I was moved by Hazel’s story. There she was, at a very young age she did something that not everyone can do. She sacrificed for her siblings, even if it cost her life. I was so ashamed with myself for sometimes complaining every time I make sacrifices for my family.
Hazel Miner was a 15-year-old from Center who got lost in a blizzard, along with her younger brother and sister, on her way home from school. As night fell she lay on top of them, saving their lives while sacrificing her own.
– via RoadSideAmerica
On March 15, 1920, the first day of the blizzard, the Miner children’s one-room school let out early to enable the students to reach their homes before the storm hit Many of the country school students, like the Miner children, were used to driving back and forth to school with a horse and buggy, but the school teacher had a rule that no child was permitted to drive home in bad weather without permission from a parent William Miner, who was worried about the blizzard conditions, rode the two miles to the school on a saddle horse to escort his children home. At about one o’clock he hitched their horse, “Old Maude,” up to their light sleigh and told Hazel to wait while he went back to the school’s barn to get his horse. Hazel wasn’t strong enough to keep the horse from heading out into the blizzard before her father came back from the barn. William Miner searched for his children, but soon realized they must have gotten lost and went home to mount a search party.
At Hazel’s funeral, the minister preached a sermon from John 15:13: “Greater love hath no man that he lay down his life for his friend,” and said, “Here and there are occasionally people who by their acts and lives endeavor to imitate Him.”
The hellish wind tore and ripped at the canvass top. Hazel snatched at the flapping scraps and piled over the robe all she could salvage. There was only one way to keep them in place – to fling herself on top of them. (p131)
She said to the two children over and over, “Remember, you mustn’t go to sleep – even if I do. Promise me you won’t, no matter how sleepy you get. Keep each other awake! Promise?”… They promised. (p132)
The next day, they saw the rigid body of a girl lay face down with her unbuttoned coat flung wide. Her arms were outreached over her brother and sister, sheltering and embracing them in death as she had in life. Underneath were the children’s bodies, dazed and partially frozen but alive. They were promised never to fall into the deep sleep from which Hazel know they could never awaken. (p133)
[Everyday Greatness – Stephen R. Covey]
Being raised from an average family, I have learned how to be independent and to work hard to have something I want. My student life was really one of the hardest times of my life. I’m just blessed with wonderful people who helped me get through it. My dream to pursue college was impossible back then because we do not have enough money. Thanks to Fr. Mehler, who was always ready to help me whenever I need financial support for my studies. I was able to enroll in PUP and became one of the Iskolar ng Bayan who was given the chance to enjoy P12 / unit tuition fee. I lived in Manila alone, far from my family. I realized that the path to my dreams was not an easy one. I even experienced to have a monthly allowance of only P1,000, wherein half of it went to my board and lodging and food expenses. Thinking about it, I don’t even know how I survived through those times. But I surpassed the 4 years of struggling to get my college diploma, and I’m proud to say I did it with flying colors.
Right after graduation, I was pressured to find a good job to support my sister’s studies. She was then a fresh grad from High School. I took all the responsibility of sending her to college, not knowing it would be very difficult. At first I was very generous to give, bearing the thoughts in mind that “I work for my family so I must give them everything they need”. But in the long run, I started seeing how I lack in many material things because my salary were all spent for my sister’s allowance, house rent, and other miscellaneous expenses of my family. It was then that giving becomes a burden to me. I give but I complain. I give for the reason that I felt I needed to – because I have no choice.
Then I read Hazel’s story, it made me realize many things. I am luckier than her because I don’t need to do such sacrifice; but she’s greater than me because at a young age she already realized the importance of love and family. I felt so guilty. I remember all the sacrifices of my parents just to send me to school. They would give all that they have to provide for me and my siblings. And now that I already have something to give back, I became selfish. I regret feeling and thinking that way towards my family. And, come to think of it, they were not even asking for the money I give. In fact, they would tell me that I don’t have to spend all my earnings for them but I insist – even if I don’t want to.
Well, it’s not yet too late to start again, right? I still have many more years to show my love and support to my family. And I have already started =). I now give because I love them. I now appreciate more my family. I am very proud to have Senando “Nanding” Abao and Lerma “Baby” Faderogao as my parents. I owe everything to them. They may not be perfect but they are the best I could ever have.
Some of you might be going through this, and I hope that this story inspires you. We might think that life is unfair to us.. but remember how it was to Hazel, yet she choose to do the right thing – with love.
This post was submitted by Jenille Abao.