How much does each breath costs? Is it worth all the kinds of gold in the world? or the money in your bank account? a lavish Gucci watch? chic LV shoes or bags? loads of jewelry in a safety deposit box? Each day is very precious...Each breath is priceless...
Here is the story of my cousin Shiela who extended the life of another person by another year. No,she's not a nurse or a registered carer. She's a high school undergrad and her rich employer prefers her than anybody...not even her family...
My first cousin, Shiela---22 years old. I first saw her when she was 4 or 5 years old in an impoverished province of Negros. I saw her again last week. She evokes honesty, ignorance & the purest of the souls i ever encountered.
She came to Manila when she was 17 years old & worked as a helper to a very affluent Chinese family in the Philippines. Her kindness,sweetness,hardwork & honesty brought her endearly to the closest attention of her madam---a woman in her 50's---beautiful,sophisticated,high class,got a husband and 3 kids, and she got only a year to live. With secret cameras circulating in the big mansion where she's working,the Madam knows that her maid,Shiela is the most special one. So, she asked her to take care of her than taking care of some household chores assigned to her. And much to her delight,with my cousin's care together with the medical professionals she hired, her life is more than complete. My cousin,who is not a doctor,nor a nurse or a professional carer gave her the best medical service anyone could give. My cousin just gave her an extension of her life with that one last year the happiest ever. She died embracing my cousin---her happiness,her lifelong friend,her daughter. She often said to her,"I can only feel the love of a daughter through you..."
She died putting Shiela as one of the heirs in her Last Will & Testament,much to the dismay of her children. But my cousin left the splendid household after her death,leaving also how much might she got from that piece of paper. She never cared about the material remuneration. That's nothing. She felt that she also lost a mother & that life could never be replaced. Now,her memories,their memories will be with her forever.
I spent one whole day last week with my cousin. And with that one whole day,all that she'll blub and blub will be about her employer. When it was time for her to go back home(she lives now in Bulacan, 3 hours from Manila) my mom can't help but notice her nice,good quality shoes. My mom said,"Can i try?" My cousin said,"Auntie, if your feet will fit into it,i'll give the shoes to you." But of course it didn't fit! My cousin called me and wanted me to fit as well. I said,"What is this?Cinderella Story?" But she insisted and let me try it on. I said,"okay." And to everyone's suprise, the shoes just fit perfectly as if they were crafted for me. And when i look at the brand? It's an LV.
I knew then that the shoes came from her madam. She wanted to give the shoes to me because it just fits me perfectly. I don't wanna accept it because i know of the sentimental value the shoes is for her. She keep on insisting and said,"Please,Ate i want you to have it. I still have many shoes like this in my house & some i even gave to our relatives in the province. This one i want you to have it,please take this for you to remember me. I prefer rubber shoes than heeled shoes!"
Of course, i have it and of course even without the shoes i will always remember her. Her story just captivated my heart. The positive energy that she radiates, the unconditional love in her, the unselfishness & ignorance in her that you can only see in a child---these qualities are rare in a person.
I know that you cannot choose your relative. But if i'll gonna choose a cousin again in my next life,I'll gonna ask God to give her to me....And yes,she did have her comfortable rubber shoes!