Her name was Maria and she was one of the strongest woman I ever knew.

John Travolta once said, “They say the hardest thing in the world is losing a parent. I can now say that isn’t true. The hardest thing in the world is losing a child. Someone you raised and watched grow every day. Someone you taught how to walk and talk. Someone you showed how to love. It’s the worst thing to ever happen to anyone,”

Maria lost five of her 11 children while she lived. One can only imagine the unbearable pain and suffering she had to endure everyday of her life. Losing a child is devastating. But losing five of them? It’s beyond grief.

And yet, Maria bore her suffering silently, her resilience becoming a comforting glow of warmth and a source of inspiration. It instilled in her children the strong desire to triumph in their chosen endeavors and become successful in life.

Maria’s resilience bore fruit. She may have labored as a peasant doing back-breaking work but it ensured that her children will have the good life she had not tasted. She saw her remaining children become professionals in many fields and women of strong faith and virtue.

On this day, 96 years ago, a strong-willed woman who would inspire us in life was born.

Her name was Maria.

On this day, five years ago, a strong-willed woman who would inspire us in life died peacefully in her sleep, in her own home and surrounded by her loving children.

Her name was Maria.

She was one of the strongest woman I ever knew.

She was my dearly beloved grandmother. Mi querida abuela. An akon hinigugma nga apoy.

Rest in peace, Nana. And happy birthday.

 

 

 

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