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FAMILY HERO:
PURING ESTIGO
by Marlon from Anchorage

Group picture of Grandma and her grandchildren
My hero above all heroes in my life is Jesus Christ, the one who died for me because He loves me. However, I wouldn't have known Jesus Christ if it weren't for a special family member of mine. Her name is Puring Estigo, and she's my mother's mother, my grandmother. Without Grandma, I surely would not be who I am today. In my eyes and others, she had every quality of a hero. She always thought about others before herself, she had a good aura (or feel) about her, she knew right from wrong, she had total faith in God and her family, and she had a motivation in life.

All throughout my childhood, Grandma was there for me. When my parents needed someone to watch over my sister and me, they knew they could trust her. So every night, they dropped both my sister and me off at her house, and Grandma would take care of us. She cooked, sang Christian songs, told us miraculous stories (either from when she was young, or from the Bible), made sure we got to church on time (Sunday school, Wednesday Bible studies), made sure we were comfortable, and she would always ask if we needed anything before she did her own thing. She was the most perfect grandmother anyone could ever have.

Grandma and I when I was a baby


When I was a kid, I would watch Justice League and get so excited when all the super heroes showed up (like Superman or Green Lantern)! When Grandma was in the same room as me, the same feeling, but much stronger, would envelop me. Her mere presence enlightened me, all stress gone and replaced with joy. And like any other superhero, she taught me right things from wrong.

Another thing about Grandma that I love is how she loved God. She had complete, total faith in Him even through a storm. Before, I'd get really confused and worried when I saw my grandma sing in church during worship and she would shed a tear or two. I would always ask myself, "Why is she crying?" or "What for?" These questions still stick with me, but will only be answered in time.

Years passed to when I'm finally a teenager. Grandma's love for God was as strong as ever, and so was mine...or so I thought. Near the end of 2008, my grandma was diagnosed with cancer. Everyone desperately prayed and called out to God for healing! It seemed as if the cancer was going away, it got smaller and smaller, and the cancer was almost to the point where they could proceed to surgery. But it backfired, and the cancer came back. At this point, I obtained the feeling of doubt over who God is, and what He stood for because I had utter rage towards Him.

On April 6 of 2009, I went up to her room and told her it was my birthday. Seeing her laying on her bed, she looked to be at her limit. With all her strength, she looked to me, gave me a smile as if to say, "I'm fine, Happy Birthday!" and, with her right arm, gestured me to come. So I did, I gave her a hug and a kiss on the forehead...

Family at Grandma's viewing
As weak and as sick as she was, she still managed to put a smile on her face. Even though she was so sick, I thought, why is she still able to smile? That's when I realized that she had a motivation, something was driving her to stay strong for as long as she could till that day. I believe her motivation was for her family to know Christ, so that we could get to see one another again in heaven. However, back then, I was still blinded by my anger and couldn't figure it out. The following day, April 7, 2009, Grandma passed away.

A couple days later, we held many services all about Grandma. I didn't want to hear it, but it hit me months later when I went on a mission trip to Texas with the youth group. I woke up one night, having a feeling that I should talk to God. So I did. I asked him, "If you're so great and powerful, how come you didn't heal my grandma?" The answer I received was, "Why are you angry with me? I did heal her! She's here with me, and she's proud of you, Garrick, and Margie..." (my cousin and sister). That's when my eyes opened up. Grandma's goal in life, her motivation. I cried my eyes out and thanked the Lord for all that He is, and for sending a wonderful grandmother.

In order for me to fully understand God's love and power, I had to first experience what love is, and also pain. Grandma showed me what true love is, which is to consider others before oneself. Everyone loved her because of this. Having her around made everyone feel happy. When I needed help with something, I'd turn to her because she knew right from wrong. Or when I made mistakes, she wouldn't be afraid to tell me! And the characteristic that I love most of all about my grandma, was that she had total faith in God, and that her family getting to know Him was her motivation in life. Thank you Grandma, I love you so much!


Written by Marlon from Anchorage
Last changed on: 3/21/2011

 

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