What Grandma Taught

grandmother“Have you packed your things? It’s summertime and beginning tomorrow you’ll be staying with your grandma for a couple of months again.” That was my mother.

Oh my, it’s another summer devoid of excitement. For sure, I’l be like a bird again caged in our ancestral house in the province with my authoritarian grandma. In the military, soldiers obey first before complaining, with my grandma, ahhh, obey always…never complain. It’s back to the dark ages… no cellphone…no internet…but a lot of household chores and garden works.

A few minutes later, my father arrived from work. He went straight to the masters’ bedroom. I sensed trouble. Normally, upon arriving, he would lovingly buzz my mom’s cheek and demand from me the tightest of embrace.

“Mom, what’s the matter? I inquired. My mom shrugged her shoulders off and retorted, “I really don’t know. He’s probably tired. Come, let’s talk to him.”

My dad was lying on bed still on his business attire. He was blankly staring at the ceiling. My mom sat on the right side of the bed while I sat on the left. It took sometime before mom was able to convince dad to talk. What he said left both me and my mom dumbfounded. Dad told us that their company declared bankruptcy and he’s unemployed. Even at my young age I comprehended the implications of what he said.

When Mom regained composure she said, “Well, life has to go on. Find another job. In the meantime, our savings will get us through. “ My dad sat beside my mom. He embraced her and told her how sorry he was for not telling her that he used our savings to buy some stocks in the company, just like what the other employees did, hoping that it would save their company. But to no avail. My mom got mad, pushed my dad back and said, “How could you do that? Why didn’t you tell me? What will happen to us now?

Heated exchange of words ensued. My parents lost control, I could see my family slowly being torn apart right before my eyes. But that can’t be. I must do something. “Mom, dad, enough please. “ That was the first  time I shouted at my parents. I was sorry but I had no choice. They stopped and stared at me. I just found myself taking their hand and asking them to hold each other’s hands as well. Then I told them that we will kneel together to pray. Hesitatingly they heeded my request. I led the  prayer.

“Dear God, we’ve got a big problem. My father lost his job, but we still have each other. We lost our money, we may also lose this house eventually and all the comforts we are accustomed to. But I don’t care, what is important oh God is that I still have my dad, I still have my mom, and all of us are alive and healthy, and most of all we still have you. I believe so firmly what my grandma told me about you God, that You love us and that you will never abandon us, that in times of difficulties you would never fail us. This we pray humbly in the sweetest name of your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.”

Silence engulfed the room after that. Then  mom and dad tightly embraced me. They both apologized to me. After a while, I left the room. I felt they must talk things over.

I finally realized the wisdom in the things grandma did to me. Even if there were maids in our ancestral house, she would asked me to help in cleaning the house and the yard, she taught me to perform household chores. She taught me to responsibly spend money and live modestly. If ever my parents decide to let go our maids, well, I am ready. If I need to live a simple life until my father finds another job, no problem at all. My grandma taught me well.

I remember how grandma strictly enforced upon me to pray upon waking up in the morning, before sleeping at night, before meals and just about anytime. She kept telling me that praying is so important in life because everything else may fail, but never God’s love.

Funny, but I just got exited at the prospect of spending another summer with my grandma.  I can’t wait to see her.




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