I lost my mother 11 years ago on that fateful day in June. I was in my ninth month of pregnancy with my first baby. Mother woke me up too early, with the aroma of the breakfast she prepared blending in the early morning wind breeze. I could hear her humming a song of praise from the kitchen. I know she was too excited on that day because it was her first formal serving in our parish as a lector and Gospel reader after the lectorship seminar she attended.
I ate breakfast with her without knowing it would be our last meal together. There was no hint or clue that she’d be saying goodbye on that day. I remember we were talking about my soon to be born baby and she was telling me stories on how I was born, adding some funny bits into it for which I do not know if it really happened or not (Mother liked to weave stories. ^_^). She also gave me tips on how to take care of my child. As for those who know me, you all know that I am the youngest child and I am the closest to my Mother. When all of my siblings had their own family, we naturally stuck together to care for each other, even until I had my own family too.
We wouldn’t know of premonitions until someone leaves us. Prior to the day of her death, Mother had some very unusual actions and words she was saying. But we never took any notice because they seemed to be nothing of importance. One thing more, who would ever imagine that she’s going to pass away when she was as strong as a bull? We all live in a borrowed time and we really don’t know when the Lender takes it back. What saddened me most apart from losing my Mother was the fact that she never had the chance to see my children and never had the chance to hold them and take care of them. I was frankly quite jealous of my siblings’ kids because they were able to feel and experience the love and caring of my Mother.
Finding myself without my Mother’s guidance when I began the journey of my family life came as a huge shock to my being. Yes, I did get help from others like my aunts, my sisters and other people close to me. But the loving care of my Mother is different from all that they could give. I appreciate what they have done for me and all the help extended to me, even by my in-laws were heartfelt and thanked for with so much gratitude. It was very hard to do some things alone, especially when you expected her to be with you. Had I known she’d be leaving even before Iva was born, I wish I didn’t bank on it too much.
Fast forward. After 11 years, here I am, half-way on my journey of life, but still standing sturdily. I have come across a lot of stumbling blocks, rough roads and dark tunnels, but I was fortunate enough to get to the end and see the light once more. I’ve been in and out of the void, most of the time being inside of it, but I tried my best to always come out of it stronger and with a more positive perspective in life.
While I traversed this lonely road, I met a lot of people who would later have a great impact in my life. I talked about my Mother earlier because I realized that even if I lost her, there would be a lot of others who would be willing to give their hearts to you and play the role of a loving mother albeit you were not blood-related. I did find these very loving and generous people who stood beside me and willingly held my hands when I needed a mother’s comfort. I am so thankful that I found them and have become a part of my life.
- To Tita Baby Acosta. Even when Mother was still alive, she already served as my second mother, being my best friend’s mom. I basically grew up with her and her kids. A tough Mom she is. First impression is that she seemed to be a very hard and fierce mother, but once you’ll get to know her, you’ll discover her soft spot and the generosity of her heart. She was our adviser, our teacher in the school of life, our refuge when we were marred by problems. She castigates us when we’ve done wrong. But all these was for our own good. She did love us like we were her own sons and daughters. Though we don’t get to communicate a lot now, I want you to know that you will always remain my Tita baby or my Mama Baby. Iva, Ivan and I hope to see you soon
- To Mama Luisa. Naturally, she’d be there for me being my mother-in-law. No matter how busy her schedule was, she took time to see and visit me and my daughter. Until now, even after what happened, we’ve maintained good communication and spoke from time to time, giving me her two cents about life, telling me never to give up and just go with the flow and where my life leads me. Thank you, Ma and Daddy. I owe you one.
- To Tita Aida Alcantara. She has become my instant mother when I came here in Hong Kong. A chance meeting in Central led me to her and so I had what I called my family here. She was my source of comfort and advice. The one who took me in during some of my days off. She and her family here, who I also know were the ones who provided the company I needed when I felt alone and a stranger to this country. Thank you Tita aida for all the help you’ve extended and for always being there when I needed you. May God bless you too.
