‘I-wish-I-wish’ list
PURPLE SHADES - Letty Jacinto-Lopez (The Philippine Star) - December 27, 2016 - 12:00am

They are like a burst of light from a starlit night or from the fantastic, incredible display of the aurora borealis.  They are my “I-wish-I-wish” Wish List or IWWWs.

IWWWs are a little indulgent, may not be doable or practical, down-to-earth, and hard-nosed, but whatever others say, I hanker after and seek its fulfillment.  I’ve targeted them to come true within a time frame but then, it’s all right also if not granted immediately, but hoping against hope that they would.  Makes sense?  If the heavens keep a portfolio for granting wishes, mine would have overwhelmed the OIC for all its trump and pageantry but then, wasn’t He who first said to ask, to seek and to find?

When my granddaughter Gianna turned seven, I sent a reminder to my DIL (daughter-in-law), “Angela, Gianna has a full year to get ready to receive Jesus for her First Holy Communion.”  Angela replied with a thumbs-up.  “Done,” I smiled, as I returned to my daily routine that included Viber and Face Time sessions with my growing apos.

This year, another grandson blessed our hearts and the first thing that came to my mind was, “When will he be baptized?”

Being a nonna has the highest quota of sunshine, laughter, and perks.  The feeling of being snug and content is one of them.  I could express what I think and not raise a fuss if it was taken just like a fleeting thought.  “Leave the kernel and the heart-of-the matter for the parents to tackle,” I believe.

“Nonnaaaa!” exclaimed Gianna when she met me at the airport.  She has grown and already a stunner even if many suspect that she’s an old soul dressed in pinafore.  Returning her tight hugs, a tug on my jacket brought up Gino, who was all smiles but not sure whether he knew me enough to be locked in my arms.  “Gino!” I shrieked.  Startled at the sound of my voice (hysterical), he covered his ears but only for a split second.  “You smell nice, Nonna,” he beamed.

I packed my visit with city and museum tours with spills and laughter, crafting, reading, eating yucca chips and slurping scalding hot chili soups with Gianna and Gino.  It was my Children’s Hour.  Like Longfellow, it was my “approaching army entering through a sudden rush (to my bedroom) and a sudden raid via unguarded (unlocked) doors and be devoured by kisses and hugs.”

The following night, while lulling the littlest baby to sleep, Angela said, “Nonna, close your eyes and keep them shut until I say so.”  “Hmm,” I thought.  “Another surprise?” (The children already gave me a memory blanket that captured my heart.)

“Open your eyes now, Nonna,” said Angela.  There stood Gianna dressed in a long, white dress made of satin and lace with a matching hairband embellished with pearls and beads.  “Oh my goodness!” I sighed.  “You’re dressed for Jesus.  Are you going to receive Him in the Blessed Eucharist?”  Gianna nodded, “When I say Amen, Jesus stays with me.”

Angela continued, “We’ve been preparing her for over a year now.”  She showed me books, art and craft, and questionnaires that Gianna had to accomplish in her Catechism class complete with a Jesus doll that looked authentic down to its chiseled beard, long curly hair and garbed in a brown sack cloth with a leather girdle and brown sandals.  This moment was too precious to let go; I didn’t even feel the tears that formed and swelled in my eyes. “You look like a princess, Gianna.”

Just then,  Angela brought out a white knitted jumper that came with a white cap and white socks.  “And, tadah…. your littlest apo will be baptized at the same Holy Mass, Nonna!”

My jaw dropped.  I swear I heard a tingling voice behind me, “Nothing is impossible before God, if you ask for it.”  Clasping my hands, I closed my eyes and whispered, “Thank you…Thank you.” How lucky can this duck be?

The Mass and the double sacraments were held in an old wooden-paneled church built in 1858, celebrated by a “cool and groovy” priest whose hobby is sky diving and who manages to dodge road fines by snapping his white collar into place.  Gianna gave a crisp, resounding Amen when she received Jesus while Baby Gionni chuckled when holy water was poured on his forehead.

I was happy as a lark, bubbling like a brook and skipping like a shiny pebble.  When Gianna saw me off, it was her turn to make a wish.  “Nonna, take home my Jesus doll.  Make sure He sits by your favorite pillow to keep you safe and warm.”

A-m-e-n, Gianna!

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