In Panama when in rains, it pours. If you live in a desert area like Nevada or Arizona and come down to Panama you would not believe what a tropical cloud burst really is.
During the rainy season (from mid May to mid December), about noontime, it gets dark and electrical storms are accompanied with lightning, thunder and very heavy rainfall. When those days are here, many people long for a bright sunshine. Not me. I have my sunshine every day, no matter what. Let me expand.
Over the years I was able to accumulate enough sunshine inside me to last till the day I go upstairs to talk to the bearded guy; if you know what I mean. First let me talk about my first sunshine. Here I go.
Sunshine No. 1
I met her when I was 29 years old. She was introduced to me by a coworker at Refinería Panamá, S.A., a subsidiary of Texaco Inc. I was working as a Financial Accounting Assistant making about $430 a month. In those days it was a good salary for a bachelor. It was 1976.
After I was introduced to Aura—that’s her name—my life turned 180 degrees. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t concentrate on my work, I couldn’t breathe. Her face orbited around my mind like the moon to the Earth; round and round like and never stopping Merry-go-Round.
After a long courtship of four years—we were saving money to buy a house—we finally tied the knot. Ever since, I’m the luckiest man alive. I had found the jackpot at the end of the rainbow. Everything you can ask for about a perfect wife, Aura has it, plus a lot more. For me, she’s the perfect definition of wife and marriage. Aura is my life and my first sunshine.
Let me introduce Aura to you. Here she is:
Sunshine No. 2
After our first year of marriage, we discovered Aura couldn’t have babies. We wanted to have at least two. We searched under the rocks for a doctor to find a solution to our problem. No joy.
Then we decided to adopt one. The bureaucracy to adopt a child in this country is enough to drive you loco. After about a year of filling out all sort of documents, attending to never-ending interviews and paying for fiscal stamps a mile high, we decided to call it quits.
Still we were positive something could be done to usher a stork to our house. We went to Cartagena, Colombia to seek for our baby. The Colombians were even worse than their Panamanian counterparts, so we returned with long faces back to Panama without a baby in our hands. We looked up to the sky and with resignation said, “Good Lord, have it your way.” And that was that.
Time passed and our hair turned gray and white. One day, I looked at the mirror in the morning and saw an impostor. It was an old man with white hair. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Without noticing, I had turned into an old man with no descendants. Then something good happened. Abdiel was born.
Abdiel is the son of Aura’s nephew, Alcibidades. Since his birth, he has been with us on and off. All the love we had accumulated in our “love boxes” for 29 years were focused on this baby boy. He’s now five years old. We are blessed to have Abdiel with us, even though he doesn’t live permanently with us. But every time he comes to our home, a million rays of light filter through the windows of the house. Abdiel is the second sunshine of my life. I raise the curtain and out he comes.
Even if they extracted me from Panama, and place me in Siberia where there is no sun for months, they can never take the sunshine away from me, because they are embedded deep in my heart. Wherever I go, I always carry two sunshines with me—Aura and Abdiel. Good Day.