"Peter are you finished eating?" Father said when I stand up and bring the plate to wash.
"Yes, Father," I replied.
Listen, Peter, every piece of rice is valuable. We have no right to waste food. There are those people who couldn't eat because they have no money to buy. We are just lucky that we have lands to work on." Father calmly explained.
"Yes, Father," I said and I go back to the table and eat all the remaining pieces of rice on my plate.
Father is very strict in terms of food. I understand him because I can see how hard we spent working on our lands. We have rice fields, we planted vegetables and fruits as well. We always rely on the land to get our daily needs and also our needs in school with my brothers and sisters. Even I knows how hard working in lands. Sometimes the weather was rude to us and destroyed our plants. Well, it's expected according to my father.
When I went into different to study in college. The words of my father are always on my mind. Even he's not around anymore his words were my basis in saving money for the future. I didn't spend money on useless needs. Of course, there were times I wanted to but I prevent myself from doing so. I always remember how hard for my parents in getting this money just to send me to school. My parents were already old but they still working on lands. I'm a bit ashamed because I couldn't help them anymore since I studied far from our place. But I repay them with good grades. When I went home sometimes I didn't bring "pasalubong" or gifts because my Father doesn't like that. He always told me to save money because we never know what the future might brings.
Father's words became my inspiration to be serious in my studies. Not his words only as well but their hard work. When I went home sometimes I heard him telling his friends that he was so proud of me to be able to study in popular University. I couldn't blame my Father by doing so because I'm a scholar at a high standard University.
As usual, fate is cruel. It will make you happy but it's not always. My father is sick and he needs money for it. I'm on my 4th year or a graduating student. But I'm thinking that if I will continue to study who will pay for the expenses he needs. My brothers and sisters are still young. I am the oldest so they rely on me to finish my studies and to support my younger siblings in the future.
I want to stop my studies but I accidentally heard what my father said to my mother when they're talking.
"I'd rather die than seeing my son stops in studies because of me. I know we are poor but I don't want him to be like me in the future. What if when he will start working and he will not go back to school because he's thinking that he needs to support our needs? I don't like that, I love my son and I don't him to live like us if he has his own family."
I just going back because my tears suddenly fell slowly. I know how my Father loves me but to say like that. I think it's too much for me to handle. I make myself cool down for a bit so I can talk to my Father well.
I go back to my father while smiling. I didn't show sadness towards him or he will say something again.
"Father, I can't visit you in the future here because my teacher asked me to help him in school and he will pay me by helping him," I said to my father with a calm voice. But as always Father's concern is my studies.
"What do you mean? How about your studies? Are your grades won't be affected by that." Father said with a worried voice.
"No, it's fine Father. It's simple and I'll assure you that I will be in the stage when I graduate." I explained to my Father and he becomes calm again.
We have a happy conversation but truthfully I'm worried what will I do to support my studies and my father. I hide the sade emotions inside but I think mother notices it. When I walk outside to go back to school. My mother follows me and said.
"Are you alright son? Are you sure of it?"
When my mother asked me about it. I suddenly feel vulnerable. I feel like I'm getting weaker inside and I wanted to hug her to pull some strength. She saw my teary eyes and she hugs me suddenly.
"I'm sorry son if we will rely on you this time. I'm sorry that we are poor parents." Mother said while crying and tapping my back.
I'm crying of course but thanks to my mother I gained some strength to keep going. My tears are flooding in her shoulder but it gives me peace because mother's hug is so warm.
The following days I started looking for a job. I asked my teacher if he knew someone who can help me to apply for a job. He knows what happened and I'm so lucky that he offers me help. He lends me some money and helps me to have a job with his friend. His friend has a restaurant and he brings me there to work.
My first week of working is so hard. When I go home in my boarding house I am studying. Thanks to my experience in our lands I don't feel much tired. I'm used to working so this is not new to me. After a month and the following month, I feel like my work is so easy. I am enjoying and at the same time, I have money to send to my father for his hospital bills. He was out after 2 months confinement and he is there in my graduation ceremony. Thanks to the reminder of my father. I overcame the hardships in life. I always keep his words in my heart to keep on working hard in studies and at work. Then I am so happy seeing my father so happy that I graduated in college.
thank you for reading