a mother’s hymn

Be not dismayed whate’er betide
God will take care of you
Beneath His wings of love abide
God will take care of you

It’s the first Sunday evening of year 2005, and the last night of my two-week vacation with family in Davao City. The church congregation is singing, God Will Take Care of You.

I blink back tears as the woman standing beside me grips my right hand. Her soprano soars effortlessly above the other voices: God will take care of you through every day, o’er all the way; He will take care of you; God will take care of you…

She is singing to me, her youngest child. I try to sing along but the growing lump in my throat does not allow me to. My mother, unabashed about her tears, tightens her grip on my hand. And continues singing.

Her song tonight is different from the lullabies of my early boyhood. Back then, she would hum in order to lull to sleep a restless young tot who detested siesta. Tonight she sings to send off a young man—still restless—on his journey of discovery.


Based on scribbles on my handheld while at the pre-departure lounge of the Davao International Airport.


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