You have planted them, they have also taken root; They grow, they have even produced fruit You are near to their lips But far from their mind. --Jeremiah 12:2
This story happened a long time ago. It serves as an eye opener to me and my husband, hoping to you as well.
Pepe and Pilar are a loving couple, they are loved by their neighbors, being admired by their relatives, who brought up their kids with love, honesty, humbleness, and integrity.
As their children grow up and went to college, Pepe decided to go abroad to support his children studies, since his wife and his current salary was not enough to feed and sustain all the needs of their five children.
This happened during 80's and 90's by the way. A year where computer and the internet are all just starting up.
Pepe was a loving father, every month without fail he is sending all his income to his family. And coming back home every year just to see how his children are doing and what are their progress.
While Pepe is doing his best to provide for his family same credit goes to Pilar.
She didn't waste any single centavo because she has a high hope and high dreams for her children because same as Pepe she herself was not able to finish her studies.
Years passed by, fast forward, all their children were able to finish their studies. The eldest became an Engineer, second finished computer programming now working in a casino, the third one got married early and had a family, while the remaining two younger children became an Engineer as well thru the help of the older siblings.
Now that all their children became professionals what do you think happened to Pepe and Pilar?
They should have a better life, living in a mansion, traveling around the world, expense paid trip by their children. How they wish.
Okey fast forward again, they are both dead now...opppps rewind.
This is what happened before they passed away.
After Pepe's eldest son graduated from college and passed the Engineering board exam, he got a stable job. The son decided and told his father to go back home since he has a stable work now and he knows how hard it is to be away from the family.
This time the son wanted his father to just enjoy life. After all the sacrifices that his father did to their family.
Pepe came back home without anything on his pocket, since all his salary during the time he works abroad was all sending back home to his family, for his children education and expenses.
In his first few months everything went well. Pepe is helping his wife in their everyday activity, while children are coming in and out of the house because they are all working now.
As the time passes by, life began to change for Pepe. Since children didn't grew up having the father in their home because he was away during their childhood days, they are not used to many errand that the father was asking.
Little did they know there were chaos, and pressure between children and their father.
Pepe started drinking out of boredom and it became a habit to him. He feels that his children do not respect him and he feels worthless.
That every time he is not sober and drunk dead, that is the only time he thinks his children are trying to listen.
But the true reason was, there was nothing to talk about, no stories, no memories to share because he is not around all the days of their growing up years.
The usual circumstances of parents leaving their children behind, thinking going abroad, they were able to give everything to their children, but the sad truth, they did not.
Time is really more valuable than any material things you can offer. You cannot bring it back once wasted.
Years went by, being drunk and not sober almost everyday became normal in their household. Pilar got used to it.
And because her love for Pepe is greater than the problem they encounter everyday, so she doesn't mind or maybe she just wanted to enjoy the remaining days since most of their lives they were away from each other.
Fast forward again, children began to create their own family.
Now the eldest son who carry all the responsibility of his father after becoming a jobless OCW (Overseas Contract Worker) got married and had a family of his own, a family who also need his support because children came one by one.
But life is really difficult at times, God will give you something that you will learn and carry forever.
There comes a time that the son cannot even sustain the basic needs of his children since no one have taught him how to manage his life specially the financial part.
Because when he began working, he bought in his first salary all the things that he wanted. Now that he is earning, he feels the power over his head.
He wanted his mother to be happy, he bought everything that money can offer, because He wanted his mother to have the things that she doesn't have for a long time.
He wanted to repay his mother out of material things for all the sacrifices she has done for him and his siblings.
That is why every single day he spent all the money he has on his pocket without thinking what will happen the next day, or the next week, or the next month or the day after tomorrow.
And then the inevitable happened, his wife got sick, sickness that needs treatment not only one time but many times.
She came in and out of the hospital and all their money that they have in their pocket were spent.
He doesn't have any other income except for his regular day time job. It became an eye opener. That money is not the most important thing in life but the lives of a love one.
That money is not the things that motivates him, but the fear of knowing that sooner or later when one of his beloved afflicted with serious illness how he will going to provide for the necessary things.
That even the basic will be hard if he does not know how to prepare now, to save.
So he does the saving, learning from the previous events from his wife sickness.
Then while he is saving and preparing for his future, the most scary things happened.
Pilar died because of stroke, brain hemorrhage. So fast, it was a sudden death, unexpected, like a strike of lightning bolt. The family didn't see it coming. They don't have any clues.
They don't have anything. No savings, no preparations, no nothing. And what do you think happens?
The usual, the family borrowed money to every single individual they've known. Pilar died leaving his children burried in debts. Pepe cannot do anything about it, he was already old, depending only to his children.
Then here comes Pepe, after so many years of drinking he become immune with pain, not knowing the cause of alcohol in his body.
He was already sick. After his wife died he keep on coming back to the hospital for treatment and that happened for years until his last breath.
Pepe and Pilar the couple who has high hopes and high dreams to their children does not enjoy life after years of sacrificing.
Does they serve their purpose?
The Lord said that the most and greatest commandment of all is to love and serve your neighbor. Did they were able to do that?
Yes of course during their younger years. When they still have all the time, energy and resources in the world.
But as their age deteriorate and their time and energy becomes less, getting old becomes a burden to them and to their love ones.
Self pity burden them and they were not able to see the goodness in life.
Can we blame them? No, we cannot, because no one taught them how to do it.
But their lives can be a lesson to everyone.
Their story will remain forever in our heart, their story became an inspiration to me and my husband.
Believing that their life will be our guiding principle. Knowing that someone learned from their sacrifices.
That is why when someone told us "hindi lahat ng bagay pera" we really distance ourselves from them. We know that because ...
"We are not motivated with money, the love of family is what motivate us. And we are just terrified thinking getting old and we have nothing to offer."
* Who are Pepe and Pilar? They are my in-laws, my husband parents. And their story will linger in us forever.