It’s been almost two weeks since the world celebrated Mother’s Day. I started writing two sentences that day but work and a range of emotions didn’t allow me to go beyond that, even in the days that followed. The ideas and feelings were present, but the words were elusive. My muse left me as work resumed in the office and as some things happened.
Now, I intend to continue. This may be a late write-up about mothers but I feel this would still be timely and relevant.
Where shall I begin? My mom, of course. ❤
My family isn’t so verbal in expressing affection at home. I don’t really say “I love you” everyday or every time I call my mom. But every day, in so many times, from the time I (and my seven siblings) was little, we felt our mother’s love. 🙂
My mom never raised her voice at us, yet we were generally disciplined youngsters. (It was my late dad who scolded me with a belt and a slipper twice because I was a mischievous child during those times. 😀 ) My mom never forced me to study hard nor to do really well in school (from primary school to college), but I did excel because I discovered the joy of learning. My mom didn’t go about bragging to the neighbors about the medals we received, nor did she fill our walls with all our awards and pictures during recognition day. She was a quiet attendee during Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) Meetings in school. She wasn’t active in “parents’ clubs” nor did she have time for gossip. I think, it’s because her hands were full taking care of us. She was busy loving us. ❤
Until we were in high school, my mom prepared breakfast for me and my siblings lovingly. I always had my glass of warm milk every morning. When I took the University of the Philippines College Entrance Test (UPCAT) in the late 90’s, I already have vague memories now about the examination itself. But what I recall is that my mom woke me up early, prepared my breakfast of Lucky Me pancit canton (calamansi flavor) and soft-boiled egg, and prepared my baon. 😉
When I was in first year of college, I struggled with homesickness for a few months. It was my first time to be by myself and be away from my family. 😦 I was staying in the dormitory then and I didn’t know anyone in the campus (except for my Ate who’s already in third year at that time). I wrote to my mom (I didn’t have a mobile phone yet that time) telling her stories of my classes and the campus, and went home for Christmas and Holy Week. That was the usual routine until I finished my college years. I enjoyed my studies (except at certain times, haha!) and joined several school organizations. But I always looked forward to going home to Albay to see my family, tell stories to my mom, taste my mom’s cooking (including merienda of baduya, hulog-hulog, ginatan, kinalinging, binamban, etc.) wake up to delicious breakfasts again, and go to St. Rose of Lima Parish Church in Bacacay, Albay to attend the holy mass with her, my grandma and my siblings.
The year that I graduated in UP, I got pregnant. I loved my baby but I wasn’t prepared for motherhood. Some people thought I was a disgrace to the family. Some people said I destroyed my future. When my mom finally learned about my situation, I was already five (5) months pregnant (although it was not so visible in loose clothes), working in a language center, braving the Manila traffic for almost four hours each day, and keeping my ordeal to myself. The truth was known eventually. My mom was very calm about the entire thing. She didn’t scold me but I was heartily sorry and I apologized. 😦 My memory of that day that I arrived in Bicol in September 2002, the same day that my mom learned about my pregnancy, was waking up in the bedroom (I got exhausted after the 12-hour bus ride from Manila to Albay) to the sound of hushed voices.
From that day, until I gave birth to an adorable daughter (Abie), to the time I returned to work, to the time I went back to UP for my graduate studies, my mom was my constant companion. ❤ My mom took care of Abie while I was studying my Master’s Degree in UP and working in Manila. Although I went home to Albay to visit my family and Abie whenever I could, I couldn’t have done my plans if not for my mom. She moved to Manila when Abie was in kindergarten and continued to take care of us. Now, that I’m posted in a foreign country for work, she’s still my everyday companion, albeit virtually. She brightens my day every time I talk to her and message her. (In the same way, as a mother, I feel that my day isn’t complete if I do not communicate with my daughter.)
Ma, belated happy mother’s day. Take care today and every day. Thank you for your love. ❤ Thank you for everything.
To all mothers (called nanay, inay, ‘nay, ma, mama, inang, nanang among Filipinos), all those who do the role of mothers, to the near-mothers and almost-mothers, never tire to love and continue to be brave. Constantly spread the ripple of love. Cherish yourself. ❤