The Homecoming
5 Long Years

As I sat down on my bed that night, I remembered the words of people including close friends and relatives who did not share the faith I had that Pop was still alive. I remembered how hurt I was, but never showed them how much pain they caused me.  One day, a couple men came to deliver an envelope that supposedly had my husband's set of dentures and a ring. In my mind I knew it couldn't be his because he didn't have false teeth but the ring made me nervous.  As I opened the envelope, my hands and knees were shaking.  I poured the contents on the table and as the ring came to view, I was relieved to see it was definitely not Pop’s ring. I can't help wonder who this belonged to and how this person would feel upon seeing these articles. 

Tonight, however, is the beginning of a new life.   I can't wait to have Pop back in my arms and be a complete family once again.   It was hard to fall asleep that night.   I tried to envision both the past and how things would be when he gets back.

In the 5 years that Pop was captured, the first two years were probably the most trying because of the uncertainty of Pop’s whereabouts.  With the intensity of this stressful situation I managed to save enough money to build a house and start a neighborhood dime store.  There was hardly any profit because the children had free reign and ate most of the goodies with their friends who came to visit.  I also immersed myself in overseeing the construction of the house and inspecting the carpenters’ work daily.  In addition, I volunteered at the St. Vincent de Paul clinic helping the poor and I decided to go back to school.  I went to Baguio Colleges Foundation in 1969 as a junior in High School.   I was very reluctant and scared at first.    Soon I realized there was nothing to fear because the instructors were very understanding and supportive.  The other students, knowing I was the oldest in class, were all very nice and kind.   Everyone offered to help me. They probably felt bad for me!  The worst times were just before tests because it was difficult to concentrate.  Thoughts of Pop occupied my mind. The best tutor I had was Tess, my eldest daughter who, by then, was a College Freshman in St. Louis University.   Junn was a Senior in high school. Today as I hear of his release, I am a College Sophomore.

Page 3 - The Preparation
Page 4 - He's Finally Home
Page 5 - Home Sweet Home in Baguio
Page 6 - Clark Air Base Visit

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