Darting through the congregation at St Joseph RC Church, Mon Repos, was my daughter, Annamarie, three years old at the time, who had just pulled away from her mother, my wife Lucia to join me on the sanctuary.
I had just left her in the pew to join all the men who had responded to be prayed with, on that momentous Father’s Day, some 15 years ago. Even though she was the only female on the sanctuary, she was not fazed in the slightest. She was with Daddy.
My son, Michael, at about 2 ½ years, at a staff get-together in Tobago, enjoyed dancing with some of my colleagues. Even though they must have appeared like giants, he was not fazed. He could see mommy and daddy.
Wow, I had forgotten those times. TICK, TOCK. They reminded me of the many times, I received from my Heavenly Father love, support and calming of my fears.
Over the years, I have been challenged to wear many hats by my two children and supportive wife. I have grown from being helped through their pre-natal care to becoming timekeeper, chauffeur, counsellor, chaperone, catechist, etc. Accompanying them and leaving them whether at kindergarten, primary or secondary school helped me to discover new faith in God. I could not be there with them.
I had to rely on the Holy Spirit and come out of my comfort zone so as not to embarrass them when accompanying them to a meeting of their peer group, a husband-and-wife policy.
In one instance, even though the parents of the birthday boy were ushering me out, I found a way to lime with other parents so I could stay. I had to learn great restraint and patience when I felt my authority challenged in their teenage years. I had to humble myself at times when I realised that I had made mistakes, but they were forgiving. TICK, TOCK.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, I still provide the groceries, but they sanitise them of their own volition. We discuss their concerns. They may still need some coaxing to come to family prayer and virtual celebration of the Eucharist but they have accepted cleaning, baking, cooking and leading prayer time. My wife and I continue interceding for them to grow as young adults in their relationship with our Good Shepherd, Jesus.
Besides trying to keep the love flowing and the family focused on God, we experience doubts and struggles. I am empowered with the words of the song: “I know nothing of tomorrow except the love of God will rise before the sun, the love of God will rise before the sun.”
I am encouraged by the words of Jesus: “Trust in God and trust in me” (Jn 14:1). He has been there for us in the past and because He is faithful, He will keep His promise to be with us until the end of time. TICK, TOCK.
Ian has been married to Lucia for 22 years. They are parents of two beautiful young adults, Michael and Annamarie. The family attends Mass at Sacred Heart RC Church, Gasparillo. Ian has been a member of the Zion RC Community, San Fernando and is currently training to be a permanent deacon in the Archdiocesan Diaconate Programme.