Young people think of patience as having the ability to wait or endure. Like when you’re waiting for a friend at a meeting place. Or trying your best to listen to your little sister as she babbles all day. Or maybe waiting for a class to end. That’s what I thought about it before as well.
Now, I have a whole new appreciation for the word.
Imagine having to put up with someone who is ungrateful of your efforts, foul-mouthed and ill-mannered. Have you ever lived with a compulsive liar who likes to stir trouble because of money and fame? I have. Or more accurately, I currently am. And I feel bad for my parents who are often on edge because of grandma’s attitude. I feel embarrassed toward my step-father and the neighbors who might be fed up of the constant quarrels.
I wanted to understand. Perhaps it’s just the old age getting the best of her. However, when I found out about my mother and my aunt’s not-so-great childhood, I realized how destructive sin could be. The testimony of the two most precious women in my life can bring tears and heartaches to anyone. They’re one of the most patient people I know in this world.
They endured the harsh reality of life when they were extremely young. Learned how to be independent. Went onwards without the proper and loving guidance of their parents. No one would think they experienced all that because of how simple and humble they are now. How present they are as parents even when they didn’t receive enough care when they were children. What amazes me more is how generous they are towards the person who almost abandoned them to starve in the past. They fed her, bought gifts and provided a roof over her head.
A person with conscience and well-built moral would feel extremely honored and apologetic. They would want to change for the better and repay the kindness.
Unfortunately, my grandma is not that kind of person. Despite all the time and effort my parents give, she remains the same. I’m not exaggerating when I say that she sees the flaws and imperfections of people and likes to point it out. It’s suffocating. Hearing inappropriate words everyday. I wonder how my mom endured all those years. How’s her heart? Is this what it means to be patient?
“Pinagpasa Diyos na lang namin.” My mother told me this when I asked why they decided to keep her in the house. To be honest, they have all the worldly right to put her in jail for violence and criminal intimidation. She has become, sad to say this, a threat to anyone who will go against her. But my parents chose to take things on their hands. To understand. And I’ve learned to do the same.
That’s how I knew that patience isn’t about comfortably waiting, it’s much more than that. Patience is doing the good and right thing despite the pain or struggle ahead.