I’m not the most likable guy on the planet. I like to refer to myself as “grumpy” because I usually am. But unconditional love is one of my virtues. I don’t need to receive anything in return for the things I do for love, even if people think I should. One part of my recent history involves suffering because of unconditional love and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My mother-in-law, who I’ll refer to as “Nanay” from here on out (because everyone around me does), is a cantankerous old woman of 80. I love her as I would my mother, with some restrictions of course. Perhaps it’s because she’s the mother of my wife, who I’ve been married to for over 31 years.
Nanay is alive today because my wife, Josie, and I intervened in affairs back in September of 2014. She hit her head on something months before that but didn’t tell anyone. In September, she was hospitalized, at Josie’s urging. We were in the United States back then and she had to talk to her sisters through Skype.
The hospital bills set us back financially and only because she had to have brain surgery. We were so short on cash, I ended up selling my 2006 Toyota Corolla Altis to the boss of one of my nephews, where he still works today. I didn’t get what it was worth, considering it had less than 20,000 kilometers on it, but it was enough to finish off the bills.
We celebrated Nanay’s 80th birthday in March of last year (2015) and we’ll be celebrating her 81st within a couple of weeks. If she takes care of herself and listens to the people who care for her, we should be celebrating at least a few more.
Josie and I returned to the Philippines in December of 2014. We did without a car for most of the year and then I knuckled down and bought a new car. It’s a 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback, which I bought at Mitsubishi Car World at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. By the way, the sales person was “Rose” and she did an awesome job with everything that needed to get done and answering my questions by text after the fact.
The insurance is about 20,000 pesos a year (or around USD $425.00 at today’s foreign currency exchange rate) and the monthly payments are just under 12,000 a month ( or less than USD $255.00), which I’ll be paying for five years.
I’m suffering with a monthly payment I wouldn’t have if it hadn’t been for Nanay, but that’s okay. Sure, we could have survived without a car, but it would’ve made a lot of the things we need to do a lot less convenient and in some cases, impossible.
It isn’t even the money I’m spending that bothers me. It’s the monthly ordeal of making the payment. I have to withdraw money from one bank and deposit some of it in another bank, so the latter bank can withdraw the loan payments. It’s convoluted, for sure, but that’s how it’s done here. The only reason it bothers me is because there’s no where to safely park on any given day in downtown Olongapo unless I’m going to the mall. The SM City Olongapo mall has a parking garage.
Oh, the things we do for love.
By: RT Cunningham
February 19, 2016
House and Home
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