I’ve been staying in the hospital for a couple of days already, looking after my granddad whose health has been slowly deteriorating due to Alzheimer’s disease and old age. He has 13 grandchildren, but I don’t mind being the only one left with him every night since the night after he was admitted.
People who know him have been saying nice things about him, things that he never told us, his grandchildren and children, about. From them, we learned that he was very compassionate and generous not only towards his family and friends, but also to others outside his inner circle who needed a hand. From giving pieces of advice on love, family, friendship and career to offering a ride to and from home to recommending someone for a job and lending money without expecting to be paid back, he did these and more for the people who turned to him for help. He tried to oblige in any way he could, not once turning his back on anyone. If he knew he couldn’t, he’ll personally bring that person to someone he knew could help better.
In spite his good deeds, he neither bragged nor mentioned anything about it to others. He helped unconditionally, even the poorest of the poor, without asking for anything in return. This is why he received so much love and gratitude from these people. My aunt recalled the times when they’d have so much food at home all from their neighbors who felt indebted in gratitude to his father. Likewise, during the yearly pabasa, our grandfather’s religious devotion to the Lord, people would contribute food or their service such that it becomes not just a family event, but one involving the community. Lolo Dad’s pabasa became meaningful because of the spirit of kindness in each one.
In today’s time, I haven’t heard anything like the stories about my Lolo Dad. He’s the closest ultimate example of compassion and selflessness for me. He wasn’t rich, but was very industrious. He wasn’t powerful, but his words influenced many. He wasn’t God, but he followed his examples. No wonder many look up to him until now and despite his current condition, many still love and fondly remember him.