Today’s heroes have fought enough, and are continuously battling until today for everyone’s safety. Our frontliners—nurses, doctors, police and military force, security guards, maintenance, and all the others who are putting their lives up front, hold inspiration stories that will always be carved on our hearts.
However, we barely think about the struggles of the people they leave behind for us. Their families and loved ones who are missing them. The struggles and everyday worries of their parents.
Irene Montejo, a Suntrust condo unit owner in Manila, feels that this time more than ever, families need to stick together to ensure everyone’s safety. But as a frontliner mom, she understands that the country needs her son more.
She is a single mom of two, and one of her sons, Jose Marie, works as a COVID19 ward nurse at Manila Medical Center. To ensure the safety of his family, Jose decided to stay at the hospital since the Enhance Community Quarantine (ECQ) was announced last March 17, 2020.
Despite her fears and worries, Irene knows she had no choice but to support Jose in his fight to help #BeatTheCovid as a frontliner. From afar, Irene made sure that her son would feel loved amid the distance. Everyday she would wake up at 4am in the morning to prepare her son’s favorite turmeric tea. She also prepares home-cooked meals for his son and his co-workers and have it delivered through an online delivery app.
As a single mom, Irene plays the role of a pillar that holds a home. During a difficult moment like this, the pillar must endure the storm to keep her children from faltering. Prayer has greatly helped her and her family cope with the uncertainties brought by the pandemic. “Be strong. The Filipino people need you. Save them,” these are the usual words of Irene to Jose whenever her son calls to seek for strength and comfort.
At times, Irene would also feel sorry for the long hours that Jose has to put through each day. But all the weariness would be instantly replaced by joy for every patient that has recovered.
Often, people might overlook the heaviness of a frontliner’s duty to save lives. We tend to forget that they too have a family. As a frontliner mom, Irene has learned to appreciate all kinds of today’s modern day heroes, including the men and women behind their condo’s property management team. When the whole city was on lockdown, away from her son, she found comfort in knowing that she is not alone. “They are sacrificing their time and lives for us, so we are grateful for their efforts in maintaining the safety of the homeowners. Here, we call them heroes too,” she gleefully added.
Special thanks to:
Emily Ventilacion SBSM- Nehemiah