I just can’t leave without saying:
at least bye for now or ‘till we meet again.’
a conventional phrase we always say
to people we’ve met and cared for.
In another country like in Italy,
Ciao o arrivederci is a common cliché
in Spanish they always say, ‘hasta luego’
and in my own language, ‘hanggang sa muli’
As Filipino myself it’s a lovely thing.
to have that courtesy before leaving;
it’s an important gesture, an ethical manner
at least to show a smile or word of thanks.
I remember where I was assigned before,
working with immigrants like those Italians;
some Hispanics, Maltese, Irish and Sri Lankans,
it’s a universal thing to say bye for now.
Then another mission assignment came to my life,
that’s a tough one working at the borderline
that’s between El Paso and a city in Chihuahua
Ciudad Juárez, a place where I lived with Mexicans.
While I study and work at the same time
there’s an element of joy and compassion
I saw how these people like Mexicans
struggled to live and coped with life.
I really enjoyed my relationship with them
I even developed my own sense of freedom
to be creative and compassionate to them
A real commitment, like a song to my ears.
But when that time came that I ought to leave them,
I couldn’t say a word but just a sweet smile,
they understood right away that I’d stay no longer
in our Casa del Migrante, a place of hospitality.
As I was leaving my mission to face another role
in another context, place and working relationship,
some close friends and faithful followers,
organized a party with music and camaraderie.
And I still remember how they spoke about me
saying in a chorus of voices: ‘we’ll miss you,’
that’s a moving experience that even now
I recall those mem’ries so precious to me
that I cherish them all in my heart.
It’s a memorable scenario, a moment of joy
with a cadence of notes unfolding –
un beso de despedida!
though in a short period of time