- To Mommy Joyce Pief. I knew her first as the post editor of Definitely Filipino and the blogger MommyJoyce, whose works and articles I deemed so worth my time reading. I wasn’t even the one who approached her because I was shy, thinking that she might ignore my request. I asked my friend Tina to ask Mommy Joyce if I could also add her. When I did and she accepted the request, that was when the beautiful story of friendship began between her and me. What I am and what I have achieved as part of Definitely Filipino family, I owe it to her. As a life coach herself, she has taught me a lot of things about life, influenced me with her greatness in writing, and inspired me with her own life story and family relationship. I had the privilege to become a guest in her home and I was amazed at what she has inculcated to her children, even just being a single mother. She boosted my confidence and never failed to remind of the gift that I have and just how to use it properly. Because of her, I had the chance to realize my dream of becoming a published writer. Thank you, MommyJoyce. I still have a lot to thank you for and even though we don’t get the chance to chat lately, you know that you already own a place in my heart and in my mind.
- To Maribel Zolina. I fondly call her Inay Gel. She is also one of the first few people I met at Definitely Filipino and eventually became friends with. We are the “emo” in our group as our blogs often speaks of our dramas in life. I began calling her Inay Gel as a joke that I would want to marry his only 3 year old son when he grows up. That made us close and later on, we were conveniently throwing jokes to one another. We have a lot in common when it comes to thinking. I am older than her, but I just got used to calling her Inay, another term for mother. What made me include her here was the fact that she had been very supportive of me with my writings, like MJ, she believed in my talent so much. She knew when I am at my lowest point that her window would just pop-up and ask me if I’m okay, then offers her time and her ears if I need someone to talk to and listen. She is in the Philippines, but she calls me here in Hong Kong just to keep me company when she knows I need one, even for hours. Rich in load, Inay Gel is. Most of all, her kindness struck me that she is willing to help me get a scholarship should I decide to go back home for good. We’ll talk about this soon Inay. Thank you very much.
- To Nanay Luz Carbon-Dean. A complete stranger. Someone I just met and became friends with through a group that we both belong to. An avid reader of my works and a member of my facebook page. One day, we got the chance to talk to each other. It was just very brief, like nothing significant happened. I loved it when she praised my work. Coming from a good poet and a writer herself, it’s quite elating to receive such compliments. in one of our conversations, I was surprised to hear her call me “my child.” Seriously, I had this feeling that I couldn’t explain. Excitement? Joy perhaps? But whatever it was, it made me so happy to know that here’s one stranger, completely offering her love and guidance as a mother to someone she hardly knows. To know that she trusts me that much regardless of how little we know each other is quite a very fantastic thought and feeling for me, especially when she asked about my two children and also expressed willingness to be their grandmother. Nanay Luz, thank you very much also for putting your trust in me, and giving me love. Nothing sounds more beautiful than you calling me “my child” each time we talk. May the good Lord bless you more for your kindness.
What are the characteristics of a good Mother?
A good mother is caring, loving, sacrificing, kind, understanding, helpful and benevolent. She is also diligent, must be a good housemaker, should be dependable at all times and flexible. A good mother is good in cooking and household chores, neat, presentable, gregarious, and organized. She must not be a gossiper, not quarrelsome, does not throw tantrums, no vices and must be a teetotaler. She must provide or give companionship, must be amiable, friendly, sympathetic, credulous, simple, intelligent, God fearing, and liberal in outlook
We will never run out of words to describe a mother. Most of the characteristics mentioned previously, I have seen in these people I have met and treated as mothers. But what is important for me is the loving, kind and generous heart they all have and the love they all are willing to share with me. Nothing more, nothing less. I love you all and I can’t thank you enough for what you have shared with me. May you be blessed beyond what you expect for you never hesitate to share your blessings.
As it was said, “God could not be everywhere, and so He created Mothers. “
Author: monettecalugay © october2012