Tales of my Father - Part 2
(pic from didongames)
When I was still 8 or 9 years old, kids my age joined me in surveying the creek near our place. It was unusually flooded with water that day. It must be raining in the mountains, we thought. But we didn’t mind the danger of being swept by the rising water. We splashed ourselves, screamed and enjoyed the moment.
Then from afar I saw an object carried by the water current. It seems to float but it did not touch the water. It was some sort of magnetic levitation, which I did not understand at that time.
“This could be a magical stone” I thought. So I ran after it and eventually got hold of it. I called out the other kids and boasted of the object to their amazement. My cousin ran home and brought a basin of water. We tried putting the object in the water but it just levitated itself.
Nanay Ulay, my aunt who lived just a few meters away from our house, noticed the commotion. Her eyes widened as she saw the object. She took it and scolded all of us. “This is no ordinary stone. It’s not good for you to play this kind of object. Now go home all of you” she said and left us wondering.
I did not complain, for I never knew what that was. A few weeks later, Nanal Ulay began healing sick people. I heard from my cousin who lived with Nanay that the “magical stone” was secretly kept in a jar and could be the source of her healing powers.
One day I got sick. My mother brought me to Nanay Ulay for healing. She began to utter words I could not understand. Then she spat on me. I complained of the foul smell of saliva. She became hysterical and said she could not heal me. My poor parents just brought me home and thought that I was going to die within the week. I could walk nor talk. I was even too weak to eat. But surprisingly, after many bed-ridden days, I recovered. I just woke up one morning, as if nothing had happened for the past few days.
Many years had passed and I already worked and lived in the city. I returned to the barrio where Nanay Ulay practiced her craft. She had become famous because she was able to heal many people with cancer and other sicknesses. They offered gifts but she refused. She just told them that she’s not allowed to receive money and others gifts. Healing, she said, was her vocation. She still lived in the same shanty years before. Her eyesight was deteriorating and she failed to notice me when I approached her.
“Good morning Nay Ulay!” I greeted her.
She touched me but jerked as if she touched a live wire. “Who are you? I can sense a very strong electric current within you.”
“It’s me Nay. Boy, son of Tiyang and Maeng”.
Then she let out a grin. “It’s been a long time since I saw you Boy. How are you? I have a failing eyesight and it’s difficult for me to recognize people”. Then we chat for a while, a sort of a reunion.
I wondered what she really felt when she touched me. I did not bring up the issue about the magical stone. But I wondered what I would have become had I kept the stone for myself. But I thanked God that I have Jesus Christ in my heart. He is the source of the greatest power. And maybe, just maybe, Nanay Ulay felt that stronger power.
(Next: My Stubbornness Saved my Mother)