Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A DAUGHTER'S STORY


My mom would have turned 51 years old this coming June. She died in 2005.

I miss my mom terribly. Although we were the antagonist in each other's life, we shared a unique love only the two of us could understand. I was her unica hija... She referred to me as her sweet baby girl, and she was my "sexeh” mommy. I was Cinderella doing household chores while she played the perennial queen commanding orders. We fought. We hugged. We shouted at each other. The extremities of our love-hate relationship stemmed from a significant difference in behaviour. I didn’t have any semblance of her talents in theatre acting, but I inherited her shopaholic gene as well as her passion for dancing.

I only try to remember her happy and healthy days. There was never a dull moment with her. She was always bubbly and loving. Even my cousins would seek refuge in our home, turning to my mom for advice. She demanded only the best for her kids. She was strong-willed and had a commanding presence that scared off those who had malicious intensions on her family. Mommy was overly protective of us, so much that I sometimes refrained myself from mentioning to her small accounts of my teacher's misdemeanours, just to prevent her from barging in the classroom. At one point, the school principal professed she was afraid of crossing paths with my mom, and my teachers avoided talking to me after class hours.

Her celebrated career revolved around two of the defining moments in a woman’s life: Pregnancy and childbirth. She pioneered a childbirth class in our community, dedicating her weekends to educate expecting parents on the joy, stages, and breathing techniques in championing natural childbirth. On weekdays, she was teacher to toddlers, for which our main living room was re-designed for. Her classroom was home to shiny, happy, and gifted kids with special needs, who she guided through life lessons by infusing theatre acting, puppetry, gardening, and paper crafts into their curriculum. She loved taking part in nurturing minds to celebrate and respect life, nature, and talents.

My mom's face was always radiant and youthful. I am lucky she had good genes to pass on to me and my siblings. Her porcelain skin was really incomparably flawless. The blemish free face radiated with happiness, confidence, and love.  Her glowing and healthy skin concealed any signs of a medical condition, which, later on, would take her away from us.

Death came without warning. She was diagnosed as terminally ill, with no sign of weakness in her daily encounters and activities. What was supposed to be a 2-week visit to Davao turned into a 2-month ordeal, beginning with an ambulance scene seeing us rush Mom to an emergency room shortly after leaving the airport. It was sad seeing her painful ordeal in the intensive care unit. It was even more saddening to witness the glow in her eyes die out with each day she deteriorated. Before we knew it, she was gone.

I held back tears and stood as a strong pillar to keep my family from falling apart. At that time, my head spun with disbelief that despite our efforts to sustain her, nothing could keep her alive. Maybe God just wanted to end her suffering.
Visiting her lola at the cemetery.

I am missing her all the more now that I am a mother, myself. I sometimes think of how life could have been if she were still alive. For sure, she'd be a doting grandmother to my little girl, and we would have more arguments over parenting. She would spoil my daughter at sky's limit. She would be sneaking sweets into my baby's mouth while I get busy with work. She could have been the solution to my Yaya woes. Then again, as my step father once said, "Kung buhay pa ang mommy mo, hindi ka sana nabuntis!" True. She would have sensed threat and heartache abrewing, and she would have saved me from any complicated relationship.

I miss her. I miss having a mom to fight battles that are too much for me to handle alone. I miss being a daughter.

I wish she was here to help me with the little things that bother me. I wish I could still see and hear her reassuring smile and voice, with arms wide open to hug and comfort me, especially when I'm in my "dazed and confused" state (otherwise known as GGI or gulo-gulo isip).

I am still learning the ways to deal with life without having my mother to guide me, just for her to be able to walk on and move on to better pastures. I don't want her to linger on and worry about me. I want her to enjoy peace in heaven.

Mommy, wherever you are now, I salute you for your strength. You fought a good fight, and you lived your life to the fullest. I will always be proud to have had you as my mother. I love you. Happy Mother's Day!
---
Story published on my Metro Mom column in Edge Davao newspaper

Page 15, A1 of INdulge section, Vol. 5 Issue 46, 09 May 2012.


2 Comments:

At May 13, 2012 at 12:30 AM , Blogger Bing said...

Meggy,

Such a beautiful article! You write beautifully, my dear.

I miss my friend and kumare, Gamay. I remember the first and last time I visited you guys in Davao. The bonding we had on my last night, our usapang babae (Women talk).

I can almost see your mom's lovely proud smile as she looks at you and her apo. Our loved-ones who crossed-over, I believe, are always around because to borrow Allison Dubois' book title "we are their heaven".

Your mom's love of life is in your genes. You are doing well, my dear. Your titas (second moms&friends) are right behind and beside you, Meggy.

love you!

Tita Bing

 
At May 13, 2012 at 1:25 AM , Blogger Meg said...

Thanks, Tita Bing. I'm far from the supermom that she was but I try my best. I always tell my daughter about her lola and she loves those stories. She got her lola's talent, quirkiness, flair, and laughter. It's just like having mommy by my side. I hope to see you again, Tita. Take care and please send my regards to Tita Liza. Love you. Mwah!

 

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