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“…Because in the end each end is also a beginning.”
Death is an ending of one’s physical being and the beginning of eternal rest. It is the end of life on earth and the start of the life beyond. We say goodbye because it is the end of what we used to do together but ever hopeful that we meet each other again in the heavenly realm.
The recent death of our mother at age 75 was very sad to say the least. No words can explain the sadness we felt and we continue to feel as there are yet too many things we want to do with her and for her…too many words we wanted to say…so many stories we wanted to share. We continue to do so but it is never the same.
The painful ending though sparked a new beginning for us siblings she left behind. It is the beginning of a collaboration in a venture we know would have given her joy if she was still around as the idea came up over 20 years ago but never took off. On a road trip, together in one car, the name of the small resort we decided to build came up – VirCris Resort – in honor of Virginio (our father who passed away 36 years ago) and Cristita (our mother). It will be built on the farm lot they left behind passed on to our mother by our grandparents. Certainly, a sentimental piece of land for the family.
It is our very first business collaboration together…each one sharing resources and talent to make this dream a reality. We had business ventures in the past but it was with one sibling or the other but never the four of us together.
Wealth or fame is never our aim here. Rather, it is honouring our parents and to create a channel where their generosity and compassion continue to flow.
Having an emergency fund is a must in any financial plan as we do not want to touch the savings we have for our children’s education or the retirement fund we diligently built-up when some unforeseen events happen.
Although the pandemic disrupted this principle especially those who lost their jobs or got saddled with sickness, this simple guide remains to be relevant: a prescription of at least 3 to 6 months of your monthly cost of living and if you have more savings, it is better to put the excess in an investment fund that gives you better returns.
But first, why is an emergency fund important? Quoting Zach Buchenau, a personal finance expert (https://bethebudget.com/why-is-an-emergency-fund-important/) “emergency fund is important because it acts as a financial cushion in the event of an unexpected expense. Whether it be medical bills, home repairs, or a family crisis, an emergency fund can help you steer clear of debt, protect your assets, and avoid unnecessary financial struggle.”
Chart your monthly income and expenses. This will help you determine not only your monthly cost of living but can also help you identify where you can cut expenses in order to set aside for the rainy days.
Set your emergency savings goal. As I mentioned earlier, a quick guide is 3 to 6 months.
Develop a plan to start saving. For some, cutting costs is a must and tracking your expenses can help you find what items you can give up to give way to savings.
Put your emergency fund in an accessible place. A regular bank savings account is a good place for this as you can access it without paying penalties. As such, do not mind the very low interest rate as that is the reason why you can withdraw it anytime.
Stick to your plan. It may not be easy as there are lots of reasons we come up with why we can’t set aside the amount regularly until the fund goal is reached but resist the temptation and stick to the purpose of the fund – it should only be used for Emergency.
I must add that expenses like tuition fees are not “emergency” expenses as these are scheduled and can be planned ahead. There are health plans that can help cover medical expenses and it is always advisable to get covered for these expenses too.
Finally, this Covid-19 pandemic has exposed our financial vulnerabilities and has taught us so many lessons including ensuring having a sufficient emergency fund, having health plans and insurance coverage. Let us not waste these lessons by not acting on them and plugging the holes in our financial plan.
Let’s not take for granted setting up an emergency fund anymore. It’s one lesson from this pandemic that we must learn and act on.
“Mothers are like glue. Even when you can’t see them, they’re still holding the family together.”
She was 75. She had me at 20. So, she was lent to us by our gracious God for 55 years and I said “thank you for the 55 years of loving me.” This was the gist of our last conversation on my birthday when she greeted me 10 days before her last breath. She was already sick at that time but we were hopeful that she would get well as we always looked at her as ageless.
She had me at 20. She became a widow at 39. We had her until 3 months after she turned 75.
No one is really too old to lose a mother. Losing a mother leaves a vacuum in the family no one can fill. For the 4 of us siblings, she was our home – literally and figuratively. Despite our invitations to stay with any one of us, she opted to stay in the home she and my father built together before he passed on 35 years ago. She was someone who never imposes her being mother on us. We could genuinely be ourselves with her and she would just smile listening intently to our stories of adventures and misadventures.
While we did our best to give her the comfort she deserves in her old age without her having to ask, as she squeezed every penny she earned to fend for us when we were growing up, there are still regrets – we wish she could see what we are doing with the farm properties she along with our father passed on to us; we wish we could have brought her to more places when she was still stronger; we wish we could have visited her more before this pandemic happened; we wish we could have given more…the list goes on.
A sweet memory with her 2 grandchildren on her 72nd birthday
I am sure many can relate with me so for those whose parents are still around and who are blessed with the opportunity to show gratitude, go thank them, hug them if you can, be generous with them…while you still have them around.
God loves our mother so much that He took her to her final resting place where there is no more pain. Only eternal peace. And where she is welcomed by our dear father – the only love of her life.
As we promised, we will take care of each other. So long!