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4L’s: Life Lessons I Learned from my Lola

By Posted on 4 m read

It was just this July that my Lola got back from the U.S. to do some errands here in the country. And since, I am the eldest and the only grandson living in the Philippines, I am the one taking care of my Lola while she’s here.

Never did I thought that I’d learn so much about life in such a short time taking care of my 80-year-old Lola.

At 80, my Lola still looks sharp and healthy and it seems like she is not slowing down, inside, however, her ageing body is not likely to do the same.

It is this first time that it was actually just me and her together under one roof – both us – not wanting to cook. Lol! And so the journey of different restaurant begins.

Lola, fiancee Kitty and me at Chicken Deli at SM Annex

Lola, fiancee Kitty and me at Chicken Deli at SM Annex

My life with Lola is like getting a glimpse of what’s ahead in life and how can I “hack” my life towards the future.

Here are a few things that I learn, so far,:

1. Family first, still. 

No matter what the circumstances may be, upon trying times, retirement, and many sort of things, it is the family that comes to aid.

In our case, it is just retirement. It is a good thing that my father’s family is closely tied amidst the physical separation as many are already in the U.S.

Fortunately, the culture of my uncles and aunts abroad did not change as they opt not to put my grandma in homes.

Instead, they are taking turns in taking care of my Lola.

As for my late dad, he also took his turn back in 2007, however, he died also in 2007.

That’s why, as for my Dad’s turn, I am taking the baton.

Gladly, I did.

As it brings back a lot of memories, at the same time, bring us (Lola and I) closer together, even at her advanced age already .

Lola Rendell Rey Belen

Halo-halo date at Razon’s in SM North Edsa with Lola and my son Rendell

Spending more time with her brought me into a new level of appreciation for life.

2. Not anymore a Hottie

As you grow old, the beauty fades away, even all the strength of the youth. Seeing my Lola through the years and comparing her now, truly, time is taking its toll already on her slowly.

Her movement slows down by the day. She can’t walk as fast and as lenghty as she used to be.

When we go out to SM North on Mondays and Tuesdays for the movies, she needs a wheel chair already.

Luckily, her memories are still good, even if her doctor diagnosed her with Alzheimer’s.

Hottie Lola Daniela

Dinner with “HOTTIE” Lola at Yoshinoya SM North

It hits me that, I hope I can reach her age as strong as possible… As healthy as possible.

And that my memories will serve me the best of its abilities.

It is so hard to imagine how memories, especially the good ones, will just fade away from mind.

That’s what I am anxious of when getting old .
3. Life is but by the grace of God, no more, no less.

And lastly, and probably, the most important lesson, is that God is the source of everything.

My Lola who seemed to have broken almost every book in keeping herself healthy is still alive and kicking.

Imagine my Lola, from back in her 30s has been drinking Coke, until now.


Lola Daniela rey Belen

SM Annex at SM North EDSA

She also didn’t exercise.

Moreso, she isn’t taking dieting seriously.

So what keeps her alive (without any surgeries)?

God’s grace!

And also, her life story, as we both recall it, brings to light the fact that we can never be certain of what Life is or what it can offer, unless, God wants it to happen.

In her case , she became a widow early, left with young kids (6 kids). Yet, little by little, she was able to provide for her family.

Best of which, was able to bring most of them to America.

As far as I am concern now, I just leave it up to God. Seeing it happen in the life of my Lola, of how things happen for a reason.

Truly, life has its mysteries… And it keeps unfolding day by day, little by little, more than we could know it. And everytime I hold the hands of my Lola to support her in walking, going down the stairs and for so many things, I just wonder, if I would be able to reach that kind of age at the best of my health and if somebody would appreciate me even if I am old.

These are just the small things that we can all learn from our elders, especially our Grandparents, if only, we wouldn’t be too busy or too prideful to learn from them – even just through observing them.

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  • Myrna Sison
    September 8, 2014

    Wonderful.tribute! Your lola is a very strong woman. Being widow in her.40s and courageosly migrated to the US to ensure her children’s future is something only determined person can do. From where they were before to where her children are now is truly amazing. And she is right her faith led her to where they are now!

    • Rey Belen
      September 8, 2014

      Yeah. Truly she is great. And God has really been gracious to her, and so to her family as well. 🙂

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