I can’t speak for other cultures but my own when I say to Filipinos family means everything …and it seems everyone.
My dad is the youngest of eleven and my mom the eldest of five. Now add spouses and babies and cousins – I grew up in Manila surrounded by boatloads of family. When we arrived in Vancouver in 1993 we only had my dad’s sister and her family. Then we moved further from them to Port Moody where we knew no one. It was such an extreme change from constantly being surrounded by family.
My parents are devout Catholics so they quickly made friends at church. Growing up I was sheltered from knowing of the hardships my parents went through to keep a roof over our heads or put food on our table. These friends always seemed to support us when we needed it the most and twenty five years later I still consider these wonderful people family.
One person in specific that I am blogging about today is Tita Ester.
Tita Ester was the life of the party. She loved Elvis and would belt out his tunes on karaoke whenever she could get the chance. She also made really really good food and would often make extra for my family to take home.
She lost her battle with breast cancer yesterday.
It is with so much sorrow that I reflect back on so many fond memories with her. She was such a fighter. I have to remind myself that she was struggling for a while and she is now truly at peace.