22 September 2015
Sweet Grecy sings as she sorts out the disarray that occurred in her absence. Her voice is pure and uninhibited, as was my mother’s. The sound of it lifts my spirits and carries me to the place I want to be in this world. She was exhausted when I picked her up at LAX. Because of the long wait for her connecting flight from Inchon, her travel time was well over twenty-four hours. We drove home along PCH, a slower drive than the freeway, so we could enjoy the ocean view and fill the van with our yacking. It was a lovely time between us. Once we arrived in our cottage near the sea, she unpacked a little, then we bathed and went to bed. Without talk, she drifted into a sleep that lasted more than twelve hours. I lay beside her, listening long into the night to the sound of her breathing. Eventually, I too drifted into dreamless sleep.
I am deeply in love. Have been for more than fourteen years. Because of Grecy’s generosity and wisdom, I have made huge changes in my behavior and my faith since we became married, changes that would not have occurred without her presence. I am forever grateful.
Time alone is difficult, but sometimes it is necessary to share Grecy with the people of her baranggay, the place in the Philippine Islands where we live part of our time. She is the dynamo they need to fight the corruption that continuously nibbles at the edges of the community. With our daughter in school, I could not make the trip.
It is a small place, the baranggay—a farming community full of hard-working people. I know all their smiles. I know the children, too. Their wellbeing is important to me. Some fear me, big ugly white guy that I am, but many spend time sitting on my lap speaking to me in Ibanag, the local dialect, one I may never wrap my tongue around. Were it possible, I would go there and never come back, but commitments here in California sometimes necessitate my presence.
The corruption consists of a few smarmy people who are willing to steal property and lives. Fighting them is a dangerous and expensive proposition. Most folk there do not have the means to fight. That is the reason Sweet Grecy is needed. She is fearless and quite willing to lay her life on the line for the people. It is a worrisome thing for me. A very worrisome thing. But it is a necessary thing, so I support her best I can, and over the years I have grown quite used to it. When we are there together, I sleep with a Glock 9mm resting beside my pillow because danger lurks in the darkness. I have never used it on a human being, but I will if necessary. I am prepared to shield Grecy with my life. It is the price I am willing to pay to stand beside her. In my mind, no price is too high.
So here I sit writing this letter in the safety of our California home. Sweet Grecy sits beside me drinking the last of her morning coffee. She brings wholeness to my life, and as I write, I think again: no price is too high. No, there is no limit. I will love her to the best of my ability, and do whatever I must to keep our marriage whole.
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