I was wandering around the ginormous St. Peter’s Basilica last October 5 and outside the window of some art gallery inside the church, I saw this:
The statue of St. Josemaria Escriva, patron saint of the university I attended in college. Seeing this instantly brought me back to 2006, one of the most trying times in my young adult life. I was a college senior and I remember being excited about the possibility of flying to Rome for some extra-curricular project. That trip, however, didn’t push through due to an unfortunate incident which unfolded because of my own doing. The said incident was, no doubt, one of the most challenging, devastating, and humiliating experiences that I had to face as a college student. It pretty much gave me my first taste of adulthood.
So I didn’t go to Rome, didn’t go on with my other plans, and back then I thought I’d never be able to go anywhere in the world and even in life.
But then a decade later, there I was, in Rome, a place I never thought I’d be able to visit in my lifetime, let alone in my twenties, and with my own money. I felt lucky — lucky to be seeing Rome and other places in Europe but more importantly, lucky to have had people by my side when I went through that difficult time 9 years ago because really, I don’t think I would’ve managed to get through it without them.
As I relived the 2006 experience in my head, I felt overwhelmed as I remembered the people who were with me during the entire debacle. I was PMS-ing and extra emotional so tears welled up in my eyes upon remembering the hell I’ve put my parents through, and yet at the same time, how my family, friends, classmates, some teachers, and loved ones loyally stood by me in spite of my flaws and shortcomings. Many of them are still in my life and some of them I’ve already lost touched with. I wanted to message all of them right then and there to say thank you but was too shy because of the randomness of the whole thing, so I said a little prayer for them instead.
My mom, a devotee of St. Josemaria, kept on looking for the statue but didn’t get to see it. She said I was led to that statue for a reason and she was right. It made me look back on where I came from and made me grateful to have such wonderful people in my life. One of them recently shared with me how he was feeling so worthless because he feels like he’s done nothing good and significant in his life. Well, he has helped a friend in need. To me, that counts a lot.
I’ve been too busy and caught up in my own issues lately that I’ve forgotten how (sorry but I have to use this word —) #blessed (haha) I was to have them, and that I might have neglected them in one way or another. I thank God for each and every one of them. They deserve nothing but true happiness.
Have you said a prayer of thanks for the people in your life today?