Lolo and I have moments, too! Normally, we both love watching the funny videos and you guys should see me and my lolo laugh at almost everything. It’s very contagious!
My grandparents have shared countless stories with me and I just love listening to them especially the lessons they are imparting to me. I have heard a lot and here are most favorite lessons that sticked the most. I hope that you learn from them, too.
Always say “Thank you” with a smile 🙂
You must’ve heard this before – “Why say ‘Thank you’ if it’s their job to serve us? We’re paying them, right?” Honestly, that’s how I think before I lived with my grandparents. My thinking was, only say “Thank you” if you get something for free like presents on Christmas day.
My lola changed that hardwired mindset. I can remember her saying (not her exact words):
Lagi ka magpasalamat sa lahat ng taong gumagawa ng mabuti sa’yo at nagsisilbi sa’yo kahit tricycle driver pa ‘yan o labandera. Kung hindi dahil sa kanila hindi ka makakarating sa paroroonan mo o kaya marurumi ang damit mo. Walang mawawala sa’yo kung magpapasalamat ka. Minsan ang simpleng pasasalamat mo ay nakakagaang ng loob nila.
Always thank the people who have done good things to you and who has served you even if they are tricycle drivers or laundry maids. If it weren’t for them you wouldn’t reach your destination or you would have soiled clothes. There’s nothing to lose if you say, “Thank you”. And sometimes your simple expression of appreciation can lighten their burdens.
Since then I learned to show appreciation. It’s true that we don’t know the battles these people are facing. Maybe the sales lady in a shoe store is having a tough day because she has loans to pay and she’s very short on cash. Or the pedicab driver is struggling to make ends meet because he has a sick kid in the hospital. Our simple sincere “Thank you” may not help pay the bills but it will somehow restore their hopes. That’s the best we could do to help.
Two years ago, I can clearly remember myself ranting to my lolo and lola about this able-bodied woman who goes to the house almost everyday to ask for alms. She seems strong and apparently fit enough to work. I said, “Why won’t they get a job and earn their own money?!” For sure my lolo and lola already thought of that but they still continue to give.
My lolo explained that we’re in a better position because we have something to give. We must be thankful because God has given us countless opportunities to practice our generosity. Just give whole-heartedly. Don’t expect anything in return. Don’t broadcast it.
It really feels good to share because you know that little amount that you gave is of big help to those who need it. And who knows, the person you helped might also pay it forward!
God is in Control
My grandparents have humble beginnings. They started their family with almost nothing. Lolo did menial jobs back then and lola budgets his meager salary to make sure it will last for around two weeks. Lola told me that she even sewed flour sacks and cheap wash cloth together to be used as diapers because they had nothing. Whatever they have goes to their food. As she always say, “We were very very poor.”
Having little was never an excuse to remain poor. Lolo persevered and worked different jobs. One day he took the leap and decided to build his own business. The rest is history.
Sickness, grave and manageable, also stormed the lives of my grandparents. Lolo already underwent major surgeries in the brain and the heart years ago. Lola has been dealing with lung problems since 1960s.
By God’s amazing grace, though they are in their 80s, I can say that they are in good shape (apparent signs of aging aside). Lola still manages to cook delectable meals for family events like Christmas and birthdays. And lolo still serves the Lord by actively participating in a local church. One of my lola’s doctor even said, “Mrs. Linchangco, you are very lucky! You don’t have high blood, heart disease, etc. If your lungs are okay you can do very much everything!”
Whenever my grandparents and I talk about their life stories I can see the amazement in their faces. Still amazed at how God stayed and bless them every step of the way. Still amazed at how they were able to make it through 60 years of marriage and family life. Through the storms and sunny days of their lives, God showed His faithfulness. Who wouldn’t be amazed?
I can’t remember any quotable quotes because God’s faithfulness in their lives is indescribably marvelous. Their lives speak for itself.
Maybe they are unaware that they’ve been telling me the same stories over and over. That goes with age I guess but I won’t get tired of listening to them. Sometimes I even close my eyes as they share their stories so that their voices will stick on my mind. Even if it’s just, “Kumain ka na ba?” or “Ingat ka sa lakad mo. God bless.” I always try to remember how they say it. Because there is comfort in listening to their voices.
The past 6 years living with my grandparents was filled with good food, conversations, visits to the doctors, hospital stays, and lessons. I also witness them get older and older. I have to admit, sometimes it’s terrifying because it makes me wonder, “What if no one will take care of me when I get old?” But that gets erased whenever I hear the life stories of my grandparents. Their experiences and the wisdom they have earned through the years made growing old something to look forward to.