Some people would say I am ignorant, because I come from the country, but one thing we did learn is to listen to our elders. I spent my whole childhood with my grandpa, and he taught me a lot of things. He taught me about women. He said, look at your mother, how she struggles. Look at your sisters and how sensitive they are, how kind. How easily you can hurt their feelings with a word of discouragement.
He was always advising me. I asked him once when were were out laying a fence, why did God create work? And he told me idle hands are the devil’s workshop. God gave us work so we wouldn’t sit around thinking about bad things to do, and making mischief. Human are weak and we can easily end up with bad lives, be unhappy and hurt others. Look at the rich, he told me. They don’t have enough work, and you can see how they turn out. You work honorably, he told me. You go to bed tired. You sleep well. And this is a gift from God.
So I worked. I knew how to work honorably. But I didn’t dare to look for a sweetheart. I worried a lot about it. What if through my words and deeds I led a woman to believe that I would walk beside her all my days? And then what if I let her down and hurt her, like my Dad left my Mom? It was too much pressure for me. I couldn’t be sure of having strong enough feelings, of not misleading someone. Would the feelings endure? How could I be sure?
So instead of marrying someone in my village, like the others did, I came to the US to work. I lived with a bunch of other guys and sent money home to my sisters and brothers. And of course to my Mom and grandpa. And the years went by and soon I had more people to help, nieces and nephews. And I just kept working. I decided not to have my own family. I would never get married. Never have kids.
Then God put this woman in my path, and my heart went out to her. Only He knows why. And somehow after all that doubt, I just knew. I felt the power and strength of my protective love for her, stronger than the muscles on my back, and more enduring. And with God’s help, I can take care of her like she deserves. I know I will do my very best to deserve her, and deserve this happiness.
And now we are having a baby, years after I last even dreamed of such a thing. But as my grandpa used to say, “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” I hope He is laughing now. I like to think of God being joyful, like He has made me. And if my grandpa is watching us from heaven, I think he is happy, too. I finally have a family of my own to love and to work for. I am so blessed.