My Lolo (grandfather) was recently hospitalized. God was kind enough to make him healthier again. He was discharged from the hospital after discovering that his severe stomach aches were caused by inflamed intestines. Fortunately, his health condition can be improved by a series of monthly medications. Everyone in the family was relieved because it meant no operations, recovery and absence huge financial cost. However, the fact that Lolo was confined for three days, it meant one thing. Someone in the family has to shed out money for Lolo’s hospital bills.
I admire my Lolo because aside from being a strong man, he’s able to save money and finance a household comprised of my cousins. My Lolo owns a passenger jeepney. He hired a driver who is required to give a daily boundary of less than Php 1,000 to my Lolo. At the same time, my Lolo owns two doors of mini-apartments. So even though Lolo can’t anymore work, he earns money. He can support himself and my cousin’s family.
But whenever Lolo gets sick and needs to be hospitalized, this is when the chaotic side of my family surfaces. Behind our happy Facebook photo uploads and reunions, my family has its own share of stories meant to be hidden.
My only paternal auntie happens to be our financial support. The family’s unwritten agreement is Auntie will provide, while my cousins will take care of Lolo. The rest of the family will accept the succeeding tasks that arise.
My Auntie is our financial savior. I admire and respect her because even at an older age, she works abroad for her three families. Her own family, her daughter’s children, and my Lolo’s welfare. However, Lolo’s recent hospitalization fueled a degree of animosity in the family. I don’t know if my cousins share my sentiments. Perhaps, it was just me who develop the ill feelings. I don’t know.
It started when she approached me and my cousins. She wanted us to shoulder the hospitalization bills. Unfortunately, no one in the family was financially capable. Auntie sent some money but such was not enough. Someone in the family has to cover up. Eventually, one of my cousins shouldered a fraction of the bill. I thought everything was settled not until I heard my Auntie’s grievances. She uttered stark words against my Father and Uncle. Auntie said that she was frustrated over my Father and Uncle. She cannot depend and rely anything on them. If I was the first person who heard Auntie’s words, I would make all means to hide her devastating words. If only I can. Unfortunately, the damage has been done. Being a man of few words, I never heard anything from my Father. He remained quiet and this frightens me more. My Father might not admit it. But, I know. I know that any man would feel hurt when someone from the family tagged them as useless, unreliable and worthless. I feel bad for my Father. I want to hate my Auntie but out of respect to my Father and Lolo, I will suppress the emerging hatred.
While I feel sad for my Father, part of me felt regretful, stupid and frustrated to my own self. If only my Father was blessed with a wealthy daughter, this would not happen. If only I have learned to properly handle my earnings, I can pay for Lolo’s hospital bills. If that happened, I will only hear praises and words of thanksgiving from my Auntie. If only, I properly managed my funds, avoided credit cards and explored more earning opportunities, I will not end up writing this bitter post.
If only my Father was blessed with a better daughter…