Family is everything to me back when I was just a kid and younger than a toddler, from the moment I gained consciousness and from the moment I open my eyes every morning. I grew up with a big family around me which is a typical Filipino family. Waking up every morning as a kid thankful for each day seeing everyone who matters so much to me is a thing that I will always treasure. One of those is my Tiya Remi “aunt Remi”, who wakes up early every day of each morning to get things ready for everyone with my mom to start everyone’s day, especially when for us to go to school. As far as I can remember that is her daily routine to set her things ready for her to start her day. As a kid, I see her every day handwashing everyone’s clothes in our family which is a day by day task she does for everybody in the family and nothing in return as payment or getting paid out of what she does for us every day which is also a typical scene in our culture and their other half out working.
In the case of my aunt tiya Remi, she handwashes for everyone in our family not only for her husband while my mom sells anything she can think of selling to get through everything especially in times my father doesn’t have work while my father waiting for a contract to work overseas. That’s the daily scenario happening every day and she makes sure we were able to get breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner in between handwashing everyone's clothes much of the day and cooking as well with my mom for dinner by the end the day. I remember every time she feeds me, my sister, and sometimes some friends around bare hands and making sure we get enough rice and a pinch of meat. She makes sure she is giving us enough in every bite she gives us using her hands just like how we use a spoon to eat so each of us can eat while watching our noontime kid’s show on tv. Tiya Remi’s husband left all of the sudden Christmas of 2007 and she doesn’t know anything about his whereabouts until now. She went through it much by herself processing the grief she has to go through because of her husband leaving all of a sudden without a word at all why.
I see her equally as my mom, she is my mom’s younger sister and she is the youngest in their family of 12 siblings. They matter so much to me growing up seeing everything that she has done for us in the family as far I can remember. Tiya Remi was diagnosed with stage 4 nonsmall cell lung cancer back in January of 2018. We owe so much to her, that’s how I feel growing up. We are doing our best to provide her all that we can do in return for all she did us and for helping my mom raising me and my siblings . We are doing anything that we can to help her for her treatment because we are the only family she has now in the absence of her husband who just suddenly left her 13 years ago.
My sister back in the Philippines is doing everything so we can provide what she needs for her treatment to get through this battle. If just I can save up all I earn here in Denver so we can give her the treatment that she needs and spend all I earn here in Pesos back in the Philippines for her because what I earn is a big help to cover a part of her treatment back but I also have a family here in Denver. Most people back in the Philippines thinks that it’s way so much better here in the US but its not the way I used to think anymore after I got here. Yeah, if just I can spend what I earn here in Pesos back in the Philippines and don’t spend anything here but that’s not how it works for someone to survive here. We are doing everything that we can in the Philippines to cover what my aunt needs for her treatment. We feel grateful for our older cousin whom my mom and tiya Remi also took care of from the moment he was born because his mother passed away while giving birth to him. My cousin is also extending help for her treatment and other medical needs not as to pay her back for everything she did for him but for looking up to her like a mother raising him as her own.
I hope this does something to help us through the treatment that she needs. We are doing our best for her to make her feel how she matter to us and she is not going through this alone. We are helping her to see things positively and have a mindset that she is just sick like any other illnesses and its not the end. We appreciate any amount this comes up for my tiya Remi's treatment.