LIGAYA AND HER DAUGHTER EMMA

BY RICKY MONTECILLO

June 6, 2016

My work as a unionist allows me to interact with the members of our association. They are the flight attendants of a big local airline and they vary from the very senior ones and also the very new green horns. Oftentimes, as is my role in the union, flight attendants consult us in the office for work-related issues and we help them by giving them advice and or assisting them in answering official letters from the office.

This morning, Ligaya came by the office to consult us about a certain concern about her attendance. But that is not what I am writing about. I’d like to share a brief encounter with a person who walked in seeking our help over something I think is a minor concern, and through our conversation, I learned what an incredible woman she is.

I’ve known Gay, as we call her, for quite a long time. I remember flying with her when I was still an active flight attendant and she was always nice and low key. When she came to the office, I assisted her with her concern and gave her some advice. But then she mentioned to me how it was important for her to take care of her attendance record because she was already a single earner and sole breadwinner of the her family. In our Company, there is a generous yearly incentive for maintaining a perfect attendance record.

Her husband, at 62, had already retired and they still have a daughter taking up Law in San Beda College who will graduate next year. It was then that she mentioned that her daughter Emma Gayle is suffering from Leukemia. I felt bad and profoundly sad for her. Emma is only 26 years old and the world is hers for the taking. She will soon graduate from law and will become a lawyer.

Ligaya and Emma pic

Ligaya and Emma Dela Cruz

My heart just bleeds for Gay and her daughter Emma. Some people say that one of the most painful things that can happen to a parent is to lose his or her child. The prospect of losing her daughter lingers in the heart and mind of Gay and I cannot begin to imagine what goes through her thoughts whenever she thinks about her daughter.

She has turned to the Lord she says. Prayer, Gay told me, has brought her comfort and hope. She believes that prayer and her service to the Lord has kept her daughter alive for the past two years. Because of Emma’s condition, her family has turned to the Lord and they now serve the Church in their parish. Her husband is a lay minister and Gay too serves the parish.

Imagine Ricky, she told me, the doctors found an aggressive type of Leukemia in Emma and they immediately recommended Chemo therapy. That was two years ago and so far she is healthy and living her young life to the fullest. I told her that I will also pray for her daughter.

I was so touched by her strength as a mother and her deep faith in God. It seems that she has left their fate as a family to the wisdom and good graces of the Lord. In prayer and service to Him, Gay knows that next year her dear daughter Emma will graduate from Law School and soon become a lawyer.

That, Gay knows, is God’s will.

Ligaya's Family

Dela Cruz Family Picture

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  7. Single Mom says:

    Hi. I’ve been a single mother , a sole bread winner for my 3 daughters for the last 25 years. At 59 years, I thought the load of stress and heavy responsibilty is taking a toll from my health. I couldn’t stop worrying about my daughters’ future , health and security. But I guess, the hardest thing to take is to see your daughter very ill. I’ve been very sensitive when any of my kids get sick. But thank God, they are just minor illnesses compared to Emma. I can feel for Gay’s agony and I pray that God continue to annoint and touch Emma’s body with His miraculous healing. My prayers and admiration for all the devoted single mothers in the world.

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