Maybe because it’s Mother’s day on Sunday or me and my mama are pretty much always together these days that is why I am feeling a bit sentimental towards her lately. Me and my mama has been together of course since birth, I often feels like my umbilical cord haven’t really been cut out from her totally because since I was still young I always have a hard time being separated from her. I secretly agreed to live with my parents and not move house when I got married because I just can’t leave my mama behind or bring her with us. I remember when we were young, our lolas will borrow my sister from my mom and dad during vacations and weekends, but me they don’t want to borrow me because I often cry for my mama come night time. The only time they were able to fool me into going with them, they regretted it, because I didn’t sleep a wink. I was literally waiting for the sun to come up because they promised me I would see my mama as soon as the sun was up.
Life was never easy for mama. She was born to a poor family, she had to live with some of her aunt and uncle just so she can go to college. But she studied and worked hard, she graduated summa cum laude and spent most of her professional life teaching in public school. She married my dad and had the two us. She had difficulty giving birth that is why we were preemies, me 8 months and my sister 6 months. She was a traditional wife and a devoted mother. She is some sort of a Maria Clara, she used to wear only pencil skirts even during sportsfest, it is only now that she wears those Capri pants. She is soft spoken but I remember before when I was a kid, when she would get mad at my sister, she would give that loud holler “Elena!!!!!.” My cousins used to envy us because we have a mama who is very sweet and kind. She is not very hard to please also, even the corniest joke can make her laugh. Her being kid at heart is what makes her hit it off quite so well with my daughter. She can outsmart even me in a game of snake in her cellphone She and my dad struggled to give us a comfortable life. I remember trips with mama to SM when I was young every June to buy new bags, shoes and school things, mass and dress shopping every Sunday in Baclaran, lunch date with her in Max’s every report card giving day and trips to the palengke to buy Barbie clothes. She just know how to cut those letters for HE class perfectly, she sew and mend clothes really well up until now, and she cooks a mean kare-kare, morcon, and mechado. She knows how to take care of me when I am sick, somehow, just her presence makes you feel better. I love it when she is fussing over me. She seems tireless. I used to think she was superwoman when I was a kid for she can do many things at the same time. Keep the house, do the laundry, cook our food, take care of our school things, take care of my dad, and teach these pesky high schoolers.
For the past two years, my dad was very sick. It was during this time that I appreciated her more than ever. It was during this time also when I realized just how remarkable she is. She took care of my dad all through out his sickness, never complaining, never resenting the situation, never questioning God. She took everything in stride. She gave all that she can ever give. My dad is a difficult man when he was not sick and all the more difficult when he got sick. But my mom, she never failed him. She stood by his man until his last breath. During dad’s wild days when they were just starting out, during my dad’s dangerous days as a law enforcer, my dad promising days when he completed his college and MBA’s, my dad’s dark days when he was having problems seeing with his eyes, my dad’s struggling days when he was going in and out of the hospital for dialysis, my dad’s last day when he fell right into the arms of my mama never to wake up again. She was right there holding him in her arms when he let go of life.
My mama, she was devastated when my dad died last year. For her, if there is one thing she is very good at, it is taking care of my dad and us. Suddenly, she was robbed of this chance to take care of the only man in her life. It took a while before the haunted look left her, before the smile reached her eyes again, before she can give a hearty and sincere laugh again. There are times when I want to slug my husband for all these silly things that he likes to do and say but whenever I see mama laugh at my husband’s silly antics, I let it go. Because when mama laughs, when she is in a good mood, when she is happy and well, everything is right in our world.
My mama is growing in years, she is feeling aches and pains she never felt before. She is struggling to walk due to arthritis, there are times when she would cry in pain. I wish I can take all that away. But her strength, her resiliency, her love for me, my sister, my husband who also loves her dearly and my daughter who is the apple of her eyes, I know gives her the strength to brush aside the pains. I love my mama so much, I never really experience that thing about your world falling apart in my entire life…but I know when my mama get separated from me permanently, not only will my world fall apart but my entire universe as well…happy mother’s day mama!:)