She was a woman who worked her way to wealth and success. Together with my grandfather, they ran a successful family business, provided for their children and sent them to good schools. She enjoyed the perks of a pampered lifestyle. She often traveled. She can buy whatever she desired in an instant. She was able to build the house of her dreams. It was a life she was proud to have achieved.
As her first grandchild, she showered me with a life of a "princess". I got to enjoy the wonderful privilege of being her favored one.
But then... her almost perfect life turned into a tragedy.
Her youngest son, my uncle, was killed. 5 years later, her husband, my grandfather, died of cardiac arrest. Then a few years after, she had to close down the family business when it was gradually facing bankcruptcy.
|My paternal family vacationing in Hongkong: |
(L to R: My Dad, My Grandmother, My Mom carrying Me, My Aunt, My Uncle and his wife)
It affected all of us... of course. It was a tough time for our family. But we realized that we still have each other to hold on for strength. Our love and bond as a family kept us going. Our faith kept us hoping for God's promise of a new and better life, perhaps not as comfortable, but a more fulfilled one.
Unfortunately for my grandmother, she drifted away from us... she couldn't let go of her losses. It was too much for her to bear. But we strived to show her that she still had a family who loved and cared for her.
My grandmother's heart however, remained stubborn... Losing everything she had was the end of her world. No matter how hard we tried to reach out to her, it wasn't enough to make her appreciate that she didn't lose everything. This went on until our relationship with her became strained.
It's now a year since she passed away... I remember how she used to tell me that her favorite devotion was to Our Lady of Sorrows. She felt that her life had been filled with sufferings and that only her own death can spare her from it.
I wish she had known that her material losses were nothing compared to having an eldest son, my father, who continued to understand and love her unconditionally; a daughter-in-law, my mother, who sacrificed so much in order to serve her; and grandchildren who were willing to care for her.
I wish I can tell her now that her sufferings are nothing compared to the love that Jesus can give - if only she will open her heart to accept it.
I have no idea how she faced her final moments. But I do hope that for her last hours here on earth, she was able to experience God's warm embrace, assuring her that she was never alone and that His loving comfort had been with her all this time.
As I remember my grandmother, I pray that her soul have already found peace and rest in our Father's heavenly home.
|Our Lady of Sorrows|
As I also remember today, Our Lady of Sorrows, I pray for her loving comfort to all who are suffering here on earth... may they trust that Christ will turn their sorrow into joy:
PRAYER FOR OUR MOTHER OF SORROWS:
Our mother of sorrows, with strength from above you stood by the cross, sharing in the sufferings of Jesus, and with tender care you bore Him in your arms, mourning and weeping. We praise you for your faith, which accepted the life God planned for you. We praise you for your hope, which trusted that God would do great things in you. We praise you for your love in bearing with Jesus the sorrows of His passion. Holy Mary, may we follow your example, and stand by all your children who need comfort and love. Mother of God, stand by us in our trials and care for us in our many needs. Pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen!
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