We had left Germany already three years earlier. I had a Charity Organisation where Malia and I helped children in need. Malia’s dad left to prepare for his dream to play in the 7’s National Rugby Team and to make enough money to fulfil his responsibility as a son to support his olderly parents. I knew how heavy that burden rested on his shoulders..…
The Phone Call
Whenever his sister had called from overseas, his eyes darkened and his mood had changed. Somehow after each phone call with her he felt like he was a bad son for not providing better for his parents. I tried to make him understand, that he had a family on his own now and that we had to settle our lives first….we were newly parents, had started completely new in a country, that was new to him and we worked both very hard on improving his hearing and speaking situation.
Cochlear Operation and a Miracle
I previously had travelled to Nepal to arrange for his cochlear operation and was looking for ways to finance this very very expensive operation. Many doctor visits later and month of research, we found a hearing specialist who was able to provide him with special hearing aids – German Technology….wow…so impressive. We had to take a massive loan to finance that….but it was a miracle. For the first time in his live, my daughters dad were able to hear things, we take for granted. Special schools, sign language, German classes, weekly appointments with a speech therapist…we did it all…together…..while being pregnant while starting from scratch in Germany, while starting a tattoo business, while he also started playing for the 1.Rugby League in Germany and while I was waitressing until a few weeks before giving birth…. and then after our amazing daughter was born, she was with us all the time and we continued to make the best out of any given situation.
Making Ends Meet
Our daughter was only one week old, when I went back to work. Nursing and consulting so he could do the tattoos. Six month later I started working in addition at elementary schools. So he had the chance to continue his studies and we could still support his family back on the Friendly Island while hardly make ends meet ourselves.
We had a small car that we shared, nothing fancy but practical to get around. His parents were sick so many times and we were told they are so old and no one would knows how long they gonna live, so of course we had to help. His big dream was to buy a car for his parents. His father was in his 70s and his mum in her 60s. They never had a car, so he wanted to buy one before they die. He would be the one to buy it and his sister would pay for the shipping, at least that is what I was told. Of course it came different. Back then I could really understand that desire, but we had to settle ourselves first. The pressure of giving more was too much, it was never enough.
When the phone call came in….each time…the eyes got dark……a dark cloud was hanging over our family. No, the sister couldn’t support them because she and her husband had a mortgage to pay and two new cars to pay for…so it was on him…on us. That we had a baby and his medical bills, didn’t count. The dark cloud…was hard to handle.
Follow the Calling
I knew, he had to go to do whatever he felt was his calling. He wanted us to wait in our apartment…but I couldn’t stay there. How could I afford that, without putting our daughter for 10 hours a day in daycare so I could go back to my good banking profession? No, I would not have her being shaped by other people. I made a leap of faith. I followed my calling and started a charity organisation. I left Germany together with my daughter, when she was only 2,5 years old. She was by my side day and night. We lived in very very basic conditions. I never asked her dad to support us, as I knew how heavy the burden on his shoulders already was. I didn’t pressure him. Instead we made the best out of it and I had to put all my skills to the test. It was a simple life, not always easy, poor as in material things but rich, very rich in experience. In learning, being humble and kind to others.
It Was Never Enough
But when I thought the sacrifice our daughter and I made, to ease his burden would be seen and appreciated…then I would have been wrong. When I had thought our Tongan family would have been proud of the good work we were doing in the world….I would have been wrong. Sometimes I heard things like: „Oh you just travel and enjoy your life.“ or „You help everyone but not my family.“ I had no money. We lived with our cleft patients in a room with almost 20 people. We helped with our presence but I had no money to send to his parents.
But I was able to help him fulfil his dream of getting his parents a car. I sold our car in Germany and send him the money to buy a car for them to use and it would be ours when we would ever get there. And no, the sister didn’t pay for the shipping or anything else. I was told the car would cost 3.000 Euro, I send him our last 4.000 Euro so there was enough extra. His other sister, then decided to buy a more expensive one and he had to add some more money.
It took a while until the car was delivered. I found out on FB, when the sister who didn’t pay for the shipping was bragging about it. No, I wasn’t mention at all. Well, I thought when you give, give from your heart and don’t expect gratitude. True and still it felt weird, the sisters bragging, the younger one showing off having a car now and being the big hit driving everyone around.
I had decided to let it go, as I was busy with our cleft kids. I was proud that he could fulfil his dream and it was never ever mentioned again until we returned to Vava’u two years later…..
28th November 2017