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Saturday, August 26, 2006 Y 8:18 AM


Once upon a time, in a land not too far away, a fragile old lady was lying on her bed, barely with any breath left. The old lady was ill, impaired by a devastating illness that took all her energy away. As she lies on her deathbed, she called out to her son. "Please, my child, call for your father. Please ask him to come back to me before I leave this world", the old lady told her son.

The old lady is dying and she knew she had to see her husband for one last time. The old man was miles away from home, flourishing their home business in another state. The obedient son went away from his mother's deathbed and sent a telegram to his father, urging him to come home immediately.

The old man received the telegram and flew home immediately. He sat by his wife's side and whispered: "I'm home, dear. I will stay here with you". With the old man's company by side, the old lady's health improved as days passed by and death does not seem as near as before. The family rejoiced with joy but alas, misfortune does not seem to have left the family. The old man was called upon to the magistrate and was sentenced to exile. He will stay in his country, in his state, never being able to set foot into other countries and states again. He was to be punished, to be beaten up by the soldiers. He was beaten up so badly that he could only lie in bed for days.

With both parents ill and sick on the bed, the children have to take up the burden of feeding the family. The youngest daughter of the family, whom has never ever worked before, for father was so rich and the family was doing so well, started on her journey of life. A life filled with hardship and work. She had to work and suffer to earn pennies for the family, for father could no longer work, and mother's life is edging closer to death.

She took on the hard life as well as she could, never complaining about her troubles and pains. A girl who was once so well to do has now been reduced to rags. She worked hard everyday, from day to night, and eventually from a rich and pampered child, she became a woman that could brave through life hardships.

Not too far away, a poor boy was walking back home from work. He was tired and hungry. He has not a single penny in his pocket and only a meagre dinner is waiting for him back home. This, is the boy's everyday life. He's poor soul whose family has to work hard to earn pennies. Tomorrow, he will be going to another state, to look for his wife who was betrothed to him in childhood. He was worried, for you see, his betrothed wife's has a rich family, and he, he has nothing at all. Would she still want to marry him when she knows that he is a pauper? He shudders at the thought of it and trudge his way home.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As it turns out, the betrothed wife was the youngest daughter of the old man and old lady. If she never had accepted the pauper, there would never be a me. Yes, if you are wondering, that is the love story of my grandparents, one story that I only got to know about it 25 years later in my life.

The youngest daughter married the pauper with no regrets, for she knows that it's more important to have a heart than cents. As my grandfather has put it, "Her mother was the cause of all misfortune for her. For if she has not hurried his father to rush home, he will not be exiled and then your grandmother would never suffered so much. Years of hardship with her family, with me, and now, with her illness. Life is just so hard on her". The regret that could be heard in his voice and the sadness in his heart that grandmother is going through pain and suffering again. And then he said suddenly: "But I wonder, if she has never gone through this, then she would never have met me or chose me as her husband. Then we would have never been together. Maybe this is just life, just meant to be". And I saw him smile in the sunset, so beautifully and lovingly.

It was just then that I realise, what could be more beautiful then having your partner by your side, even though you are in the depths of pain and troubles, to accompany you till the day your life ends. To always remember you and feel for you for everything that you have gone through. What could be more sweet than having to have someone you love till the days when your hair turns white, when you lose your beauty and probably sanity? My grandpa is certainly no Cassonova, not someone who can speak romantically, but his love, has truly touched me. It is from the older generation that you learn to keep love so sacredly to your heart.

So with the story in mind, I set foot to my own journey of life. Grandpa, Grandma, I really love you and appreciate you alot. Your lessons have always been meaningful and fruitful. I will always remember you as how you are, for love is kept close to my heart and never forgotten.





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