Monday, June 10, 2019

Forty Six Years: A Long Tale of My Life

Forty Six years ago, I was born in the Southern part of Luzon in the Philippines.  Never in my wildest dreams would  I be on  the other side of the world.  Life... you'll never  know where it will take you.  I would say though that I have been blessed with so many great  opportunities in my life and meeting my husband is one of them.  
 Growing up with 8 other siblings who were younger than mine was tough.  I used to lament on my parents why on earth they have so many  kids because we didn't have stable income in the family.  My father used to be a farmer and we had a good life but something happened and we had to move to my mother's place and our life  crumbled down.  My father forced to become a fisherman and he wasn't really good at it so I grew up rather early helping my Mom make a living. 
 My Mom used to make  snacks and I was tasked to  sell it to our neighborhood.  I did  that through my entire elementary years.  I gotta say, I learned so much  growing up that way.  By the time I was ready to go to high school, a  huge typhoon wiped out our entire house, all we had left was the clothes we had on our bodies.  It was a living hell but we got through it.
 My Mom discouraged me to go to high school because we didn't have money for it but I found a way.  I talked to this family who were willing to  take me in and let me live at their house for free and in exchange I help out with the daily chores.  I met so many good people  all though my life and this family was one of them.  I lived with them for two years until a teacher (Thank you Mrs. Arizala!)  helped me out and she paid for my third year of highschool.  She left after a year and another  great human being helped me out on my last  year in high school (Thank you Mrs. Venus) .  I can't thank these people enough for the support and encouragement they gave me.
 As I reflect on my 46 years of existence, I realized of how blessed I am with meeting people.  Life was tough but God led me to the right people that  helped me mold of who I am today.I can remember when I graduated high school, my parents were very proud and happy.  My NCEE result (SAT in US), was  high and I was qualified to apply for college but I couldn't do it since money was the  major issue.
 I worked  for years  after  high school to help out my parents and I also slowly  saving some money for college.  I was already in my mid-20s when I  decided to go to college.  My savings was only good to cover a year of my schooling so I  took an exam to qualify to become a student assistant (working student) in school.  I was lucky enough to pass but was put on the waiting list since there were so many applicants.  I always believe that God was there for me all the time, I was  accepted to work at the school and was also offered to  live at  the dorm for free.  On day time, I work at the finance office to avail the  tuition assistance and after school, I work as an aid for the school administrators for an extra allowance. 
 I didn't have the luxury that other college students have which is free time and partying.  My  college days was spent working and studying only.  I was determined to achieve my goal and I finished my degree in 3 1/2 years as oppose to four years. 
 The school employed me after I finished my degree which I was very grateful.  I was finally able to help my parents financially.  I remember, my very first  salary, I bought me a Nokia 3210, my very first cellphone (I never had one) and the remaining money I had, I paid for my Mom to have a set of dentures. 
 My life was  pretty stale as I was approaching my 30s.  I enrolled in the graduate school and planned to  teach  after I get my degree but my knight in shining armour came and I got hitched lol.  I was very busy  writing my thesis and preparing to defend it so I never had time to date.  The student assistant in my office  told me that I should try online dating, I said no way.
 To make the story short, she signed me up.  Ne thing I know, I was on this matchmaking site , well at least my profile was.  I was actually apprehensive about it but my student assistant said why not give a try.  I only responded to a couple of messages.  The very last message I got before my  free account expire was an email address pleading me to email  since  his account has to expire also.   We communicated for 5 months  and then he decided to meet me in person.
 He came to meet me during my graduation.  I was elated and happy.  We  agreed that he would come back in 4 months and well get married. Our relationship escalated or I would say it was expedited lol.  Well, I was 30 years  old and he was 34 so we didn't really want to  wait besides we have been talking for 9 months now at this point so we felt like we knew each other so well.
 I was in Manila greeting him at the airport when I received a call from my brother   informing me that our father had passed so suddenly.  I didn't know what to think and feel.  I was just very happy that we will finally get to get married but this tragedy happened. After sending off my Dad to his final resting place, my Mom told us to go ahead with our plan.  She said that it was what my father would have wanted  as well.
 We decided to have a  simple ceremony, it was like a formality to  register  us as husband and wife.  He went back to Guam after that and I stayed in the Philippines working at Divine Word College of Legazpi.  We were married but on a long distance relationship, it was tough but we managed to pull it through.  My husband decided to have a formal wedding at church a year and a half  after our first marriage.  After that wedding, I got pregnant with our first child. 
 I decided to take a break from working  as  recommended by my OB GYN.  I had a tough  first trimester and my husband said that I should resign from my work and that's what I did.  As I wait for my papers to get done to come to the states, I  spent my time with the family and also taking care of the little human being inside me.
 I was 7-months pregnant with our daughter when I  flew to Guam to meet my husband.  He fished his tour there so we flew back together to the mainland.  Coming here was a big  adjustment  for me, not only I was culture shocked but also suffering from homesickness
 Thank God, He made me strong and was able to get through the rough time.  Hubby and I have been married for almost 16 years now and living in the US for 14 years, I would say that I found my home here in West Virginia. 
 It still had from time to time especially  if I am missing my family but with my husband's emotional support, it gets better.
 I have been a stay at home Mom ever since I got here in the US but I never once regret giving up my career.  Our children are growing up so well and I wouldn't trade it for the world.  To personally  take care of them  24/7 is a blessing.
 In life, you  never knew what  will pen.  The path that you take will led you to the life that you want (or not).  It's important to weigh the pros and cons  when making life's big decision. 
 I could say that I made the right decision.  It hasn't been smooth sailing but getting through the rough time is quite satisfactory.  I feel like I have succeeded my goals in life plus more.  I am blessed and thanks to all the people who helped me get through it. 
 I hope that I could continue to live a healthy life so I could  be there for my children as they choose their own paths.  My wish is that hubby and I  would live long enough to witness our children grow up and have their own families.  

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