This actually happened more than eight years ago but the memory still stings.
I can’t remember which grading period it was but it was the distribution of cards. I took a short bath and rushed off to school hoping to get back to my chores as soon as possible. But of course, it wasn’t as simple as that. When I arrived there were a few parents already there apparently waiting for the class adviser. I sat beside an old woman who was supposed to get her grandson’s report card. Since I don’t talk much with people I don’t know I simply smiled at the old woman who just as simply smiled back at me much to my relief.
After a few more minutes, the teacher came out but announced first that those students who had some unpaid accounts(?), I didn’t know what it was called because it referred to PTA contribution, test paper, etc., would not have their cards released.
So, we approached the teacher one by one and she checked her list if the student is paid or not then handed the report card over. As soon as I got my daughter’s card, I got ready to leave when I heard the teacher talking to the old woman. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop but I didn’t need to because the voice was loud enough for me to hear. It seems like the old woman’s grandson had some unpaid stuff and that his card was being held until the account was paid.
The old woman simply nodded in understanding then waved for her grandson to come over. She explained that she could not get his report card because of some unpaid things and that she didn’t have enough money to pay it just then, and that as a matter of fact she just walked from home going to school just so she could come.
I’m not, normally, a generous person. I don’t offer help so spontaneously but my heart went out to the old woman. I opened my purse to check whether I had enough money to cover the unpaid amount and thankfully I had with me a few hundred pesos. I don’t usually carry much cash as I don’t expect to buy anything. But when I looked around for the old woman, she was already gone, probably to go home.
I tried to run after her but she probably turned an alley because I didn’t see her at all. I felt sad. I’m not rich. I don’t worship money, I believe that money is the root of all evil, but I know I need it. But at that time, more than any other, I felt how much difference a few hundred pesos can do. I felt so sad I couldn’t bring myself to be grateful for what I have. It took me a few days before I could finally set aide the memory of the old woman and her grandson. But I never forget it to this day.