Highlighting the strongest, bravest, and the most compassionate woman I know. My grandmother, Nanay Iska.
Her name is unknown to the world. She is not a public figure, nor someone who has a title or a degree. She is as what they say just a housewife, a mother of 14 children, and uneducated. She came from a remote province dreaming of a better life for herself when she was young, a runaway bride at the age of 15, went to the big city, and became a young mother.
She married a soldier who is fighting for his country back then. They endured the flames of World War II and even the death march. She risked her life for her husband, as she hid my grandfather in her long skirt under the eyes of the Japanese soldiers during the death march. Back then her bravery was evident, especially if her loved ones were in danger.
Soon after a few months of giving birth to her 14th child, her husband died of a heart attack when she was just in her 30’s, and alone thrived to raise her 14 children. She worked the best that she could to feed her children, and appreciated all the help that was given to her by her family and relatives. As her children grew, she focused her attention to her grandchildren that gives her joy, and has always prayed for them. She even outlasts four of her children, bearing the pain of their death and burying them.
Time went by she became old and unable to walk, fixed in her room looking forward for her grandchildren and children to visit her, accepting the reality that her body was already failing her, and she might go anytime soon. One day she was rushed into the hospital due to a kidney failure, her health is failing but she fought hard for her loved ones, she survived, and undergone dialysis three days a week for one year at the age of 95.
She’s the only woman whom I personally know who was able to look death straight in the eye. She knows it will come, she knows she had served her time, and she knows she’s ready to go back to our Creator. We loved her so much but we know it’s time to let her go, she has already given so much love and so much of herself. And even on her final days she still worries about us and wishing that if she was stronger she will continue to take care of us.
I could never forget the day that she died, when I entered the room and she heard my voice her heartbeat monitor showed a small spike, all the nurses and doctors were in shock. She was still holding on she still wanted to live for us but I whispered gently to my beloved grandmother that, “we will be alright Nanay don’t worry about us, please you may rest now.”
She’s most of the women we know around globe whom did not made a name for themselves, who were not published in any newspaper nor social media, who is as what they say just a housewife, a mother, and uneducated. But without women like her we wouldn’t have a good home, a better society, better people, and you won’t probably be reading this.
Women like her should be empowered, highlighted, and celebrated they are the unsung heroes of our society. Our mothers who made sacrifices for us every day, whose lives were spent just to look after us to give us a better future that they’ve never had. They may not be Oprah or Mother Theresa but they are also as powerful, confident, strong, and brave in their own beautiful way.
Let’s celebrate our mothers every day, it’s tough to build a country, but it is also tough to raise a child.
Sending my love and respect to all the women out there who’s helping build a better society. You are beautiful and strong, no one should deny you of that.