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mother and child

To all the beautiful and selfless mothers around the world especially mine who’s an angel of God and an enthusiast of mischievous daughters like me..

Mama, you’re a valiant soul

I saw your pained smile at the corner of my eyes as you bid me goodbye. Half smiling, half sobbing but holding it together despite the protest in your eyes and your wailing heart. The cause of your heartache? Her obstinate child, barely 13 years of age, is pursuing this ludicrous idea of attending high school at the capital where chaos is the name of the game. At 13, without a nurturing mother by her side when she gets sick or to defend her when she’s being bullied. To even the field, to better her chances of getting admitted to a reputable university, hardly achievable if she was to remain in their small town. This, according to her daughter. Mother, she acquiesced to such quest despite the grief and terror it caused her. It was just the beginning of the many trailblazing pursuits her fearless and sometimes foolish child would embark on.

Mama, you’re a tireless warrior

Captain America couldn’t hold a candle to you. I knew you were tired but you seemed to be inured to this abject poverty. Your calloused hands bare telltale signs of a hard life. I saw you labor day in and day out, your eyes getting worse by the hour. But alas, who has the money to consult a doctor? It was a lucky day if you made $5 despite the arduous process of sewing those clothes hour by hour, minute by minute. Yet you plodded along, eyes fixated on one goal. You took breaks by preparing meals that you cooked by building fire using coconut husks, gasoline and wood. For fun you washed clothes manually: fetched water out of the ground, washed and rinsed by hand (blankets and sheets included) and then line dried them. Whites are to be bleached using starch, a process I won’t even delve into right now. And when finally it was time to go to bed to rest your weary body you wound down by ironing clothes. Your aide was one of  those heavy irons that use live coals. Yes, the ones you see only in museums. How did you manage to prevent the ashes from spilling over our white uniforms? Talent it seems.

Mama, you’re shameless

Despite attending public schools and being an academic scholar throughout college, money was always short. After all, food, commute, books and computer rentals aren’t free. The funds that you and dad pooled weren’t enough to sustain my meager college life so you went around town borrowing, sometimes begging for money from anybody and everybody willing to help out or wanting to make money through interest. I tried to do my part by eating only once or twice a day but for a growing teen with mental drills to conquer every day, ranging from Integral Calculus to Theory of Automata, it is not really sustainable nor healthy. But life left me with no choice for I couldn’t let you scrounge for more than what was needed. For years to come, the smell of Dunkin’ Donuts from the alley that led to my university hunted me. Its smell permeated through my nostrils down to my soul as I trudged along the streets, delusional with hunger and livid that I couldn’t afford a donut for a quarter. It was a constant and a poignant reminder of our poverty. Imagine my disappointment when I finally made it to California. Where is my Dunkin’ Donuts and what is this Krispy Kreme!? Apparently, you need to fly east for this. Dunkin’ Donuts eludes me to this day.

Mama, your mercy is infinite

Your forgiveness is unending, unbound even by my most mischievous act . When I led a crew of two to harvest nearly all your precious green mangoes, picked severely out of harvest season, I swore I would never be pardoned. Overcame with guilt after realizing the gravity of our acts, we hid for hours after twilight despite knowing that your voice was already hoarse from calling our names. When you finally found us, I was imagining father’s leather belt or sturdy slippers would hit us soon enough. Instead, mother she chose mercy, at least on the two of us. Ever the practical one and not wanting to let the fruits of her labor go to waste, she forced the rest of the family to eat our loot. I could see the rage in their eyes. Mother was the only one standing between us and our murder. They were hungry for revenge and I couldn’t blame them. I knew it was sour, not from eating it myself but from the wretched expression on their faces. I could almost feel their pain while their faces contorted in discomfort as they chew the cursed fruits.

Thank you for loving us, our dearest mama! Our inay, we love you. You are heaven-sent. I knew God loves me for He sent His best angel to raise and nurture me. Advance happy mother’s day to all the amazing mothers of the world, especially to mine! Thank you for your altruistic sacrifices.