In Memory Of Lorna, Who Loved To Sing
By Toby Russell
Is it pompous or pretentious or sentimental to try to redirect or massage or soothe rage back to compassion and love? This morning I learned that a woman I care deeply about died in hospital last night, in Cebu. Her name was Lorna. She came from her little island (among the Camotes) in the Philippines to Cebu at age 13, over half a century ago, to work for my mother-in-law's family. My mother-in-law is Rudy Duterte's cousin. So, by a strange twist of fate, I am related by marriage to the President of the Philippines. This to explain that my maternal in-law's family has been politically powerful in the Philippines for two generations, so Lorna was employed as a child to work for them. They could afford such luxuries. She and my mother-in-law became friends, enjoying that distinctive type of friendship maids can develop with the children of the house they serve. Lorna was so 'uneducated', she thought dentures were terrifying witchcraft. When she first saw escalators in some airport somewhere she didn't dare use them for fear. I met her over twenty years ago when she was in her forties. She loved to sing. She would suddenly leap full throttle into some bawdy (so it sounded to me) Cebuano love song, unaccompanied, with her husky voice, and hold the room. She was so full of life. The only 'intellectual' thing she was ever exposed to was the literature published by The Jehova's Witnesses, and she promptly become one of their number. As a Jehova's Witness, she refused the 'vaccine' for as long as she could. But the lockdowns in the Philippines have been harsh; the unvaxxed are currently forbidden from shopping at open markets, supermarkets. I have no idea how they buy food. And Lorna has not been allowed to practice her faith for too long, and it is the only activity she has that gives her a sense of purpose. She began to wither away. To make things worse, her children ignored her wishes and got vaxxed. Then, not understanding their mother's despair, they forced her into getting vaxxed. Now she is dead. (Of a broken heart, from the vax?) And I just heard, while typing, that one of her daughters is now coughing blood. My thoughts are with her family today. This is the intimate detail we must remember. We lose if we respond with despair. But righteous anger – used humbly – is a platform we stand on to tell the devil where to go. The powers that be, rotten in their subservience to evil, have no real dominion here. Love is life, and resolute in its humility; it will not bend in its dedication to the truth.
Thank you. sending angels and seeing phoenix ashes... and still feeling the vicarious weight of witnessing...