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My Lola Nanay (Grandmother), My Heart & Inspiration



Indeed, a child learns through example.  Nanay taught me the value of hard work, perseverance, persistence, forgiveness, loving unconditionally, humility and most importantly, self-confidence.


     Above all, my Lola Nanay’s (grandmother) tremendous belief in my potentials propelled me to profoundly believe in Myself and my capabilities, thereby molding me to become incredibly secure and confident, as I pursued my dreams and ambitions. She was God-sent as she meticulously secured resources related to my success in education. She used her connections to enable me to acquire the appropriate funding for school and purchase the necessary books, school supplies and clothing that every student should have access to. The availability of the resources that I needed in my education gave me high morale and confidence in myself and my ability to be successful in school.


     Today, I give thanks to God for allowing us all to spend this lifetime with such an amazing woman, a mother, a sister, an aunt, and grandmother... who is Intelligent, Head-strong, proud yet unassuming, generous, loving, optimistic, hard-working and Genuine... Mrs. Lucia Divinagracia-Yngson. The Matriarch I call “Nanay”. She may be Mamang, Lola Mama, Lola Lucy, Tiyay Lucy to the rest of us.


   I spent many long years growing up alongside Nanay.  Even as I was in high school, I would sleep right beside her for as long as I can remember.  If there’s anyone else aside from her own two sons who knows Nanay more, that would be me.


     We truly shared many similar passions, I was her “juniora” some people even say I look like “Nanay” a lot... I am convinced I inherited many traits from Nanay, including her desire to always stay beautiful, graceful, poised, composed and cheerful! Like her, I love the attention, the glamor, even the camera!


     Whenever I look back at my past, I’d recall how Nanay was always there all the way to share all my success, struggles, heartaches and failures.  Nanay was God’s gift to us all... especially to those who were fortunate enough to know her, spend time with her, and heard out her wisdom in between the lines.


     Each time, Nanay encouraged me to be strong against adversity, and to hold my head up high against people who wanted to put her or me down, at school or at work.


     She was, that kind of woman. She was always very optimistic, and saw the beauty and the positive attributes of things and people around her.  She never held grudges, and was always quick to rise above issues and critiicisms.  She knew how to handle stress well, and didn’t dwelve on gossips and negative talks about other people.


    She made do of what she had, as Nanay had her share of heartaches and pain... like any other human being...


   Nanay also valued hard work, dedication and passion at whatever endeavor she set her heart out on... Be it in her career as an educator, or in her fervent desire to bake pineapple upside-down cake!


      She seemingly showed non-chalance and remained unaffected by what other people said.  A trait she passed on to me, that would make me become the person that I am today.


    She would whisper in my ears, “do not mind what other people say, just do what you think is right”.  “Listen to what your heart tells you, not what other people want you to believe in”.


     Nanay always took my side, no matter what... She was like my own mother and father who believed and supported me even as I encountered many unspeakable trials.  She believed that “adversities in life will make you strong” and never made me feel ashamed for making wrong decisions and mistakes in my past, and in my youth.  Oh how I truly miss you, Nanay!


    Yes, she never judged me, and she never wanted to put up a fake face in public. She never made me feel like I failed her, even when the rest of my family lost faith in me at some point in my

Life.


     Looking back, I feel very blessed to not just have my mother and father who “dotted” on me... But also a loving grandmother who backed me up against all odds.  While it was no secret that I was the apple of her eyes, she loved dearly and was equally proud, of all her children and grand-children. It was only by fate and by chance that she showered me with more attention because I was right there by her side, as I grew up in Juntado Subdivision.


    Nanay was a very strong woman, even throughout her last years... She had this uncanny ability to remain emotionally “unscathed” even when her detractors attempted to put her down.  She is such a character, as she mastered the art of remaining calm and quiet even as the world around her was in turmoil.


    Many times, I have witnessed her hold her ground and be her own master, amidst the storm. She was truly amazing! genuine. Sincere. A real person who was not ashamed to embrace her fate, failures and imperfection.  She did not have a thread or fiber of hipocrisy and pretention. Every day, I still strive to be like her!


     I remember my childhood in Juntado, as far Back as I can recall... playing in the cement “bath-tub” she and lolopapa built for me in the backyard. Nanay “borrowed” me from my parents while we lived in Infante, mostly during weekends and the summer to spend time with her.  Nanay would bribe me with coloring books and stationeries we’d get for free from the bank as a kid, in order to spend more time with her.


    Oh how She loved it when I visited her in her office and make Holiday Cards so she can “show off” my drawings.  Of course, this came with a price! Nanay was my avid “ fan” and buyer of all my paintings, drawings and essays... She gave me shopping money everytime I showed up in her office to entertain her teachers with my essays, poems, paintings... anything that would make her proud! I love you, Nanay!


      As such, she always simply just “believed” in me, that I came to realize after having children of my own, that all you need to do to see your children succeed in life, is to simply just love them, love them unconditionally, encourage them at their passion, acknowledge and embrace their failures... yes, welcome and allow your children space to make mistakes... That they may truly learn from it and fuel their drive to succeed!   Never fail to believe in their uniqueness, their individuality, their inherent gifts and capabilities!


     This was what I was fortunately blessed with, a woman who simply encouraged me, campaigned and supported me with everything that I needed in school, from scholarship money to books, clothing, shoes, and important educational supplies in order to succeed... Indeed, Nanay proudly witnessed me conquer the world!  Today, I give you glory for all the love that you gave away, and for believing in me, Nanay!


      Thinking of you brings tears to my eyes... Not because you’ve left us, but because I know I will forever miss you!


     I am content in the thought that the accomplishments and laurels of both your Children Atty Manuel Yngson Jr., and Mr. Teddy Yngson, both fulfilled and successful Fathers who raised praise-worthy children (myself, my siblings Yundee and Yluchi, and all my cousins, Kuya Thirdy, Kuya Yancy, Ate Yasmin, Kuya Mark And Matthew)  have truly given you pride and honor!


     My siblings, Yundee and Yluchi, and I are overwhelmingly grateful to all the people who took care of Nanay in her last few years... as fate would have it, we all continued with our lives away from Iloilo, away from Nanay.... So we would like to thank the dedicated care-givers, Nuns, priests, doctors, nurses, & physical therapists of Asilo de Molo, who shared their precious time and effort physically taking care of her... Of course, all these would not have been possible without the generosity of Atty. Manuel Yngson alongside my father, Teddy, who unwaveringly and consistently supported Nanay throughout her old age...


Especially to my Tito Junior, who tirelessly financially carried the burden. We are all very very grateful to you, Tito Junior.


    Yet Most of all, Nanay, I celebrate in knowing that you lived a long, contented and fruitful life, and that God has finally sounded his trumpet, and called you back home! Indeed, death is a celebration of a New and everlasting beginning... and in my heart, you will forever live on!


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