4 Things I Learned About Life This 2017

I honestly don’t know how to start this post. I agreed to participate in this collaboration since this is our last for this year, but I seriously don’t know how to begin, what to say or how to say it.

This post should talk about my reflections about 2017 – what happened, what I achieved, what I did, and how I changed this year.

Here’s my story:

  • Sometimes you start with nothing.

I’ve been working for more than 14 years, but I started 2017 without a job. I quit my dream job last December 2016 due to personal reasons and part of those reasons was while I wanted a higher pay, I couldn’t handle the stress and pressure anymore brought about by my family’s ordeal with my niece’s lingering illness. It took a toll on me and my job.

So I needed a fresh start. Thank God in March, I found a new job. It was another dream job not only because of its higher salary but with the nature of the job. But I couldn’t discuss more, but I was happy working there.

  • Life forces you to be responsible, independent adult.

In May, my parents had to relocate to the United States to find a job and support my sick niece who was left under our care. Although I’m old enough to have my own family, I wasn’t given the “real” one (yet) until my parents left.

Not a husband or my own kid though, but I was in-charge of a household that consists of two nieces and one nephew. My responsibility was to make sure I manage our finances properly, we have food to eat, and we pay our bills/remaining debts on time.

While it may sound easy for some, it was challenging for me because at that time, one of the kids was my bedridden nine-year-old niece. While her mother (my sister) was her 24/7 personal nurse and my other sister as her back-up, I was tasked to drive them to and from the hospital for their monthly doctors’ check-up, buy her medical supplies, help with getting in and out of a wheelchair or car, and provide constant companionship and general supervision during weekends or when I’m free.

If you have or had a bedridden patient who needs 24/7 care and monitoring, you would understand how difficult the routine was and the constant fear for her life. She’s very fragile and prone to infections. She can’t get sick or else…

  • Death is inevitable.

While we thought we were finally adjusting to the routine, my niece eventually died last August 12, 2017 ending her two-year battle with pneumonia-teratoma-encephalitis.

Our worlds turned upside down. We were devastated, but we had no choice but to go on with our lives.

Easier said than done I know, but we are trying. We go out, travel, visit abandoned and sick kids, donate stuffs, go on with our normal lives, but to be honest, we are still grieving. We cannot cover up the loneliness and pain of missing her every single day and how much we wish she’s still alive with us.

  • You win some.

It’s been really difficult four months since her death now the news of my dad came two weeks ago. He was rushed to the emergency room due to difficulty in breathing. And after some tests, they found out he needs to undergo a triple heart bypass surgery. What? Not again!

But the good thing tho, (and now I can finally announce this), the operation was successful. As of this posting, he’s already in the recovery room. So please help me to pray that my dad recovers well and that we end our year and welcome the coming years safe, happy, peaceful, healthy, abundant, loved, and blessed.

Now, as to how I changed this year?

Despite everything that has happened to me and family, yes I’ve changed a lot…in a good way.

I learned to be more grateful, to have more faith, to love my parents and loved ones more, to love my neighbors, families, and friends as well, to be more honest with my feelings, to be more patient, to be more appreciative, to give more and expect less, to worry less and trust God’s plans and timing in our lives.

Yes, I still worry a lot, especially during the two-week waiting time when my dad was about to undergo heart bypass surgery, but whenever that happens, I try to remember that there’s a God who is bigger than my worries and problems and that He will never leave my side no matter what happens. He will make things happen in His time.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6

This is a monthly blog collaboration and our theme for December is reflections about 2017 – what happened, what I achieved, what I did, and how I changed this year. For more stories, check out these amazing and truly inspiring writers who participated in this blog collaboration. Happy reading and hope we inspired you:

Barb Caffrey: Reflections on 2017: A Collaboration With A Purpose Post

Divyang Shah: Reflect 2k17 Collab

Ipuna Black: 2017 Reflections

Jane Love: The Need to Reflect

Jothish Joseph: Mr. 2017

Nicolle K: Collaboration With A Purpose: Reflections – The Best and Not-So-Best Things About My 2017

Sadaf Siddiqi: The Year’s Reflection

Sonyo Estavillo: Goals & Reflections: I’m not quite there, but I’m not where I was


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