This is about Eden. She is our wonderful housekeeper that does so much more for us than just cook and clean while we've been here in Manila for the past 3 months. She is an incredible example of the good kind of people to cherish all of your life. There was one morning when I was working on my computer when we started talking about the changes coming up. Since my time is only a few weeks left, I explained how excited I was to be heading home soon, but also very sad to leave her and every one we know behind. From the very beginning, I knew her strong desire to fly to America and one thing led to another when she told me a little more about her growing up here in the Philippines...
When Eden was around 5 years old, her Mother and Father had both passed away. She was left an orphan at such a young age. She was a part of a family of 8 siblings, herself being 6th in line. She understood that she had two paths, the path to move on with her life or the other path that was much darker. She made the choice to go forward and make a better life for herself. She didn't have her parents to be there for her and to motivate her to go to school; but she was determined to go to school.
She was 7 years old when she got her first job as a housekeeper for her neighbors. She would wake up around 3:00 in the morning to go and help clean. She was able to pay for school but didn't have her own uniform. Her neighbors lent her one, but there was a tear in the armpit of a sleeve. She herself sewed it up before starting school. The boys would tease and make fun of her about the stitching under her sleeve. She rarely raised her hand in class; she didn't want anyone to see.
When she turned 17 years old, she got a job at a food court. Her main goal was to go to college, that is what she wanted to do with her life. She worked both the morning shift and the night shift, while taking her classes on top of that. She was studying to be a computer secretary. Not long after that she had met her husband at a restaurant that she worked at. By then they had fallen in love and became husband and wife. She has two beautiful children whom she has taught the importance of honesty and integrity. She tells her kids all the time, to never take anything that doesn't belong to you unless it is given to you. This women defines working hard on every level.
She joked around and told me that the reason she stayed so short, is because of all the trials and hardships she's had have kept weighing her down and keeping her short. We talked for a bit longer, swapping stories and jokes, I talked to her for the entire morning that day.
Our lives are all so different from each other. Millions of people living on every inch of this planet, and we will only meet a handful of them in our lifetime. We grow, learn, and speak differently from one another, among st all the different traditions, ways of thinking and ways of celebrating. The world is far more connected now than it ever has been. I want to show love, compassion and understanding to everyone I meet. I want to listen and learn about what they do and how they think. I want to help people, in any way that I can, to put a smile on their face.The answer has always been to love, that has never changed.