Sunday, September 8, 2013

Unforgettable Experience in Fátima

Gomes's family at Fátima, Summer 2013
When I was pregnant the only thing we are concerned about way the health of our first child-to-be. We always pray for him/her to be born as a healthy and perfect child. We didn’t care about the ultra sound to see what gender he/she was as long as it was healthy. While I wait for the last result of pre-pregnancy body check up, the doctor detect Toxoplasmosis virus in my blood which if I carry while I was pregnant it could be very harmful to the nervous system of the fetus. Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease caused by animals, specially cats. Cats are the primary source of infections, although contact with raw meat, especially pork, is also a significant source of infections.
During the beginning of conceiving the baby I was scared that I could carry the virus and could harm my fetus, but I breathe relieved when the result came out negative. I been exposed to this virus since I was young as my mother has more than 10 cats in the house where I grew up. The positive sign now is that I have very strong antibody from the virus!
The fear didn’t disappear right away as we look around our weird world, and see pollutions even if we have all the advance technology, however, how do we know that our baby-to-be will be born ok? Then in the Summer 2012 when I was around 6 months pregnant, we went to visit Our Lady of Fátima in Portugal. João and I made a promise that if our baby-to-be was born healthy and perfect we will walk from his hometown to Fátima to express gratitude and pay our promise.
I’m Buddhist, João is Catholic but both of us respect the religion of each other as we believe that all the religions make us to be good persons. He goes to the temples with me whenever we visit Thailand, the same way I do in Catholic way.
Salt production in Figueira da Foz
A fountain to drink water or refresh the feet
Now we are blessed from all the God and Goddess, Saints and Our Lady. It’s time for us to do what we had promised. We visit Portugal in the Summer 2013 on purpose to “sacrifice” our holiday to Our Lady of Fátima. We spent 4 days non-stop walking from João’s hometown, Mira in Coimbra region, to the city of Fátima. It’s around 140km. The greatest sacrifice we have ever done in our life and we are proud of it. Along the road to Fátima, we saw lots of stop points for pilgrims which show that we are not the first and not the only one who are in this path. Lots of facilities and accommodations are offered to the pilgrims. We saw the landscape of the country from a point of view that we never saw. We met many people who say hi to us, encourage us and are helpful to lead us to the correct path. We are so lucky to have such a lovely parents who support us, João’s parents went with us by car and stop from time to time to check if we are ok or injured. Of course it’s sacrifice; we walked with blisters, muscles pain, sun burn and more. The moment we arrived we are overwhelmed with pride and relief. Walking on the way that led us to the statue of Our Lady of Fátima was like she was lighting up the pathway. Our daughter also walked with us the last stage and seems a miracle that she always laugh, smile and was very relaxed. Our mission was complete with happiness.
Mountain view near Fátima
Fátima only 3 Km more!
What we learn from this experience was that the “Power of Love” can do everything. Look at João’s parents or even look at what we have done, it’s all about “Love”. They love us that’s why they come with us, we love our child that’s why we promise and come back to do what we had promised.  I love João, even I’m a Buddhist but I support him in all the way. A person asked me why I do this if I’m a Buddhist, am I believe in it? The simple answer is “Love”. If you love, you will have faith and you will be faithful in what you are doing.
Now, it’s time for João and me to be faithful to each other to conquer the new kind of lifestyle in the sailing boat and the journey we have planned. I’m sure we will share, care, love and be side by side as we already had experienced the “Greatest thing”.

Last day of walking while we had a break... see the face of the baby how happy she is when she saw the parents
Offering the candle at Fátima


I'm very happy for you, for your achievement and most of all for seeing you together and happy!! I'm also very happy to be your friend! Hope to join you in your journey with my boat or in yourse! Warm regards. Miguel

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