Most of us treasure something. We keep keepsakes with us that we don’t want to let go. It may be a piece of anything that gives a physical link to a memorable place or person that we dearly keep in our hearts.
If there’s one person that excels in hoarding treasured keepsakes, that would be me.
But I have learned to let go of few that has nothing to do with me anymore. It was hard. From dumping them in the trash then taking them back again. I can’t throw them away. It was in Armenia.
Until one day in Georgia, I realized why I keep on carrying those heavy luggage with me. Scanning some of the pages, those were a true treasure that belongs to the past. With no holding back, I carefully wrapped them and left them in the trash.
I gave away also some clothes and other stuff. I traveled lighter.
After those letting go, I found out that I have enough space for newly treasured keepsakes. They’re more meaningful and valuable.
I may not see or believe the real meanings of these keepsakes, but I truly value and respect the intentions of those who gave me these…
(Paalala: Di ako mag-mamadre. Di rin ako papasok sa kumbento.)
The day I arrived in Armenia, I met a Filipino Monk, Brother Patrick, who was able to connect me to Evangelical Church in Yerevan and at the same time, I was able to visit the Sisters of Charity- Bethlehem Orphanage.
SEE ALSO: I Found The Heart Of Yerevan
The Pendants and Amulets
Before leaving the orphanage, one of the Sisters, gave each of us a handful of Mother Teresa amulets and pendants.
I have one left with me as I gave to others, who I know, will keep them.
I embraced to continue traveling around Armenia. Meeting people coming from different faith, background, culture and religion, I treasure all the conversations we had.
I had also a roommate that I barely had the chance to chat with. But the night before she left, we had a conversation as if we have known each other for a long time. She gave me a pamphlet just before saying goodbye.
The Prayer Bracelet
Crossing the border between Armenia and Georgia, I went to Mestia to experience the Svanetian Mountain.
One Sunday, I went to Georgian Orthodox Church in Mestia. I didn’t understand anything as it was all in Georgian language. One teenage girl kept looking at me until she found her way to sit beside me. I acknowledged her and smiled.
Then she held my hand and hugged me. At the back of my mind, I have this question… “Who are you?” I felt strange…
She gave me her “bracelet” which later on I’ve known it’s a prayer rope. I didn’t leave the church until I was able to talk to one of the Sisters and I’ve found out that this girl stays in a Monastery.
After 30 days in Georgia, I went back to Armenia. Few days after, I was on my way again to Georgia but I stayed for few nights in Alaverdi, Armenia which is close to the border.
I took a shared taxi from Yerevan to Alaverdi. I barely talk to strangers at this time. The passenger beside me went down already. So the guy seating at the back took the place.
He was a guy in a military uniform. Tough man, yeah?
No conversation happened. But before he went down, he handed me a card. I took it, thinking it is some sort of business card with his mobile number in it. But, no… A prayer card. I felt overwhelmed and just prayed for protection for that man.
Receiving those treasures made me think why I was given these extraordinary keepsakes from total strangers.
Do I look lost that they gave me those treasures for guidance and protection? Or can they feel that I am a kind and good-hearted person? 🙂 🙂 🙂
Oh God, I prayed that may others see You in me. That’s a humbling prayer though…
But it didn’t end there.
The Bible, Prayer Rope and Prayer Book
I also met Father Michael, an Orthodox Monk, who was traveling at that time to Georgia from New York.
He, who later on, traveled to United Arab Emirates and I had the chance to meet him again in Dubai.
All the way from New York to Georgia and then to UAE… the prayer rope, Bible and prayer book traveled with Father Michael until I had it in Abu Dhabi.
What a treasured keepsakes I have. They’re not only for keeps but they’ll be with me to value. I’ll try my best to keep the purpose why these treasured keepsakes were entrusted to me.
(Pero gaya ng sabi ko, hindi ako magma-madre o kaya ay papasok ng kumbento.)
As I have given few clothes along the way also, these were given to me when I came back to Abu Dhabi.
And to the many keychains, pouch, postcards, ref magnets from all over the world that I have received before, I have kept them in a treasure box that I sent to the Philippines.
To all whom I bribed for postcards addressed to my home country, my mother is happy and will be happily receiving them all. Adding them to my keepsake’s box at home.
Make your dreams come true and be amazed…
You’ll never REGRET saying YES!
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