Valuable Lessons Unearthed From an Old Letter

Whenever we write a letter to a far away loved one or a friend, we always relate whatever is happening in our life. We do this not only to inform but also to part some valuable lessons in life whenever a situation merits. This has always been with me from a long time past and I always saw to it that I never impart something dull.

There is this letter addressed to my mother, dated December 9, 1998, which I can give as an example of the above. I will highlight the parts which mentioned some valuable lessons in life.

9th December 1998

Dearest Mama,

My love and warm greetings to you.

How are you? Are you fine? Hope that you’re doing well and in the best of health.

It’s been a long time since I last wrote to you. I remember telling you the last time that I will send some photos of Waleed’s family and the red Volkswagen car he gave me as his birthday present. The photos had been ready since four or five months back but I never really got the chance to send them to you – until now.

Waleed and I are sorry we couldn’t see you this Christmas. Not only the appointments I have to fulfill with my specialist doctor fall on the day I will be off from school (for the usual two-week Christmas holidays), and the next few days after, the Holy Month of Ramadan also falls on the 19th of December, which means that Waleed could not leave the country.

I will be observing, for the first time the Holy Month, which, as you know, will be mainly of doing the act of fasting. I’ll fast solely for the purpose of asking God to grant Waleed and I a child. It will be two years in January 1999 since we got married and it’s really high time that we must produce a child – not only for our own personal satisfaction but also for Waleed’s family. Although they are keeping quiet (with the exception of Waleed’s only living aunt, who over a month ago has asked, for the first time, when will I conceive), I know that they all wonder why until now I am not getting pregnant.

As mentioned to you before, not having a child is the only hindrance to our complete happiness. I really do worry most of the time, but Waleed is not worried at all. If you ask him, he will tell you that “it’s not in my hands, nor in yours.”  A child, he said, is a gift from God and if Allah would want us to have a child, then we will have it. Waleed really has a very strong faith in God and at times when I am low, he will always push me up.

Indeed I am very lucky to have found Waleed and I never cease thanking God for giving him to me. Waleed is the most loving, kind, gentle, understanding, responsible and sensible husband a woman could ever ask for. I really have no complaints and am very happy with him, too much sometimes that I feel the unfairness of things in the world.

This reality was recently felt by me upon knowing Bingbing’s poor condition. Here I am, very happy and having too much – and I could have more if I ask Waleed – yet others are suffering. And it really hurts to know that its your very own sister who is suffering. You know, that day I received the letter from Bingbing (I’ve sent Nening a copy and you can read it), Waleed has just bought me a new and bigger refrigerator, a new cordless iron, a steel cordless water heater and two beautiful wrist watches. And that afternoon, we were having barbecue prawns, chicken and liver for our lunch with ice cream and chocolate for a dessert.  Believe me, I could hardly swallow the food I was eating thinking about Bingbing and her children who are suffering from hunger!  Waleed had to force me to finish my food telling me that if I get sick, then who would look after my needy family?         

That night, as I looked around me and saw my beautiful house with all the modern technologies around to make my work easier and fast, I wished I could, at that very moment, bring over here Bingbing and her children so they could eat all the food they could and when they are all strong and fat enough, then they could go back to Bicol again!  If only I could send all the extra food we are storing in our big freezer! Alas, all I could do was send her money!

You know, I asked Waleed then why we are having too much while others are not having anything at all and he answered me in the kindest way that people who suffer are being tested by God.  We both suffered before, he said, and we passed the test, so now, God is rewarding us for having the good and strong faith in Him.  Waleed was referring here the suffering we went through during the Invasion. He added that he hopes Bingbing will have enough faith in God to be able to “weather her storm” and emerge strong after the test, then she’ll find happiness and contentment afterwards.

I have to go now before I write you a novel. There are of course still a lot I want to tell you (Bicbic Sharon’s condition, as another long story to tell) but I don’t want to tire you. In fact, this problem should not be told to you because of your heart condition, but I know you to have a very strong faith in God, and I believe in my heart that you will be able to handle everything. And besides, you have all the right to know about your own children and how they are doing. And I do respect that right.

Please gain as much weight as you could so you’ll be in a good physical condition. We might be able to sponsor you for a visit to Kuwait next year. Waleed mentioned it to me over a week ago, in fact.  To give you an inspiration, maybe it will help if you knew that Sylvester Stallone’s mother Jackie, who is already 74 years old, has gotten married recently, in fact she married her doctor, who is 51 years old only. I read it in my latest issue of HELLO Magazine.

Love,

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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