints our world with grief,
Sorrow piled on top of joy.
Last we met you were clothed in white
A resplendent bride.
Dimples and hugs, kindness and love,
Hope was embodied in Mary.
Waiting for confirmation,
Waiting for His advent.
Anticipating the Good News,
Fearing the worst.
For unto us a Child is born
And from us a daughter was taken.
Death I feel your sting,
But the Son came and brought victory.
Jesus be the center as we journey
Through all these extremes.