A wonderful couple
“Theresia, come and see,” Mama Generosa said while holding my hand. Then she led me to the entrance of their bedroom and continue, “You see this bed? It is where my husband and I got all our children. We have been laying on this bed together since we were married.” I was marveled. Paco and Generosa, a wonderful couple, was one of the treasures we discovered in Spain on our evangelization visit sponsored by the Piarist Fathers of St. Michael the Arch Angel Parish of Futru-Nkwen Cameroon, and SETEM. Our three weeks stay in their house was an experience we keep sharing, and it continually inspires our life every moment.
The family had prepared so well and were eagerly waiting for us. When we arrived that evening, there was so much joy in the house. Paco and Generosa, together with their daughter Isabela were filled with great joy. They welcomed us with loving smiles and hugged us again and again. Then Generosa would take the baby and play with, exclaiming, “Que wapo! o mi nino! pocholo! chikitin! o mi corazon! (What a beauty! O, my baby! Bulky! Little one! O my sweetheart!)
They served a sumptuous meal that evening and always during our stay with them. Whenever we were at the table, Mama would say, “Comer! Comer mucho! Te gusta? Come mucho! (Eat! Eat much! Do you like it? Eat much!) She would encourage us to eat and eat. One day when she encourages us to eat much as usual, I was quiet, and then she asked, “Que pasas Theresa? ( What is it Theresia) I commented that I just think that when we get home, where would we get all these nice food again? she consoled me saying, “Eat, and eat as much as you can, and when you get back home and don’t have it, you would know you have already enjoyed.”
Papa Paco would always put on a broad smile and speak gently. I could see the love for us in his eyes and on his face. They ever sat very close to each other, talking gently and lovingly to themselves and with us. You could read peace and intimacy in them and also their feeling of fulfillment. Paco was such an example of a good and caring husband and Father, while Generosa was such a loving and supportive wife and mother. They were such a wonderful couple. We were so amazed that at their advanced age, they were still so intimated and loving. Whenever Stephen and I recall our experience with them, we would have a lot to learn, and we would say, no doubt their three children are Priests. Their kids must have enjoyed and learned a lot from their spiritual life when they were growing up.
We went out every day to visit different schools and places to talk with the students and other groups, which was our mission. At times we spend a night or two at another home. Mama Generosa would call time and again to find out if we were doing well. One day Father Fernando’s phone had a problem, and we could not communicate with Mama and Papa that afternoon. We had many places to go that day and could only come back very late in the night. Mama was so perplexed that she had to leave the house and was on the street to see whether we were coming back. Thank God she didn’t go far when we were approaching home. Father saw her from afar and said that should be Mama out there looking for us. When we drove closer to her Father slowed down the car and called out, “Mama!” She saw us and lifted her hands as if to say, “Thanks be to God; they are back.”
Whenever I recall Mama’s action that day, what comes to my mind is the scene of the Father of the Prodigal son in the Bible who went out every day full of love and longing to see his son back. She hugged us that night more than ever before and rained down kisses on her “Corazon” (The baby Calasanz) as she enfolds him in her hands, “O mi corazon! Que wapo! o me nino! pocholo! chikitin!” She had missed him a lot that day.
No doubt, like Parents, like children. Their children were no different from them. We lived and work with Father Fernando in Futru Parish for so many years since they founded our Parish, but I can’t recall any moment I ever saw him angry. He was always with a smile and simple, most of the time, empathize with others. His brother Priest Fr. Havier, and Louis Negro, who visited Futru, were no different from him. Isabela was such a wonderful elder sister, so caring and loving. She was so open and loving to us. She would care for our baby, wash our dresses and iron them, and showed us everything in the house, making sure we felt very free and at home, as her very sibling. Tere, on her part, was no different, so welcoming when we visited her home, likewise Jose Maria and Fina. They just reflected their parents.
Stephen has been paralyzed for six years now and can do very little by himself. Most of the time, when I’m in our bedroom, I would remember what Mama Generosa showed and told me that the bed I saw was where they made all their children, and they are still laying there at their advanced age. This testimony has caused me to value our bedroom so dearly.
Thoughts of this beautiful couple, Paco and Generosa, their good example, and their open-hearted children shall never leave us. We usually think that one of the bad days in Paco and Generosa’s life was when we were about to leave their home. That morning Generosa could not hold her tears. They could not bear us leaving them, especially as we were taking her “Corazon” (the baby Calasanz) away.
When Paco first left this world, it was so sad for us, and we wondered how Generosa would live on because they were like twins, so intimate and loving to each other even at that old age we saw them. After a few years or so, Generosa’s gentle soul also rested in the Lord. The moments of their dead were so painful for us to bear. We offered several masses for the repose of their souls, and now we still pray for them with confidence, knowing they are already in heaven. We truly miss them, but their example lives on with us. We learned a lot from their hospitality, intimacy, openness, and that a well lived married life is even sweeter at old age. They were such a fulfilled couple.
Paco and Generosa, its really painful for us thinking of your departure from this world, but we believe that one day we shall gather to depart no more. Thank you for your good example and great touch in our marriage life. We continue to pray for you as you pray for us.
By Stephen and Theresia Taminang
A wonderful couple
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A wonderful couple