I believe in the wind.
My Lolo used to tell me to believe in the nature, believe in the wind. He said that if you can believe in something that you can’t see, like the wind, than you can believe in anything.
My grandfather, Lolo, was a great man. Born and raised in the Philippines, he was a father to eight children, a carpenter and so much more. But my favorite thing about him was that he was a musician. He could play any instrument that you put in front of him. I remember when I was young he would take my brother and me to the living room in my aunt’s Manhattan apartment and play the guitar, piano, and violin. Any instrument that he could get his hands on, he would play.
But out of any instrument, he loved the harmonica the most. I remember listening to my Lola singing hymns and Lolo playing along with his harmonica. Every night, he would play something.
And then he had a stroke. He wasn’t able to make music anymore.
All of us grandchildren learned how to play the piano or the guitar so we could sing and play for him. And every time he would just lie in bed and cry. I was young when he had the stroke and seeing him cry when we were trying to make him happy upset me. I didn’t want to play music because I thought I was hurting him. I thought that he didn’t like listening to music because he wasn’t able to join in with us anymore.
When I was 14, I was visiting him in the hospital and I told him that I had watched him cry time after time and how sorry I was to make him cry every time I came to visit him. I told him that I wouldn’t play for him anymore because I knew that he couldn’t handle not being able to play and that I wouldn’t play after that because I had lost my passion. He did something that I will never, ever forget. He reached over and grabbed my arm and looked me in the eye and said “Don’t ever stop making music. I cry because I’m happy. I will always be here. Like the wind, you won’t see me but you’ll know that I’m here with you.”
I keep this memory with me always. And even though he’s not physically with me anymore, I know in my heart he is pushing me to do my best in everything.
So when I hear the saying you can’t see the wind, but you can feel it, I think of my Lolo. I can’t see my Lolo, but I feel him all around me all the time. Every song that I sing and play piano, I know that he is sitting next to me, playing along with his harmonica.
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