No Greater Love: A Family's Journey
This is a nonfiction, personalized story of a daughter’s journey starting with her family and childhood in a rural town in Southeast Asia in the throes of World War II. It describes her parents’ determination and struggles to send their children to college and ends with her caregiving experiences and insights that baby boomers and caregivers of their loved ones could benefit from. More
The author’s son drew the cover for the book as a tribute to his grandmother whom he loved and adored. The single rose represents the love and affection that the author’s family shared with each other as a single unit. The spool of thread represents her son’s recollection of his grandmother who did a lot of sewing and as the common thread that seamed the family together. The brown leather casing as the background represents an album of memories and visual images, with the focal point as the old family picture displayed in an antique frame symbolic of its age but had withstood the test of time.
A family is like a rose, always blossoming with new petals that add to its luster and grandeur. The beauty of the rose that represents the family is the combination of all the petals that makes the flower something to behold. Yet the petals on the outer rim that surround and protect us must eventually fall away, like his grandmother, to make room for the layer of petals that represent the next generation of parents.
This nonfiction book portrays the life of a family in a rural town in Southeast Asia. It is a daughter’s recollection of her childhood that revolves around her parents who played a major role in their children’s lives in strengthening their love of family and in inculcating moral values and standards that set the yardstick in the conduct of their lives. It talks about her parents’ struggles and determination to send their five children through college.
Narrated by a daughter who was born in World War II, the ugly remnants of the war as seen and felt by a five-year-old whose family had survived the war are painful eye-openers on the atrocities and destructions wrought on war-torn countries and its ripple effects on the lives of the victims.
The book gives a glimpse of a culture and way of life that is far-fetched from what the youths in America are enjoying today. It’s a culture devoid of amenities that the youths here might find too primitive and unreal. Yet the reality of it all comes in the form of the author’s triumph over the adversities that she encountered. Her experiences send a message to the youths to make something of their selves as she had done with hers.
The author’s coming to the US was a dream come true. She taught for twenty-eight years in secondary education where she took an early retirement at the age of 55 so she could spend more time with her mother who was already 84 years old. Among her four children who had immigrated to the US, her mother picked the author as the offspring she wanted to live with in her old age.
The last leg of the daughter’s journey describes her caregiving experiences as she took care of her mother until she passed away at the age of 95. The incidents are typical and not out of the ordinary in an aging person’s life cycle, but they are heart-wrenching and enlightening in their implications and impact. The daughter’s challenges were great and her life was turned upside down as she coped with her mother’s mental and physical decline. But as a survivor with the will to topple the odds that confronted her, she was able to make sense out of her relationship with her mother as she waded through the emotional turmoil with love, compassion, and devotion. Her social work and master’s degrees in education provided her the capacity to look at things on a higher plane of understanding and frame of mind. She hopes that this book will benefit the baby boomers who will have their roles reversed with their parents if they are not already doing it, the caregivers and future caregivers of their loved ones, the parents who are the recipients of their caregiving, and the young generation who are witnesses to their grandparents’ situation.
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