Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I had a long and sad phone conversation with my sister this afternoon, she had a depressing news. Delia died, she was buried last Sunday.
Who is Delia-
She used to work for me when I was still in my hometown GenSan. She was married and had a son so she comes to the house 3 times a week to do my laundry. She has been working for more than a year with me when one afternoon she approached me and asked me if she could stay in the house. Her husband had brought home a woman and drove her away. She was with her 2 year old son. My heart was moved with so much pity and at the same time so angry with her husband. How could a b--tard who could hardly support his wife and son has the nerve to bring home a mistress and drive his family away. And Delia's response was "sige na lang ma'am pasagdan na lang nako sila kay dili ko gusto ug gubot" ( it's ok ma'am, I won't bother them anymore cause I don't want troubles). Although in my mind, I completely cannot process this kind of reaction to such un forgivable act, I accepted her and her son to live in my house...
For how many days after Delia moved to my house, I knew she was devastated. when you look at her, she looked like someone who has descended into the black pit of despair, the hatchet spirit inside her slashed away and struck down anything about herself that she could ordinarily treasure or value. I knew that secretly she spent many of her time in anguish: crying, feeling totally unloved, finding reason to stay alive.
I discovered that at 22, washed up on a far shore of abusive and unfulfilling relationship that reawakened her still unhealed abused childhood ( her father was an alcoholic) Delia had been through all the pains and hardships that I could ever imagine. She got married at 16 and lost her first child to bronchitis when she was 2. At a tender age of 8 she has been a defenseless recipient of her father's abuses. He became violent after their mother's death because their father could not accept it. He would physically harm her and her younger brothers and sisters every time he was drunk. She showed me the big scar on her forehead as a result of one of those abuses. One night her father got home very drunk and asked her to give him water and when she was not able to give it right away because she was eating, he grabbed her, threw her on the floor but she hit the edge of the bench instead. I was crying when she told me that she had to take care of herself at that moment. She was profusely bleeding but did not ask help from anybody because her younger siblings were just too scared. She told me so many accounts of her father's abuses that I could not even put into words here. But she gained my admiration, she might be abused and broken physically but she has that very brave spirit. To be able to survive all those abuses or even stay alive up to that day requires profound inner strength. It is just unimaginable for human being to be able to inflict such cruelty to another human so much more if it was his child. As parents we are supposed to protect our children and make sure that they are not harmed. In Delia's case ( and other children abused by their parents) who can they turn to? I can imagine there is nowhere for them to feel safe if the parents who are suppose to guard them and whom they trust their lives with, are the ones hurting them.
She said she got married at a very young age to escape from her father. She said Elmer was so in love with her and promised her he would never hurt her. But at 16 how would she know what real love is? What surprised me was the love that she was capable of giving. When her father was dying of lung cancer, she was the one who had stayed beside him up to his last breath. When the man she had put all her trust betrayed her, she didn't stop loving him...she was crushed but she had hoped that they would be together in the end. Broken marriage is traumatic. It is more like a death than anything else and when you are the one cheated, it is overwhelming. So I did understand what Delia was going through. I knew that talking to me about her ordeal would make it bearable for her. I was just a listener...
Delia's dream came true when eight months later, her husband came to the house and Delia told me he was there to bring her and their son back home. I could tell she was elated, I knew that any discouragement from me would be futile; besides I didn't wanna be a "kill-joy" in that moment.
After she and her husband got back together, she still came to the house to do my laundry, the last time she was at the house was 2 days before we left for the States. She was not feeling well, she has fever and she was coughing so I told her to just rest. I told her that was her last day because we were leaving..She cried and told me she would miss us very much and she had hope that I would still take her when I go back to GenSan. I didn't know that was the last time I will ever see Delia.
There are so many thoughts running through my head right now...I am thinking about Arnel his son. I hope his father will take care of him. I know how Delia loved him. He was the reason why his mother has tried to live when she would have wanted to die. Someday, I will tell Arnel how his mother love him and how she had wanted to give him a good future and a full life she never had...
I will surely miss Delia.
Posted by Amie at 8:12:00 PM