This is a story written by Thea, my grand daughter....
The House That Disappeared
It was a late, yet gloomy afternoon. The sky was deep blue, gray clouds scattered everywhere and some kind of bird tweeted above my head. My family walked with me going to the compound. At first. I didn't want to believe that the whole Caballero compound was gone and I didn't want to see the horrible sight. But I desperately wanted to see my beloved compound that I grew up in...So I went with my family.While we hiked to the compound, I guess I was getting too dirty from all that swooping and sliding in the mud because my mom was yelling "THEA! BE CAREFUL NOT TO GET DIRTY!!!". No matter how much I tried to be all clean and nice, my Ipanema slippers STILL got muddy, It took a while than usual to go to the compound because of all the debris and obstacles we have to avoid in the path we usually take. Each step I took, my
heart pounded really hard that when I take s step, I would think that it would BURST out of my chest. At that moment, I shook all my fear out of my body."Stay calm Thea!" I would think to myself, "It;s gonna be ALRIGHT!"
Suddenly, my legs moved. At that very moment, I found myself running to the compound. As I ran, I could hear a loud buzzing of a saw cutting a tree. A few minutes later, my family was out of sight. At first, I didn't know where I was, after I looked around that muddy place, I took a break from all that running, "Where is that compound?" I thought to myself. Sweat beads ran down my forehead and I wiped it with my T-shirt which was also drenched with sweat. The climate was hot, sticky and humid. Which is the same climate as rainforests. I scanned the debris filled lot. Suddenly, I spotted a hill. "Where'd THAT come from?" I said, squinting so I could see better. I raced up at the top of the hill and could see the whole river. What it had done to many people's houses. After all that scenery, I slid to the bottom of the hill and looked up......
When I looked up, I saw the most horrible sight I've ever seen. "Why God? Why did you do this? I thought, gasping at all the debris that destroyed the lot. I clamped my hand over my mouth to stop from screaming. I screamed so loud that my voice got raspy when I stopped. Suddenly, my family came rushing over to me. When my family saw all the damage, my mom's mouth dropped open, Rinnah had begun crying and my dad said something in Filipino like "Halaka diha!in English, it's like "Oh, my goodness!" I started to look at all the damage the flood did to the compound. Anger boiled up in me, "Why did God." I started to say, but I didn't finish my sentence, because at that very spot, I had a melt down. I was crying so hard that my head started to ache and my nose got clogged with snot. My mom came rushing over and held me close to her, I kept on crying as if someone had died. My mom squished me hard to know that she was there for me. But have I EVER FELT SO FAR AWAY FROM MY LIFE! Even though my mom was close, I felt that I was miles away from her. In ten minutes, my crying stopped and my eyes were red.
My dad came over and we all joined hands. I closed my eyes and bowed my head, gripping my mom's hand. "Dear God," my dad prayed, "thank you for protecting Grandma and the whole family, we thank Grandpa for making our beloved house. In Jesus' name, Amen". I opened my eyes and my mom sang an old hymn that used to lull me to sleep when I was a baby. My heart just broke into two pieces and it hurt so much. It wasn't just the outside that hurt, it was also the inside. Tears rushed out my eyes like a wild river. "A river." I whispered. "my tears are similar to that river. Rushing out, can't stop and it's so wild that it just over flows and just keeps on going and going." My family walked toward the path and I started to join them, but somehow, I stopped dead in my tracks, My mom stopped walking and there was a look in her eyes "Do you want to say goodbye? Or do you want to move on?" I returned a look that said, "Yes, I want to say goodbye. You go ahead. I'll catch up with you."
I glanced at the place I used to call "home". I could still see the three houses, still standing and being filled with love, laughter, joy, confidence and compassion. I could still see my cousins and
I running up and down the grass fillled meadow, arms spread out wide and laughing if we stumbled. I looked up at the sky and saw smoke rise up and disappear. Our house was like that smoke. All tattered up and disappear almost instantly. I turned back, knowing that it would be the last time I would see the once-a-nice-compound, I tried to let go of my beloved was-a-piece-of-wood and finally, I let go of it. "Goodbye house" I started to say, "thanks for all the happy memories you gave me!" and I walked away, not bothering to look back.
About the Author
"The House that Disappeared" is a true story. Thea is a typical 10 year old and she loves her family deeply. Thea and the Caballeros had to face a LOT of tears and drama. Hundreds of people in the Philippines had lost their homes and many had lost their lives. From all that tragic, the Caballero's still had a smile on their faces and were always willing to lend a hand. They DID lend a hand by doing a program that Thea's grandfather had made when Thea's dad was younger. The Caballero's had been blessed for a long time, and they still are. Here are some quotes they had said after the flood:
"Even Though we lost completely EVERYTHING, we still have each other." said Latriea, Thea's cousin.
"We had no Christmas presents THIS time. But we were given a verY SPECIAL present, and it's to see each other." Thea says.
"It's good that we aren't crying over dead bodies. It's better that we are laughing and joking with people we love and who are alive." says Mrs. Caballero.