Sisters’ talkBy loreen sarmiento
Cebu Daily News
It was a rare moment.
Being with my sisters and their husbands is normally a shot to the moon because of everyone’s busy schedules. One couple lives in Lutopan, Toledo City and the other in Talisay City.
We were lacking one sister though. She left for Australia last January for work. She would complete our sisters’ circle. But last Sunday, we missed her. Her husband’s presence more than made up for her absence though.
The talk veered towards our childhood and who was “senorita” (with no interest in housework) and who was the perennial busy bee at home.
Hands down we agreed that the busy bee was Chin-chin, the fifth child and third girl in our family. She was always there when our mother came home from the market. She cooked and cleaned endlessly. She was so domestic that when I got married, she was the reliable auntie whom I would request to watch over my kids. We thought she’d end up unmarried but eventually she did, though at a later age.
Lourna, my other sister, second girl in the family and younger than me, shared how she felt bad during our growing up years because our mother would castigate her endlessly and seemed to favor Chin-chin more than her. She felt she was an adopted child.
But life is funny. My mother would end up staying with her, up to this day that she’s 81 years old. Though sometimes they can get on each other’s nerves, God put her to at our mother’s side as if to remove her doubts that she was adopted.
We also talked about our youngest sister Memet , who was the slow-poke among us – slow in eating, taking a bath, in moving about when we were growing up.
I admitted I was the “senorita” among the girls. I felt I shouldn’t be pressured to do household chores because I was bringing home the school medals. And as the eldest daughter, I relished giving orders to my younger sisters left and right.
However, I reminded my sisters that they got their revenge already. Didn’t they get married to husbands who are all-around guys, from being skilled in cooking to house technicians and engineers. In short, after my sisters’ childhood “labors”, they were rewarded with husbands who can leave them sitting pretty today.
Not that my husband was a nobody. He was an engineer but just not the domestic type. He couldn’t even cook or buy fish in the market. Like me, he was the “senorito” growing up. See how God is fair?
I do thank my husband for bringing out the best in me, taming my wild spirit at times because he was a gentle guy. But he was also the reason I learned to do household work. I had to learn how to cook, wash clothes, do the marketing, clean the house, etc. or else, we both would have ended up with nothing done.
I am not complaining because I know God created us to serve our husbands and to submit to them in all ways without also losing our dignity. Colossians 3 admonishes couples about this: “Wives, be subject to your husbands, and husbands, love your wives.” By obeying this, I became a better person and a complete woman instead of remaining a “senorita” all my life.
Amid the bantering that Sunday afternoon and in between gulps of ice cream, my sisters and I realizedd how God is good and knows who’s best for each of us.
My two brothers-in-law readily agreed. Didn’t God give them to us with something in common: they are all gentle, obedient and loving guys who can easily shut up instead of fighting our loud talk and arguing. Hmmmm….talk about not being biased! But honestly, it’s true!
My sisters and I are “hard-liners” or better called “strong women”. So we thank God for giving us these peace-loving husbands or else our families would not be intact as it is today.
And have our children inherited any of our traits asparents?
I easily spoke for my sisters. They have daughters who are their exact replicas and who even got their mannerisms. But I don’t think any of my three children looked exactly like me or their late father.
But Lourna quickly pointed out that that my children acquired my work ethic and attitude towards life. I was listening seriously.
My sisters said they saw how my children picked up my sense of organization, discipline and value for money. That’s why they successfully finished school and are doing well at work.
I have to admit they’re right. My husband died young at 38 yrs old and my children were all under 9 years old then. It wasn’t hard for me to discipline them because I modeled more than nagged or talked. They saw how I ran things at home and juggled my time between them and work. I didn’t have helpers or nannies, so they immersed in the division of labor at home. Today, by God’s grace, they have grown to be very responsible with the right set of values. Thank God for guiding me through.
Thank God for sisters and brothers-in-law. Thank God for family.
Their kind words are precious to me especially as I brace myself to grow old gracefully without my children around. It feels good to have a family to go home to anytime, a family who can be honest with me and appreciate me for who I am.
Let’s keep our families together. No one can be more supportive for us than them. No matter what, we will always go back to our families for comfort, understanding and love.