My amazing mother Mrs. Josephine Del Castillo was not a degree holder, in fact she only finished her Elementary Education but she managed to raise us well on her own. My Tatay died protecting our home when the bad guys robbed our house on the 24th of February 1997. He never made it to the hospital at all. He died helplessly due to multiple injuries of gun shots and lacerations. He stopped breathing in the arms of my older sister. He tried to speak out but the hot and fresh blood that came out from his mouth and nose stopped him. I can’t imagine how painful it was for him and for my sister. As I type right now my heart beats faster, tears are slowly bursting out from my eyes. The pain is still there, yes, it never subsides.
Nanay had to go through a lot of hardships and difficulties in order to provide our needs and send us to prestigious schools. She never thought of buying her wants and even her personal needs at all. From the moment our Tatay died, Nanay never stopped sleeping late at night and waking up early in the morning to make sure that our needs were provided.
My Nanay is a farmer, and a business minded woman. When she goes to the farm with all her might she brought stuffs she could sell with her co-workers. She ignored the heat of the sun because she loves us. Due to hard work on the farm under the heat of the sun, she got dark skin, dirty nails, and noticeable crack on her feet. Every time I saw her I couldn’t think of anything but to wish that I was rich so my mother will no longer work on the farm to feed us.
Despite of her struggle she never complained at all. All she wanted was for us, her children to finish our studies. After more than a decade of struggling every day of our lives, I got the degree I deserved, and passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers.
I got my license for teaching but I preferred working as online freelancer which I enjoy a lot. Freelancing gives me the financial freedom I want though it requires long hours of work, full time dedication, hard work, discipline and integrity. In the quiet days of my life when I look back I could no longer remember the pain and struggle we have been through all I hold deep within in my heart is the gratefulness for my parents and for God’s amazing grace towards us. My parents were the true hero of my life; they have the biggest impact of what and who I am right now.
Then again, I have proved to myself that God is indeed kind and full of grace. On March 3, 2012 my Nanay had a stroke that caused her to get confined on the ICU for four days. I thought it was the end of the world for my Nanay but God saved her.
Honestly, I never really thought that the tragedy she undergone was already the answer for my prayer. Yes, I have always been praying for us, my family to live together on the same roof. When Tatay died, I had to live in Murcia so I could get to school easily, whilst Nanay and my other siblings were staying in our house in Bago city. When Nanay got discharged from the hospital I decided to live with her together with my other siblings. Right now, I am in my old room here in San Miguel Murcia, writing this post, whilst Nanay is watching TV in the showroom along with my nieces and nephews. God is so good to us.
To those who are struggling due to what life brings forth, please do not lose hope, do not be afraid to try harder each day, the brighter tomorrow will soon arrive. Just give your best, do what is noble and entrust everything to the good Lord. God bless us all.
With Grateful Hearts,
JO ANN (aka atelong) lol