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When You Were Born

You know what  all mothers say when they had their first born? They did not have any clue what to do. From breastfeeding, to bathing, to taking care of a wailing and sick babe so she can be put to sleep. I felt then that I would not survive in all departments, sometimes even wished that you shut up for a short while so I can get some sleep.

(Sam’s first photo,taken twenty years ago)

When you became a toddler, I asked myself not once what planet you came from. When I read you stories, you didn’t let me finish them because you wanted me to hear your version’s ending.You doodled almost every where.You loved watching tv so I was very selective on what shows you should watch. You also became very observant and careful with the words you say. My sister instantly noticed how you did not answer immediately if the question seemed testy.

Your Grandma told me you were very independent, not needing a lot of instructions and doting. In school she can leave you with her students with no fuss while she attended a short meeting.You took your studies seriously, effortlessly that you stood out in every class, in every competition. I remembered that time  when  you asked me what a gold medal looked like. I smiled. At a young age I knew you always aimed for the gold.

We did not always see  eye to eye. Perhaps it was just my age or the generation nowadays.You were completely aware of my rules, respected every one of them because not doing so would mean an argument that you will not win. I maybe hard to live by sometimes, but it was not also easy being your mother.

I also knew it was not easy being the eldest among six siblings, who look up to you for almost every thing. Patience, attention and understanding multiplied by six, not to mention three of them were special kids. I knew there were instances that you almost wanted to snap, with such responsibility that was given, yet  did not even ask. And perhaps you knew, that I was not blind enough to see, deaf enough  to hear, the pain and struggle that you went through every day.

(One of my best loved pictures with Samantha)

We have gone a long way. At a glance you seem like an ordinary girl, but by far a lady with so much character. If dysfunctional families were words you have shunned, unconventionalism  was one thing you had embraced. Books, classical movies, music, writing, photography, family, friendships and laughter all make up your world. As you journey through life, every adventure means conquering one’s fears. And you know by heart, that conquering ones’ fears means facing it.

Looking you from afar, sometimes I cannot help but smile and ask where you got that spark, that free spirit. Looking back now, out of the many wrong decisions I had made in my life, one right deed stood out, and that was having you.

(A daughter every mom would be proud of )

Seeing you know and what you had become was all worth it.

And I would not have it any other way.

 

 

(image credits to facebook.com)

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Through The Years

I told my mom that there will be a medical mission near our place where people can have their usual laboratory tests- uric, blood sugar, urinary and what have you at a discounted rate. She immediately told me to have her registered . She added, “Take care of the registration fee and I will give it back when I get paid.”

I can not help but smile on how smart that sounded. My mom had gone back to tutoring kids. In our place, where word gets around easily, she was always referred to by other people as “the  old woman who had a reputation for teaching, ” a profession that she had always been proud of until now. It was not just her bread and butter, but her vocation,  just like motherhood.

My mom came from a dysfunctional family.  Being the eldest of 3 kids, she had learned the word responsibility at a young age. She once mentioned that there were days that she wanted to come out and play but instead  stayed indoors to look after her siblings. Good thing she loves to read. Perhaps she may have not realized it then but it was by reading where she met many friends, gone into places , and where she started building her dreams.

And that was what she did.

Every time she went to school she made sure she excelled.  Every task given to her , she gave her  110 per cent. She was  focused, driven and pro active. It did not matter if she had to cross a river just to study when she was in high school or  tutor her landlady’s kid just to pay for her rent when she was in college. She wanted to become a lawyer, an ambition that was far fetched at that time because they can not afford it , so she chose teaching instead, but  made sure, she will not just be any ordinary teacher.

She left her hometown when she married my dad. She was barely 23 years old then, perhaps even younger. She was obliged to learn a dialect she never knew and get along with people, including those that were hard to deal with. Enviousness,  perhaps runs  in every family circle, negative traits that my mom have no time for. To her, every man is basically good, and  it is his choices that makes  him what he is.

Mom has always been a source of inspiration to me and my kids

It was not surprising that my siblings and I had fared well in school. I thought then that was because  my mom taught in the same  school where we went to. When all of us had gone to other schools, even stopped schooling for a while, especially in my case, I found that it was not true. She tells us often  not to stop reading and to continue learning, be it watching informative shows or meeting people. She also  reminds us to remain humble of one’s achievements and to always look back at one’s humble beginnings.

There had been a year when my mom had been in and out of the hospital due to multiple strokes. My family  knew that she was not getting any  younger. That things were not the same as they used to  especially now that she has diabetis and osteoporosis. Year 2009 had been a bad year for all of us.We lost our eldest brother  due to a heart condition. All of us had been devastated especially my mom. All of us could not believe that my brother had gone too soon. We were worried  that she might  not be able take it all.

But my mom had never been a quitter. She had always faced life heads on. A few days after my brother’s cremation, she told one of my  daughters, that she  does not want to live in a hospital anymore.  That she is still needed especially now  that my brother left a wife and 3 sons. Besides, if she was able to move on when my dad left us ,  she can not see any reason  why she can not do that again.
And so that’s what she did but this time, she did more than that.

Mom and I enjoying a cozy afternoon with our relatives

She decided to be productive by accepting tutorials even though she was underpaid. She continued to be active in our place’s’ senior citizens group where she used to be the auditor, but now the vice president which worries me at times because that would mean more responsibility to the group, in which, she just gave me, a deaf ear. Lately, I have learned she attended birthday parties of other senior citizens’ members, even telling me that  she had worn the blouse I gave last Christmas.  She had never stopped reading that she  knows Harry Potter very well after reading all seven books. And never grew tired of knowing Dan Brown, James Patterson and Patricia Cornwell thru their novels.

Life had been kind to my mom. Financially we may not be well off, but  both mom and dad made sure my siblings and I were brought up with the things that really matter. Basic things like the times spent with each other, stories and laughter  shared, and the freedom to know and learn what life is all about. To be good in one’s  chosen field, and by paying things forward  especially to those who need it. It may not have been  much, even trivial to others, but as we go along our lives, when most  of the people who matter had gone before us, we may realize that it is not  the fancy, worldly  things,  that you long for, but the very simple ones that you want to take back,  hoping that this time it may not be too late.
My mom just turned 77  last January 20th. When I talked to her  over the phone, she said that my daughters’ classmates had read my blog and mentioned how they liked it. She added that she will find the time to read it,  now that she knows what a blog is.  And that really made me smile.

In fact, it really made my day.