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Bacolod City, PhilippinesWednesday, May 30, 2012

Am I a bad daughter?

Dear Tita,

I am a married woman with three kids. Eight years ago, when my father died of cancer, my mother gave me a piece of land which they owned, for us to build our home in the future. I thanked Mama for this as I knew my husband Roy and I could never afford to own a house of our own with the income we were earning. Late last year, we found that we could avail of a Pag-IBIG housing loan so we could build our house on the land Mama gave me. But before we could start processing the loan, Mama was diagnosed with a serious ailment. She was in and out of the hospital so many times that all her savings and properties were used up for her medical bills.

Things grew from bad to worse as she developed complications and was placed on a respirator. I had to be absent from work so many times to care for her and have been warned by my boss that I might be terminated. I begged him to understand my situation as I had to take care of my ailing mother.

Recently, the doctors told me that there was no hope of recovery as my mother is already 80 years old and to continue her treatment is to prolong her agony and incur more expenses without any prospect of her getting well. My first impulse was to insist on prolonging her life even if I would have to sell the piece of land that she gave me. When Tita Nida, the sister of my mother, heard this, she was all for it. But my husband took me aside and told me to think things over. He said we should also think of our children and their future. If we sold the land, we could never have a chance to own our own house. Tita Nida insists that as a good daughter, I should sell the land to prolong Mama’s life.

I am now so confused. Should I be practical and keep the land for my family, or sell the land to continue the hospital treatment of my mother.


Dear Loving Daughter,

Your letter is very difficult to answer. I had the same experience when my 89-year-old mother got very sick and was hospitalized. There were complications and the doctor told me that it was almost certain she couldn’t recover. He asked me if I wanted her resuscitated should her condition get worse. His advice was to give the order for no resuscitation if she had another attack.

I said yes because I didn’t want her to suffer more. But late that night, when she had another attack, I insisted that they resuscitate her, crying that I couldn’t let her go. The doctors did try to resuscitate her but it was all for naught – she was gone.

In your case, your husband has a point - he is just being practical. But we know that feelings are always stronger than logic. The decision is yours and yours alone. I pray that you will be guided to make the right call when the time comes.



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