The Strength of a Woman

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It was just going to be another one of those public holidays on Queen’s Birthday cleaning around the house and then relaxing.  Surprisingly, I had woken up a lot earlier than usual and thankfully it wasn’t one of those Monday morning blues or “I don’t want to go to work” mornings.

It’s become a tradition for many of us to search for our smartphone while still in bed the moment we wake up. First the text messages and no surprises, the same old friends asking what’s up for today.  And then it’s on to Facebook!

Facebook has been rather irritating of late especially the continuous barrage of election related notifications.  It didn’t take long before a photo appeared on the newsfeed.  It was a photo of two unidentified individuals holding each other close.  The faces of these two were not shown which raised a sense of curiosity to “click-on” and check what the posting was about and who posted it.  The person who had posted this had a foreign name which only increased the level of curiosity.

And on clicking through, it didn’t take long before I started reading each and every post with interest.  It’s not usual for me to get so emotionally involved on a social media post let alone one from a stranger.  But that is pretty much the whole point of this piece.  Strangers posting unique content that gets you so connected to it, it brings out your inner most feelings.

The postings in itself are touching but the way in which these postings are structured and conveyed to the reader makes it all the more personal and unique.

It’s the love a woman has for her husband, the heartbreaking story of losing him, followed by the unanswerable questions from the children he left behind and in an unpredictable twist, the strength and courage to move on whilst remembering and celebrating the life of the man with whom she shared 12 loving years.

This is the story of a Fjian pilot Galuoko Secivo.

Galuoko and her late husband Tevita Secivo, also an indigenous Fijian and a pilot too, were employed by local second tier airline PNG Air.  The Secivos have three children: Melaia 11, Olimapia 9 and the youngest Tevita 8 years old.   It was in December 2016 when the senior Tevita finally lost the battle to leukemia.

Hearing of the loss of a human is sad enough.  Reading and hearing an up close and personal account of the heart ache and struggle that followed is even more heart wrenching.

Since the passing of her late husband, the mother of three has taken to Facebook publishing to the world details of what she terms as her “love story”. She speaks of Tevita as the man who “taught me and showered me unconditional love” and implies through her postings that her story is a living one, one that will “continue living for you and me”.

Not many people, particularly for Melanesians, go to the extent of sharing their story in the way Galuoko has.  Social media is still rather new in this part of the Pacific but her postings convey  very personal feelings whilst at the same time providing a sense of inspiration to those who are interested in her love story.

It’s clear from the comments on her postings by those who “like” her page that they are touched by her.  Her story easily captures their attention and tears.

Her memories of times with her partner is not only portrayed through words, but moving videos and images she has compiled of “their” life together.

But aside from all the heartache she has gone through, she clearly admits that her children remind her that life must go on and if anything, she sees her beloved Tevita through her children.  It makes her strong.

And it’s the strength of continuing to live that enables her to not only share her story but to also encourage readers to look ahead.  As she puts it appropriately in one of her posts “through our challenges, struggles and heartaches lies an opportunity to maximize our potential. To come out stronger and a wiser version of ourselves”.

And it is this sense of self-belief that also makes her story inspiring. She continues “for our children who dares to dream big YOU got what it takes to achieve that dream of yours but it takes discipline and hard work to get it”.

She adds “stay focused and never stop believing in yourself” and she comes back to her present keeping it real “Anyways… Singapore is done, Flight test is done and I can’t wait to get back home to my kids”.

Those who comment in her post offer encouragement as well as congratulating her for the effort she puts in to overcome the adversities. And it’s amazing how some of these comments are actually helping her to continue striving to provide the best for her children.

But what hovers over my mind after reading most of her posts is why Galuoko after having lost her husband leaves her relatives behind in Fiji and ventures back to a country that some consider is perhaps not an ideal place to bring up a family let alone by a single mother.  Admittedly, she is indeed a strong women but why the return?  Would this not make her uncomfortable knowing that she will continue the journey without her other half?

Knowing that this may be somewhat an uncomfortable or insensitive question in itself, I nonetheless take the courage to ask her with respect.  And she does not hesitate to answer this mind boggling question from me. She answers:

“We’ve been here since 2011, We love the company that we work with and we love flying in this country. We made some really good friends and had heaps of good fun memories together here. PNG has been our home for the last 6yrs and it still is, so returning to PNG was just us coming home.”

Galuoko’s page also acts as a reminder to many of us who are fortunate to still have our partners, to, in her words “love a little deeper, laugh a little louder and hold you a little tighter” because, as she warns “tomorrow is never promised”.

Visit Galuoko’s page here.