My late lola or grandmother in plain English is a respectable and kind person. She is the person who lift my spirit during my early childhood crisis and would teach me the trade of old fashion trading in the wet market. My lola’s kindness was revealed by strangers who have store booths in the market place. She has a fruit store long before I was born and if a customer buys, she add an extra kilogram of fruits if one buys one kilogram, the old buy one take one. People then are very kind to one another so charity is very common.
A good name is better than riches. She would bring me to the market and introduce to the owners from vegetables to meats. She would sometimes send me alone and without money to get on credit and instructed to tell them she would pay later. As a kid this is short of an embarrassment going without cash but to my surprise, these folks without questioning would give me what I ask and would fill the basket. They trust my lola alright.
But her greatest character of all is her love for all her grandchildren. While some old folks have favorites, she do not exercise it. In fact, she loves the one who is not loved much at all. Even her nephews and niece love her for her kindness. My lola watch baseball and loves to dance too. She even dance carrying her great grandchild. Sometimes I joke her calling “doña Petrona” (yep, her first name) because in the Philippines, someone being called “doña” or “don” belongs to the elite, the very rich and respected. My reference is rich in love and respectable. She is also an active church member.
She got a stroke that made everyone very sad. And would be bed ridden much of the remaining years of her life. My wife told me the reason she likes me because I love my lola so much. I even join a company photo contest and got second place with the winning picture my loving lola in her wheel chair and I am sitting on the arm rest that looked like I am being baby carried by her. Pretty cool and some thought it was a photo edit.
If I am to think of a great woman, my lola is always and always the first.
Enjoy Women’s month.