My fantastic mother Mrs Del Castillo wasn’t a degree holder, but she raised us well and gave us more reasons to appreciate life, and be genuinely thankful for what we have. She made our lives better even if our father died when I was only 12.
My Tatay died due to blood loss caused by multiple injuries from gunshots and lacerations when I was young. The bad guys killed him! It was ruthless, but I believe vengeance is the hands of God.
Nanay had to go through a lot of hardships and difficulties to provide our needs and to send us to a prestigious school. She never thought of buying her wants, and even her personal needs, all she wanted was for us, her children, to finish our studies and have better lives. 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 are entirely provided.
My Nanay is a farmer and business-minded woman. When she goes to the farm, with all her strength, she brought different kinds of stuff she could sell to her co-workers. She ignored the heat of the sun because she loves us. Due to hard work on the farm under the temperature 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 her struggle, she never complained at all. All she wanted was for us, her children to finish our studies. I am now a degree holder and graduated as an Awardee.
On March 3, 2012, my Nanay had a stroke that caused her to get confined in the ICU for four days. I thought it was the end of the world for my Nanay but God saved her.
As I continue to journey the life I have I realized that life itself is unpredictable and full of uncertainties. I might be active on writing this piece right now but I could never tell if I would still be alive the next day or so. The thought of leaving the body that God has blessed us with is scary but if we truly understand what the bible says about everlasting life, we will be able to fully accept what death means.
As with the death of my grandma, I realized loads of things and learned lots of lessons lncluding…
Life is but a dream – My grandma had lived for more than 80 years but after her last breath, I felt like every memory I shared with her only happened in my dream. I can’t believe that she is not here anymore. That no matter what I do or say, everything I hold of at this very moment were all just wonderful memories. I’m just glad though that I haven’t done or said anything that had made her upset. I may not be a perfect granddaughter but I did my part the best way I know I can.
Compassion – My late grandma is one of the most compassionate and generous women I know. She didn’t have much in life but she never failed to share what she has with others. Honestly, I think I resemble her generosity and attitude of being so compassionate with others.I remember when my ex prepared fruit shakes for everyone in the house; grandma said she will reserve her glass of fruit shake to Nanay Josephine, her eldest daughter who is my mother that left for Bacolod that time to buy our needs at home. When Lola said that, I realized how thoughtful and kind she is. I hope there are still loads of people like my grandma. The world would be a better place for sure if everyone is kind and thoughtful enough towards their loved ones.
Appreciate – I often hear my grandma appreciating those who are kind to her. She always ensures to name out people who remember her on a regular basis. Three days after her death, I had the chance to talk to one of my Aunties who resides next to my grandma’s house back in the farm. She told me how my grandma bragged about my kindness towards her. My eyes burst in tears after knowing how grateful she was that I am her granddaughter. Her appreciation for all that I have done, are some of the things that truly made me happy. For me, appreciation is one of keys to make other people feel loved and valued.
One of the most byzantine things in life is finding real happiness. Loads of people I know believed with the concept that they will only achieve real happiness once they become rich. I can’t agree or disagree with this belief knowing the fact that each of us follows different formulas for finding happiness. On the other hand, I would like to share what Mr Jim Carry said on one of his quotes, I hope everybody could get rich and famous and will have everything they ever dreamed of, so they will know that it’s not the answer. Yes, apparently, it feels perfectly great if you have money, abundant of it to be exact, but why there are loads of millionaires who are still chasing happiness though they already have plenty of cash in their hands? They could just buy this, and that – name it and they will have it. But again, why there are still a lot of millionaires who get caught up committing suicide because of life’s complexity and not being able to find real happiness? These questions are all complicated, but the good news is we are not going to focus on these. So before I run out of time, let me dispense with you some of the tips to be truly happy per my own personal experiences.
Give time, and always appreciate – a lot of people I know do not acknowledge the power of appreciation. Yes, all of us want to feel enjoyed by the little things we do. Even small children in school desires to be appreciated with their not-so-perfect sketches on the paper. Someone I know back in my high school days shared his story with me why be has been so rude, and mean during our high school years. He told me that his parents were so busy making a living that they failed to appreciate his achievements in school. Later on, he engaged himself doing not-so-big crimes in school like stealing a little, cheating a little, bullying our classmates etc., and when he got caught, he would be so happy that his parents could visit him at school and interrogate questions about his misconduct. For him, that would only be the time for his parents to see how he is, and what’s really going on with him. I am not a parent yet, but I can attest to this experience. Personally, I would love to encourage everyone to appreciate what others do for you, even if it’s just too little. Remember great things came from small ones. I am not a professional writer or life coach, but I profoundly believe the significant impact of the so-called restoration process which means I prefer to restore what’s broken rather than destroy it. Hmm, reminds me of The song entitled Fix You by The Cold Play band. Such a beautiful song! Worth listening to, promise!
Practice Empathy – countless businesses triumphed by practising empathy. But what does it mean when we say empathy? Well, it means putting yourself in another person’s shoes. In Ilonggo, it is what we call Pasunaid. More often, I feel dismayed seeing other people’s insensitivity towards others. When it happens I just take a deep breath and tell myself I wish these insensitive people would learn to be sensitive with others feelings and circumstances, I want to these people would learn how to practice empathy towards others. I know we cannot blame them or teach them to be like this or like that, but I hope one-day insensitive people would learn to be sensitive, and compassionate. I know I cannot teach everyone, but I believe this article could somehow get somewhere, and I would be thrilled if, in a way or another, it could touch lives, and soften bitter hearts. In my personal experience, I have always admired some friends I’m connected with who remains understanding and professional despite my circumstances and shortcomings. These people taught me to be more considerate, and more sensitive to those who are being so unfair to me in the past and even these days. Let us educate ourselves to stay calm and compassionate despite our circumstances. At the end of the day, it’s not what we do that matters, but it’s how we made other people feel. With that, let’s treat others the way we want to be addressed. This is the golden rule. Our teacher taught us about this since grade school. Hmm, I wonder though why others aren’t implementing this.
Pray, let go and learn to just accept things that are beyond your control – there are things in life that we cannot control or direct, but we can always teach ourselves to take them with all our heart, mind and might. Let’s equip ourselves to learn to be responsive rather than reactive.