After all my blather and slather, you’re probably used to the level of hyperbole and superlatives in almost everything I say, it’s a hazard of the job. 🙂 But I have another astounding tale up my sleeve, because of the astounding personality behind the tale.
Conservatively, my Tita Lily has sent around a thousand children to school. Some she has sent as part of her commitment to family, some godchildren, children of godchildren, children of friends, and even grandchildren of friends. Still others she has given tuition support because of the recipients’ earnest desire to go to school. And, yet some more, she has sent to school because they would have no other chance otherwise.
She has stood as godmother to hundreds and hundreds of weddings, proudly witnessed as ninang (godmother) to untold numbers of baptized and confirmed little inaanak, and has been sponsor to a goodly number of ordinations, silver (and golden) anniversaries, and many other milestones of other remarkable people.
You may find this hard to believe, but I have never seen her refuse outright a request for help, assistance or support, especially when it involves family. Facing a choice between protecting oneself against being taken advantage of and extending a helping hand to someone down and out, Tita Lily 99% of the time would rather err on the side of compassion.
She has been a paragon of professionalism, hard work and consistency throughout the six decades that she has worked, and for a single employer at that. She has served as model for quality performance, honest toil, and innovating her craft as administrator in one of the country’s largest law firms, and continues to serve as one of its valuable resource persons.
Among the many many things I remember about her as a massively fortunate nephew, I once accompanied her on a visit to a nearby hospital. The person she visited was battling a lingering illness, and entertaining her visitors was the last thing on the patient’s mind. She hardly recognized my aunt, but the latter treated her as if she were the dearest friend in the world, stayed for quite a while to reassure her that her friends were still around, and offered her prayers for recovery.
On the way out, I asked Tita Lily who the friend was, and why she hardly recognized her. She said, we have been friends for over half a century now. I have many friends like that, and I visit a lot of them often (in hospital) these days. They have very few remaining relatives and even less friends. I’m just doing what I can for them.
I was touched by that. My aunt, not that young anymore, but still moving actively and sharing her time and energy for people who can’t do much for themselves anymore. But then again, that’s what Tita Lily has always been most of her life, thinking of others first and second, and then only does she think of herself last.
Thank you for always being there for us Tita Lily, I love you so much! Belated happy birthday!
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