When I was still studying, my family had financial problems. Good thing I had earned some money through modelling so I had enough to pay for the final installment of my tuition. But a few weeks before the due date, my parents had borrowed the money, and promised to return it in time. They broke their promise. I ended up missing the deadline and filing TWICE for an extension. I was in danger of not being able to finish the school year.
I remember standing outside the cashier, very irritated at my mother over the phone. I NEEDED the cash before 5pm OR ELSE I would not be cleared for that school year. Eventually my mother was able to bring the payment to me at 4:30pm. I was relieved but still very irritated. That was MY money they borrowed. THEY made a promise they did not keep, and it took pressure from the school to make them pay up.
Two months later, I was driving my mother to a pawnshop in Fairview. It took a while for her to tell me why.
The day I had been breathing fire down her neck about my tuition, she was having problems of her own. A storm whipped through our farm in Mindanao, knocking out the electricity and over half of our livestock. We were unprepared. Troubleshooting took up most of our funds. My dad, being in Mindanao at that time, needed her help in Manila – from borrowing extra cash, to contacting suppliers, etc. She was scuttling from Makati to Ortigas to QC when I called her that day. But I never heard a word of complaint from her. She knew it was wrong of them (my parents) to break their promise to me. She would do all that she could to make things right.
Without a peso left to spare for my tuition, extremely tired and emotionally drained, she hurried to Fairview and pawned a meaningful pendant and earrings set, not knowing if she could ever get it back. THEN she went all the way to my school in Manila to reach the 5pm deadline.
We were driving to Fairview to give a partial payment to the pawnshop. Our family had still not recovered financially, but she shielded me so well from the pressure and pain of it all.
I wanted to hide my face under the steering wheel. Had I known what she was going through that day, would I have been so irritated with her? And how NOBLE was my mother, not even MENTIONING her hardship to me that day so that she would not be a burden?
My parents are not perfect financial planners. And they did break a promise to me that almost resulted in me not finishing the school year, but I also forget how hard their role is. I forget that I mean the world to them and they are just doing the best they can.
I apologized to my mother for being so harsh over the phone two months ago. She smiled, said “Ok,” as if I did not need to say sorry at all.
Did someone offend you today? Have you thought about where they could be coming from?
To read RICHARD’s story, click here.
, October 21, 2014