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Tough Love

He pulls a bundle of P500 peso bills from the pocket of his trousers, counts it to the last bill and folds it again. Then pulls out four five hundred-peso bills and folds it again and hands it to me. “Use this money for you hospital expense, that’s twenty grand.” My anesthesia was wearing off and was on my recovery stage when Lolo visited me from the hospital. My eyes widened imagined myself doing a face palm. Lolo really has his ways of amusing me. I got the money and asked my cousin to put it inside the bedside drawer. Told my cousin that Lolo was eighteen grand short!

It was one of the few last memories I had of him. Despite his difficulty moving and switching places he managed to go to the hospital to visit me and was very happy to know that I had a son for his great grand child and I have never seen him so delighted.

Few days ago, we attended his burial and those few memories we had will be forever treasured in our hearts. I never knew how many people’s lives he has touched despite him being known for “thunder” or having a bad temper. There were a huge number of people that paid respect for his passing and a lot of them I barely knew, at least few relatives whose names I could recall.

My grandfather was an epitome of a tough love. He wasn’t the soft person when it comes to showing his love primarily for a few reasons. He was a US veteran and few years of his life was spent either being held captive in war and away from his family.

Honestly, there were few years that I despise him for being hard on my dad. But it was then I realized, he was also a father and being hard on my dad has few reasons. Now, I appreciate him much more because I am proud to say I am tough because of him. There maybe few moments then that I couldn’t fathom why those things in our lives happened but I know he would want it to happen because he wants us prepared to grace life’s battles.

This is the greatest gift God can give you: to understand what happened in your life. To have it explained. It is the peace you have been searching for.-The Five People You Meet In Heaven 

As I was reading a book last night, this line made me think that few of those whom I consider bad memories are those that are worth reminiscing. It was those times that I get to realize that life is unfair and I have to find ways how to deal with it.

Wherever you are Lolo, thank you for the memories. I will be forever grateful for being your grandchild. We will miss the Philippine history stories that you always tell us. I hope you are happy now together with Lola. Say “hi” to her from all of us. We love you.