A Glimpse on My Life Six Years Ago


THE FOLLOWING was culled from the ‘Messages’ folder of one of the electronic groups sponsored by Yahoo Groups I own and used to administrate. I had the inkling earlier to review some of my previous messages and I was taken to this particular one posted in December 14, 2007. I have copied and pasted it here, as is:

Been busy amidst the silence

To all my cyberfriends and loved ones,

[Note: Am sending this to all the egroups I administrate/own and a few selected ones am subscribed to. Please feel free to read or delete.]

The past three months have been one of the busiest in my life and health-challenged as I am, I try to make my life useful and meaningful. Basically, am a strong family-oriented individual and for as long as I can remember, I have always been protective of my family members, both immediate and extended. This even got magnified when I went to work overseas in 1987. Became the sole breadwinner of my family and also the provider for a few relatives and other people unknown to me. Money is never really a problem with me and as I strongly believe in “the “more you give the more you receive”” adage, I have never really ran short of something to help people with. God, in my case, has always provided! And even now that I am jobless, God has given me a husband who is too generous to provide for all my needs and whims. Since I have simple needs, the full allowance which dear hubby gives me every month goes to the Philippines and regularly pays for the following: allowance of my two sons (from my first marriage) – one is under job training and the other is studying; food and personal allowance/maintenance for my mentally-ill sister and adopted jobless son (a member of a cultural minority group); salary for my sister’’s caregiver; salary and extra needs of my sister’’s “labandera”, a cousin who was abandoned by her husband; salary for my PA (personal assistant); salary for our land caretaker; school allowance for my younger sister’’s six children (which my niece Vivian here in Kuwait is helping me with); school allowance and tuition for a cousin’’s daughter; allowance and tuition for my scholar in Iligan; medicine maintenance of my only living aunt (on my father’’s side), a diabetic cousin and a heart-ill cousin; SSS/Philhealth contributions of five workers under my employ; contributions for mortuary fund of my sisters and five elderly cousins in a local coop; maintenance of a beachfront property in our province of Antique; and “extra curricular” needs of my three other sisters, my nieces and nephews included. I would also regularly give donations to organizations or foundations and unknown individuals.

Needless to say, my life revolves around my “community” in the Philippines aside from my pampered life in Kuwait living happily with a very loving and responsible husband. My loved ones make me busy and through God’’s sustenance and blessings I somehow manage to cover all their needs and concerns. But lessons learned, I am now more on helping them stand on their own. Two nieces are already here in Kuwait working; another niece in Singapore who I also assisted; a nephew who has finally become a “seaman”; another jobless disabled nephew with two children who I temporarily hired as my right-hand in the distribution of my recently-published OFW book; and countless others I provided capital for a small business. But I continue to provide for “emergencies” just as the various doctor’’s visits and medications of ill loved ones in the past month alone. I also sent help when my aunt got recently hospitalized in Capiz; same way I sent help when my scholar’’s father in Iligan (in Mindanao) got hospitalized and succumbed to heart failure (CVA).

The past three months also saw me attending to my unhealthy body. The bouts of headache, dizziness, vertigo, nausea and vomiting (which started my being quiet on the various egroups) all disappeared when I started retaking Stugeron 75mg capsule (I voluntarily stopped taking the capsule to somehow lessen the meds I take daily) and also when I changed prescription of my eyeglasses. I had my annual check at the Kuwait Cancer Control Center which had me undergoing CT scans of the chest/abdomen/pelvis and MRI of the pelvis, after which I was declared free of the cancer (Leiomyosarcoma or LMS of the uterus). I had my regular appointment with doctors treating my diabetes and osteoporosis and I continue to take tablets (Daonil and Glucophage) and Insulin daily shots for my diabetes and Fosamax 70mg one tablet a week for my osteoporosis. I also just had my yearly Mammogram and the result showed “bilateral axial lymphadenopathy” and “fibrogranular parenchyma” of both breasts. I still am scheduled to see the gynecologist (who ordered the mammogram) on January 17, 2008 to interpret the result. I also continue to take Zocor 20 mg. one tab a day for my high cholesterol level in the blood and Diovan 80 mg. one tab a day for my hypertension, aside from the Aspirin, Calcium with Vit. D, Vitamin B-complex and anti-oxidant tabs. In a day, I get to imbibe no less than 20 tabs/caps! Without all the medicines I take, I would have been dead by now!

I had another emergency brought about by the succession of typhoons in the Philippines. My beachfront property got damaged – and a number of coconut trees, fruit trees and banana were uprooted, including the fence and were washed away by the waves. The beach house which is being used exclusively by my hubby and I when we spend our holiday in Antique almost got “uprooted” and had it not been for its strong foundation, it could have been washed away by the strong waves as well. Still I needed to reinforce the foundation and spent quite a fortune. Even the breakwater which I started last year (the project got halted because the fund was used instead for my only brother’’s various hospitalizations, surgery and burial) broke into four and needed to be fixed as well. And the house which I have caused to be built for my mother when she was still alive also needs repair, especially the roof. One more strong wind and the full roofing will go!

I feel sad though because my husband and I were not able to fly off to the Philippines this first week of December as planned. My husband’’s resources got depleted because of my needs and whims, huh!

Why am I telling you all the above? First to inform you of the reason for my long silence and second to somehow inspire (those concerned) and make them appreciate my being –a sick and disabled (dependent on bilateral hearing aids) individual yet striving hard to make her life useful and meaningful. Life is so beautiful and God is so wonderful so one should always make the best of each day! And always be thankful to God. In every situation you are in, always say: “Thank you Allah (or Lord), it could have been worse!” And you may also want to adopt my life’’s motto: “The more you give, the more you receive and the less you think of yourself, the more God will look after you.”

Thank you so much for your time and I wish that you are all doing well.

Freda in Kuwait

PS. Those who have read the OFW book, especially the parts focusing in my personal life as an OFW, can somehow relate or connect with what I have shared above.


About Author

Freda Editha O. Contreras
Writing is a God-given talent which I try to utilize the good way. I used it as a means to earn a living, my very first job after graduating from college, when I got hired as an Information Writer by the Provincial Government of Antique through Governor Enrique A. Zaldivar in January 1982. By profession, I am a Registered Nurse, and was only able to practice it when I got recruited to work in a private hospital in Kuwait. This was in November 1987 and since then I have been living in Kuwait, now retired since June 2002. Because of my knack in writing I got hired in 1994 to write for Kuwait Times and later became an Editor of 'Pinoy News' a weekly supplement of KT. In March 1996 I published the very first independent Filipino newspaper in Kuwait and the Gulf bannered as Pinoy Expat News or PEN. The paper lasted for only 10 weekly issues. This was followed by another publication and came out first as an insert of an ad paper and later as a separate tabloid. I used then 'Pinoy News' as it was my idea the first time it was used for Kuwait Times. This again failed and produced only three weekly issues. I then turned to the Internet and in 1999 I got hired as a Contributing Editor of Suite101.com, a writers' portal on the web. The last of my articles was published December 31, 2002 but my topic 'Overseas Filipino Workers' was still visible until January 2006. All the 38 articles I wrote have been compiled into a book which I published in August 2007. I discovered blogging in 2006 but was not really serious about my writing. I wrote according to my whim. Having this blog under my own domain name is now a welcome development and I plan to concentrate again in writing. As is commonly said: "A writer will always be a writer." http://fredacontreras.com/

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