SHE WEARS pink from top to toe, with her half-rebonded and half permed hair and a cautious smile to prevent her false teeth from falling off. The minute she walked in the gate where she works, she’ll greet everybody she passed on with that certain grace unexpected of her.
Then she headed to the office where she is assigned, she will gracefully place her pink bag at the top of the table, check in the mirror if her eyebrows are in place and she will fix herself with utmost confidence.
After a quick chitchat with a co-employee, she gets a trowel and inserts a towel on her back pulling it up to her neck before proceeding to the office yard. With her wedge 2-cm deep in mud, she worked her way pulling weeds and planting ornamentals around a tree. She does this every day after she was transferred from one office to another.
No one tended the garden since she was instantly terminated. The tree still stood there but the ornamentals she planted around it, some wilted and few thrived. The stones she painted white and bordered herself were scattered and put to waste. I remembered very well how she made herself useful despite being ostracized and rumored as crazy and useless.
Two years had passed I bumped into her in a house of a common friend during the feast of the Candelaria. We were not that close but when she saw me, she talked to me as if I were the only person that could ease her burden that moment in time, she cried her heart out, and I felt her anguish and hopelessness. I took it home, cried and wrote this:
“I cannot forget how your face distorts from the excruciating pain which squeezed your heart so much that tears could hardly come out in your eyes anymore they have drained not only your heart but your soul as well.” This is what she told me:
“It happened right after Christmas, when I was still in debt in thought that I could pay out of my salary, just when I still have to send my youngest daughter to college, just when I was investing for my son’s review for the nursing board exam, and just when I have enjoyed the so called ‘convenience’ of having a job that could sustain me and my family.”
And she wailed asking why?
“Why have they done this to me?” She continued to ask, “Why did they even consider that I am a single parent? The protection I need since they pulled me from my previous employer, the mere fact that for whatever accomplishment they have today I started it all. For all the wrong that I may have done I supposedly deserve a second chance.”
But she was disposable like everybody else, except of course for the chosen few. Sadly, the repercussions of this heartless decision are rather irreversible.
You showed me your callused hands from taking farm-jobs here and there.
Your youngest daughter stopped school and encouraged to join the leftist.
Your son was implicated and imprisoned in drug dealing.
You can barely eat three times a day and
You continue to be a laughing matter of your neighbors.
These series of unfortunate events could not have happened if they have an ounce of . . . never mind, but I will not forget the last thing you said “God sees”. With this I am not at all different from your predicament.
This kind of faith is very admirable- to live with barely a tint of hope in one’s quandary, a scarce feast in your platter, and with joy across the ocean of sorrow. Re-echoing your cry is an almost silent scream for redemption for oppressed women around the world!