What I Learned From My Lolo

Today is the interment of my grandfather, Norberto B. Caretero. He died December last year due to heart disease. He was 72. This post is about him. I want to share how he was a grandfather to me, to us and what I learned from him that I am adhering as a public school teacher.

When I was a first grader, my parents needed to rush my sister, who was five years old, in the hospital. Her condition was not clear based on the first hospital that admitted her. So, she transferred to another hospital and found out her real condition. My parents left me to my grandparents for them to take care my sister.

Under the roofs of my grandparents, I stayed there for more than two weeks. It was still school days and they assisted me in my schooling. I had my breakfast served as early as five-thirty in the morning. I also had my bath prepared by my lolo (Filipino term for grandfather). Then, he used to send me to school using his bike ten before six. During those times, I was the most punctual learner.

In that routine, I learned to value time. I learned that being early is needed. I learned from him that punctuality is the key to make things in order. He was punctual especially when he was able to fish in the rich blue sea of our community. He and his companions needed to go ashore for them to amass big catch. He went home at one in the afternoon bringing large, fresh fishes.

When he got weak because of stroke and kidney stone, his routine was at home, church, and fellows. Even that he faced different conditions, he tried his best to be functional. He was assisting us in washing our laundry. He also clean our area and pull tall grasses. He was industrious. This trait is important for me in my profession. Thanks to my lolo that he demonstrated to us how important being industrious is. Idleness is not present in his vocabulary.

I was saddened about his leaving. We had only short conversations due to busyness. But, I know how much I love him. I and my cousins love him much because he is a thoughtful and caring grandfather. He was strong but has a tender heart for his grandchildren. He was also proud of our achievements.

To my lolo, rest now in peace. Thank you for everything. Sorry for some petty arguments when I was still younger. Now, I understand your words clearly and maturely. I love you so much.

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