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A Family Tragedy - An Answered Prayer

Pacita, the second candidate for the C.A.R.E. Points of Contact program, has demonstrated an enormous amount of courage and strength as she single handedly raised her family after her husband had passed away from throat cancer in 1968 leaving her with eight young children. She supported the whole family by selling groceries and food from house to house. Life in the Philippines was tough for her family. Some left the country and immigrated to Canada. Pacita immigrated to Canada nine years ago. She lives with a daughter who works as a chambermaid.

A wave of terrible news began in 2000 from Bicol Region, where one of Pacita's son lived. Her son was dead. Not knowing the reason, Pacita was devastated. No matter how desperate she was to see her son for the last time, she had absolutely no financial mean of purchasing an airplane ticket to fly back to the Philippines to attend his funeral. Over the past years, she is still very much troubled with this tragedy as she said, "I could not sleep at night. I can't stop thinking about my son."

More horrible news arrived early 2002 from the Philippines. Charido, twin sister to Pacita's dead son, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Due to the lack of financial resources to seek proper treatment at the early stage, her cancer spread rapidly throughout her body. Pacita was terrified as she heard of this shocking news. She had already lost a son, so she really did not want to lose a daughter without seeing her for even just one more time. She prayed every day, hoping to stand by Charido's side during her most difficult time.

Yet bad news just never stopped attacking Pacita. She learned that her elder sister in the Philippines had a stroke. Ever since Pacita moved to Canada nine years ago, she had never seen her sister. She was very worried about her sister who was already eighty-seven years old. Pacita was scared that she would never be able to see her sister again.

During the candidate selection process, Pacita showed great desire to return to the Philippines to visit her sick daughter and sister, and her son's grave. She would also love to visit her other children and more than thirty grandchildren and great grandchildren in the Philippines, some of whom she had never seen before. Knowing that she has been constantly suffering insomnia for the past couple years, our Board of Directors decided to approve her application and fulfill her wish of visiting her beloved family in the Philippines.

With generosity from many donors and great help from Asia Miles, Pacita finally received her airplane ticket to the Philippines. As she got to the Manila Airport, her family had already been waiting for her for a long time. Everyone was very eager and happy to see her. Most of her family members gathered together to celebrate her arrival. Pacita was surround with love from her great-grandchildren as they all gathered around their grandmother and great-grandmother.

Several days later, Pacita went to the hospital to visit Charido. Charido was thrilled to see her mother because she had wished to see Pacita for such a time. Finally, they were able to spend some precious moments together. Pacita was relieved to learn that Charido had been doing much better recently but she was also worried as Charido would be receiving her last few treatments soon. Then Pacita went on to visit her elder sister. She was sad to see that her sister became very skinny. Nonetheless, the two were both happy to see each other again as they never stopped talking about their current lives and the past. Before Pacita returned to Canada, she made a trip to her son's grave. Although she could not attend his funeral, she finally got to see his grave. Her tears went on and on but at last she fulfilled her wish of being at her son's side again.

After almost one month in the Philippines, Pacita returned to Canada safely and happily. "I finally got to see everyone that I have wanted to see for so long," said Pacita with tears in her eyes. " "Thank you for everyone who helped to make my trip possible. It is definitely an answered prayer."

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