Talk with Uncle Charlie

Today is Maundy Thursday. And today, I met Uncle Charlie. He is my boyfriend’s uncle who lives in Zamboanga del Sur–a pure-blooded Chavacano. He is staying here in Carmen for the Holy Week, which is a blessing because every time he opens his mouth, he lights up the room. He has a very cheerful disposition and a winsome attitude. He is also a devout Catholic. Like me, he is a Christian in progress, but what happened to him was a transformation. I like to head the same path.

Uncle Charlie is an extrovert. Very friendly. When we first met, I was only able to utter my default greeting “hello.” He returned the greeting with much more life. From that point on, I knew he was something.

At noon, Redh’s family and I had lunch in a round table together. It was boisterous. It was fun to spend time with family and just let go. Singing, storytelling, or simply fooling around. I’m always lucky to be part of this family. I’m shy at times, but Gran always tells me I shouldn’t because I am now part of the family. Coming from her, that’s music to my ears.

During lunchtime, I found that Uncle Charlie and I are both Geminis. Maybe that’s why we instantly took to each other. “We both have split personalities,” he jokingly said with a matching high-five. And at our first meeting at that. Friendly is an understatement to describe Uncle Charlie. He is really something else.

After lunch, my boyfriend and his two brothers went outside to sing more songs with the guitar. While they were busy warbling, Gran, Uncle Charlie, and I had the chance to chat. Gran told about her love story with late Grampa. After some time, she too went away to her room to rest. And so began a most meaningful and fruitful talk with Uncle Charlie.

We talked about a lot of things. Life path, the importance of communication in a relationship, patience, understanding, religion, business, and the list goes on. The sincerity of the moment spoke volumes. It was a three-hour chat to begin with. But the best learning I got from Uncle Charlie is to let go and let God. All that we have now (money, properties, talents) will eventually fade away, either gradually or in an instant. Because we can’t predict life. We don’t know what would happen tomorrow. We don’t have to be too tight but recognize that all this is not ours. It’s all a gift from God.

With the brevity of life, we should not withhold kindness to anyone who deserves it when it is in our power to help.

It was a pleasure to meet Uncle Charlie. He just went off to church for tonight’s mass. I know I should too, but I’m not pushing myself too hard. One day at a time and I’ll get there someday soon.

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