The mother’s day spirit is up and since everybody is in the mood of cuddling with their moms, here I am, reminding myself how it feels to have one. How to use the word, when to use it, why we use it? This only shows how strange the word is to me now.
Her memories are getting blur. It’s been 9 years 53 days and 10 hours since she left us and each tic-tac takes me away from these almost vague memoirs. Even the features of her face, I need to haul every senses I have just to picture it out or get myself a photograph of her to make it easier. And the more i try to remember her, the more i dont. We don’t have pictures of her during her last quarter though. We barely had occasions and she doesn’t want to have her pictured. I wouldn’t want to remember her in that shape anyway.
I am a lola’s/papa’s girl, I can say. My sister told me that our mom left me/us to work abroad when I was about months old and we all grew up under our lola’s loving care (her mom). Then back and forth she goes back abroad ‘til I was seven (so calculating the years we spent together, its only 10 years, she died when I was 17, less one more year since I live in my tita’s house for a year while studying in Manila). I can recall how our neighbors used to tease me saying ‘Do you still know who your mom is? She isn’t comin’ back! She left you.’ I don’t know why that memory instilled and is so clear to me. As a kid, that didn’t affect me because I know she will be back. But as I recall it now, I feel unhappy because I know this time, it’s true. She isn’t coming back. Forever.
Given my situation above, this doesn’t seem to be a reason why any child would never have that strong attachment with their mothers. No matter how little time you spent together, no matter how far your feelings from her or how much you hate her, no matter how less the memories you had, the bonding moments, the talks, I know every child will always be a mama’s child. I know I am.
What do I remember about her? She loves to cook. She often asks me when I’ll be bringing my barkada (high school friends) over so she could cook for us since I was the only one among my siblings who doesn’t bring bisitas. It happened once and she personally prepared our lunch (half of the day she left her store just for this). She cooked all the requested dishes of my friends. Then college, living at my aunties house, always Friday night, she never failed to ask me what food I want over the weekend. It’s like having a welcome party every week. She’s friendly. Just to insert, she befriended all my teachers from elementary to high school and I have no time to be a bad kid I thank her for that. She joined aerobic class (I know it ‘coz I’m her chaperon and our street food session after every class), Couples for Christ, but not school affairs/meetings since she gets to get all the infos even before the official announcement (that’s the benefit of having known all my teachers). Very neat. I remember my father telling me; it’s one of the traits he liked about mama. It’s funny how we panic every time, me and my siblings in fixing the house when we know she’s about to arrive. I can still hear how my kuya will say “Bilis! Nandyan na si mama! Yung sofa! Ayusin mo. Check mo yung lababo.” Then we’ll sit properly like no one’s in panic awhile ago. It’s the only thing that boils her blood, next to my hard headed ate Liezel (lol). If she entered the house cluttered, we’re all dead. She’s our first hand council . The one who evaluates our action, do the sermon and the one who give the sentence. If her powers didn’t work, up there we go to the highest court, my father. Nagger. It’s her way of being patient in deafening method, trying to control herself not to lay her hands on us. When I think about those times and all her declamations, all I can say is “Mom, you are right”. All those rant, words of conscience delivered in a yelling manner, they are all true. You know what, listen closely when your mom nags, no matter how irritating. You’ll surely miss even that once you left home or hoping it won’t happen soon, she left you. Take it from me. A proud/great trainer. The one who thought us the GMRC and hone our home skills. I remember one time, her kumares dropped by at the house to have some chitchat. I went to the living room and heard them talking about children issues. She said to her kumare “Yang mga yan, pag pinapagalitan mo, di yan sumasagot, tahimik lang. Makikita mo, lahat kumikilos. Mababait yang mga yan.” During summer, she let our kasambahays take their vacations. Since we’re all home, she train us with the household chores. According to her “matututo na kayo, makakatipid pa tayo”. I was in charge of her garden. Watering the plants and orchids before and after sunrise. Telling me to talk to the plants as I cut the dry leaves and cultivate the soil. Funny but I’m doing it when I’m alone at the garden. That’s how I found out about my green thumb. Finally, The last words. Whenever i think about her, it’s always the first thing that come to my mind. “Tapusin mo pag-aaral mo, kahit anong mangyari.” And I did!
“Wag kayong mag-aaway magkakapatid. Magmahalan kayo. Walang ibang magtutulungan kundi kayu-kayo. Alagaan nyo ang isa’t isa. Lalo na si Nikki.”
I know it’s not just me who’s keeping those words. We always have it in our mind and heart.
I wrote this blog not just to remember my mom but to give tribute to the entire mothers out there. I salute you. Sharing your life for 9 months and risking it so we can have our own. Thank you for giving and sharing what you use to have, the beauty rest just to give us a good night sleep, the make ups just not to give us allergies, time for your friends so you could be home early and play with us, the stuff you use to buy for yourself just to give us something we need. I could never ever enumerate all your seen and unseen sacrifices but we know all the values of what you have surrendered for us and our lifetime isn’t enough to thank you.
So folks, be good to your mom. All your curses, the off beam tantrums, how you howl at her as you answer back, for not listening, for not following her advices, the broken promises, for missing and not eating the dinner she have prepared and saved for you, all the pain you’ve cause her and all the simplest thing you failed to do for her; it’ll get back to you and all you can think of is “I should have done that. I should have NOT done that”.
Hug and thank your mom while you still can…and could you give mine to her?
“But there’s a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begin.” — Mitch Albom (For One More Day)
Happy Mother’s Day to my Ate Liezel, Ate Ana and Nikki!