Bien woke up with cold sweat. Paz was in his dream again … with another mission for him. Even if it wasn’t a nightmare, the dream gave him something to think about. Her message was clear: Go to San Antonio. Be there at 6:15AM. You know what to do. After which, go to the room at the right. Say the message, light one and wait.
After all these years, how could she still send me on a mission? He thought about it, looked at his alarm clock : 5:30AM. Well, better do this now. No point in delaying the mission, let’s do this. He did not want to get Paz angry.
You won’t like me when I am angry, Bien.
Yes, I will be afraid. Very afraid.
He was there earlier than 6:15AM and had time to look around. Very few people were there, mostly the regulars. Bien nodded to the man, nearest the door. The old man seemed to have been there for ages. He remembered him from so long ago — like, what, when he was 10?
So, he heard Mass, went to the candle room and selected the rack with the name San Antonio … just like what his mother said in his dream. He silently said the message:
Yes, Mama. I miss you, too. Yes, I am ready. I want to find her now. May San Antonio help me in finding the right girl for me.
He lit a candle. The waiting started.
Three years from that date, Bien was holding their firstborn — who had Carmela’s big, brown eyes, getting ready for the child’s baptism, at the same church.
They named her Maria Paz, after his mother.
And that was his mother’s last mission for him. She made it possible for him to be happy.
The window Paz y Bien is located at the Sanctuario de San Antonio, in Makati, Philippines. Went to hear Mass there two days in a row this weekend.