LOLA GOT’S LUTONG BAHAY IN AMERICA: The Puppy Comes Home

HENDERSON, Nevada (MindaNews / 27 Apr) – I have a Davao City Water District calendar in my kitchen. The 24th and 25th of March are red letter days. Looking closer at the boldly printed red ink, the dates remind me that it is Holy Week in the Philippines. I can only imagine the rush and tumble of the long weekend that must surely have had the whole country in a tizzy of traffic and religious activities.

CNN had a piece on the crucifixions that traditionally happen in some parts of the country. Finding the re-enactments of Christ’s death and suffering on the cross a constant source of amazement and curiosity, that it has attracted tourists, in a macabre sort of way.

Here, Easter means boiling those eggs in the fridge and dying them in pink or blue or green and yellow. It is less a religious holiday than the season for the Easter bunny to come out and entertain the children who still believe in them. Not a whisper of any religious significance at all. Applied political correctness, as always.

Something Republican candidates like Trump have thrown out the window, in his desperation for acquiring the most powerful position in the world. Because, a man as rich as he purports to be, can only want the only thing he still wants more of – Power. And that’s with a capital P.

It is a sad situation here. The Trumpistas are swatting people off their path like flies in a festering pool of violence and twisted rationalizations. Not much difference from our own brand of politics in the Philippines. It sure feels like being in the middle of two brick walls moving towards crushing a hopeful future. Because, the man in the orange mask insists on putting America in a worse light than George W. And, he has not even won the primaries for his party yet.

The unpleasantness of politics and all that goes with it consumes us sometimes. Only because the implications of what may lie ahead, if one or the other candidate takes the reigns of power if they are elected, is such a burden of choice when there is so little to choose from.

Let’s digress, then, to more pleasant topics, because that’s about all we can actually have control of, our own thoughts.

My youngest son, who will be 26 in June, has got himself a puppy. He brings him to work everyday. A very good thing, since we didn’t want to have to deal with the training and cleaning up, especially since the place we live in is carpeted from the living room to the bedrooms. It’s a compact living space, but having to spray and wipe pee spots, to ward off the smell and stains, is not something I want to spend the day on. Also, puppies are kind of frisky and they can tire out an overweight senior citizen, whose exercise routine consists of walking around the block once or twice a month.

It is pleasant, though, to see this very small fluffy creature who seems to give himself to you without reservations. Like an infant who settles down in your arms when you finally get to hold him against your heart. The puppy settles down to licking your face and sniffing your hair and neck instead.

Having a pet is a lot like having a baby. Babies, however, grow up to be able to take care of themselves eventually. Pets are eternal infants. A responsibility my son, I hope can deal with, since we do not intend to be “holding the bag” or the dog, for that matter, if he decides he didn’t know what he was getting himself into after all.

But a mother’s hope is never ending. Like when we thought that for all the times we read to our children, even re-reading the same little storybook at least 10 times every night for more than a month (at his request), and yet, not seeing our love of the book passed on in their growing up years, all the way to adulthood, was really sad for a while. So that it was a very happy surprise when one day, you realize that your son is not planted in front of his computer, or the TV, as he usually is, but quietly reading a novel instead. The constant hum his room generated, with those random blasts and pings and explosions, silenced. And then, seeing him devour them so much that he was buying more books to read after finishing the one before. Even suggesting some reads for you too, handing you the ones he liked, and discussing why he did. Truly awesome!

It really is never too late, to hope for something better to come forward. Politicians, though, is another matter. Whether it’s here in America or the Philippines, or other countries for that matter, is some heavy hoping. Like seeing a documentary on how Iceland is so successful in their social, economic and climate change responsibilities, and, how such a small nation has become an example to emulate; then a week later the prime minister resigns because he was caught having a secret bank account somewhere. Exposed only because hackers got into the files of the bank that held these types of accounts.

Being elected to govern used to be like being a teacher in the old days, being held on higher ground, and setting higher standards of service, to the office, and the people – not the self. Things certainly have changed. Again, you never know. Things may just turn around sometime, somewhere. Maybe not in our lifetime, but….

And, we wait for the puppy to come home and give us back what little energy we may need to finish the day.

(Mindanawon Abroad is MindaNews’ effort to link up with Mindanawons overseas who would like to share their experiences in their adopted countries. Margot Marfori is an author and visual artist from Davao City. She is currently based in Henderson, Nevada.)