Mother: dreams, happiness and memories

“A mother gives her hand to a son only for a while, and she presents him her heart for life.” –Unknown

My mother was my biggest dream.

She inspired me to do great things more than anyone else. Everything I’ve ever achieved, most of it was her, pushing and encouraging me to keep going. She was the reason why I had the strength to keep fighting.

My mother was the source of my happiness. I am, in fact, a mama’s boy to which I am enormously proud about. Well, who will not?

I’ve always loved to be wherever my mother was– the market, the woods, the farm, and of course, our house. And now, it was the other way around, because I have been carrying her with me every day inside my heart.

We shared a lot of memories together. She was my pacifier before I even learned to write. She was my constant breather about everything that’s burdened me. I was very emotional regarding the misunderstandings I had with my middle school teachers but she was there comforting me and telling me to stay the good person I am.

She was my anger management therapist. I had this tendency to be taken over by anger in most situations but she was able to calm the devils out of me. She was my crying shoulder and her embrace was enough to feel all the happiness the world could ever offer.

We will cook dinner together. I still cook the same foods we prepared before just so I won’t ever forget the taste and the experience we’ve shared.

She was the keeper of my secrets. She has always appreciated who I was, what I can give and how far is the extent of my skills.

I disappointed and argued with her once and never did I do it again. I shouted at her because I wanted to point out it isn’t my fault. She felt embarrassed and wrongfully attacked that she was lost for words. She was silent for the whole dinner preparation and she did not eat. She just lied in bed, looking hurt and emotional. I had to spend time convincing her to eat. That was very painful and memorable. That made me realise that the most painful thing I’ve ever done in my life is to have hurt my mom.

She has a lot of body pains. We will spend some nights treating and massaging her body. She was a strong  woman but I’ve also witnessed her weaknesses firsthand.

One of my most memorable moments with her was my graduation day in middle school. I delivered my valedictory address which was mostly about her– how I have been grateful for her, how I reassured her that I will ease her pain, how I dream to give her every damn thing she deserves and how i made her my dream.

She was not able to finish the whole program with me since she started feeling pain somewhere in her body. My father had to take over but I made sure that she will be there when i receive all the awards, because she deserves all the awards, too.

All the sixteen medals hanged in my neck will never worth one single award that has been given to me since I was born, the award of having her as my mother.

I had to go hundreds of miles away from her for better schooling opportunities. A newbie to the city lights, I explored what Manila has to offer. I was distanced from home and the connection got blurry. I’ve become selfish.

Called by the Almighty, I was able to get back in my mother’s arms. I had my own struggles to go through but they became lighter with me coming back home.

I’ve always known that my mother is sick, but I never expected it to be severe. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, stage 2 at the time. Being financially challenged back then, we had to sell most of our farming lands and other possessions for her treatment.

Though distant from her because of my studies, I’ve witnessed and felt her hardships. We had to be strong for her and every time I come to visit her, I had to look strong even when I am being torn to pieces.

My biggest regret in life is denying myself to visit her more often. I only visited her two to three times a year and when I come to visit I only stayed for maximum of three days. I was so scared and hurt to see my dreams fall apart in front me that I didn’t give myself enough time to spend with her, much worse, I did not give her the attention of a son she definitely deserves. I was so afraid that I may lose myself and break down. Had I only took the courage to face the pain, it could’ve possibly be a little less painful to lose her. Had I only took the risk.

There was actually a time where she have recovered a bit. She was able to do things she love again. We shared a moment where we took our pastures to drink water in the river. I thought it will continue to be like that.

She was invited here in Manila by our close relatives. For once I had the chance to spend more time with her. However, it went downhill from there. She ended up eating things she’s not supposed to eat as part of her medication and she faced more emotional stress due to some of our relatives unexpected attitude towards her and our family.

She went back home feeling pained emotionally and physically. As I’m having trouble with finances back then, she also left some money for me to use, which she should be using for her treatment instead. She’s taken care of me when she’s the one whom I should be taking care of. Unfortunately, she went terminal with her illness.

New year’s eve, minutes before 2014 comes,  I’ve seen her smile again when my grandfather, my mom’s father which is also sick then, cracked the silliest joke at the time. It’s been so long since she last smiled and I had to savour that very moment. It was very fleeting and it looked like just a giggle but for me it was the longest moment of happiness we felt.

But it actually did not take so long. I have prayed in fervor for her cure and recovery but seeing her suffering, I had to pray for an end. I readied myself to lose my everything. I was so sure that I’ve prepared enough but when the day actually came, I couldn’t find the courage to believe. I guess we could never really be ready on losing someone we dearly love.

When my father called to tell me she’s gone, I took it so literally that I asked him back where actually has she gone, because I thought maybe, she just went somewhere. I paused for a moment then I realised, she’s gone.

The news was expected but when it actually reached me it couldn’t sink directly into my being. I went to inform my relatives. They were crying, but for me, I couldn’t find the tears. No emotions reflected from me. A total poker-face.

I couldn’t exactly remember if I cried but all I know was I did not cry upon seeing her in her coffin. My father had to encourage me to cry, but still, I did not.

It was in her funeral that I fully realised what was happening. Emotions intensified inside me like a pack of running horses crashing into me simultaneously. It was so so painful that I can feel my spirit crying. I couldn’t and didn’t stop until she was delivered to her final resting place.

My mom lost my father way before she even actually lose him.

Months after her burial, news about my father’s another infidelity eventually reached me. I found out that he grew tired taking care of her. He cheated on her before she died and she even know of the fact. She actually did say that it’s okay with her since she is no longer beautiful to begin with. No Ma, you will always be beautiful and no woman could ever equal the beauty you have shown this world. Your beauty and worth will always outshine all the universe combined.

It is his greatest mistake to trade for amber, the highest quality of gold.

To my mom, “I know you have always been watching us from above. I also know that you are happy wherever you are now. I am deeply sorry for everything I regret and denied us both. But I’d like you to know that I was able to rebuild my dreams, with you and my siblings, as the strong foundation. I will keep moving forward in pursuit of happiness. You will always be loved and remembered. I will forever take my fair share of your emotional pains and will always take solace in the fact that in my lifetime I was gifted the greatest and most loving mother a person could ever have.”

She was all the kinds of person she could ever be, but more than anything else, she was my mother.

She was my peace, my calm, my home. She occupies a space in my heart, though broken, but will always remain beautiful.

To end, our father might be someone we can hold on to in order not to fall, but our mother will always be the one to help stand up should we make the fall.

___

Photo provided by pexels.

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