I was told that my loud cry was sweet music to her ears. Her warm embrace corresponded to the picture on my bedside showing her lovely face beaming with pride and happiness. It was the beginning of a wonderful relationship.
I was my father’s little darling. I remember a lot of things we did together from our morning jogs in Luneta to grocery shopping at the close-by Cherry Foodarama, visits to his old workplace (GSIS), tagging along their Christian outreach, eating at various restaurants, shopping for clothes, books plus numerous “pasalubong” for my dear Mother and eating popcorn during our TV nights with the rest of the family. I have so much love for him that I miss him dearly.
I was not that close to my mother as my world was my Dad. But when my daughter was born, it made me appreciate my Mum even more. Memories of my Mum calling out when we need it was meal time; of her fussing about our meal, ironing our uniforms and preparing our school stuff to make sure everything was okay and that we won’t be late for school. How she looked after us when we were young and how she will do anything to ensure we are happy.
When my son was born, I had no idea what to do. I wasn’t even sure if I was ready to be a mother and quite nervous when I first saw him. I missed my friends and through the bedroom windows I watched them get into the car and drive off to various activities teenagers do like hanging out in Greenhills, shopping in Greenbelt, eating at Goodah, biking around Folk Arts Theatre, watching the movies, swimming, hiking, dancing at Where Else and more. But I had made a decision to be a responsible mother as my innocent child deserves a nurturing environment and a supportive family. As the spiritual teacher Osho said once, “the moment a child is born, the mother is also born”.
I had a successful career and loved doing my job for over fifteen years. My social life was healthy, really enjoyed traveling and meeting new people. But when my sweet daughter was born, I welcomed another change in my life. Her Down Syndrome meant endless appointments with doctors and therapist that I had to put my life on hold. The six-figure income was reduced to five and the whole change was not only physically exhausting, it was also mentally and emotionally challenging.
My mother was a “princess” who was a stranger to housework during her early years. She had nannies and house help when Dad was alive and his departure has created a big gap in Mum’s life. Not only that she loved my Dad with all her heart with the lack of knowledge in finance and management (Dad pretty much looked after everything), our inheritance and business went down quickly. I felt guilty for not being able to be with them during the big time of adjustment but worked hard to help my mother send all my siblings to school. Mum learned to cook more, clean the house and survive with very little. Mum also sacrificed her physical needs so that my siblings will not miss out on a lot.
In any religion or region, children may look for guidance from their fathers but it will always be the mother who we run to when we need a shoulder to cry on. In most cases of marriages, fathers choose to leave the relationship because of all the “wrong things” the wife apparently did while the mothers decide to stay for all the “right things” the husband did. It will be the mother who would sacrifice her career, her hobbies, former lifestyle and privileges for the benefit of the children. Our Mums hold the family together – the advocate of understanding why fathers do what they do and of patience to our children.
I am not discrediting fathers as their strength and leadership skills will determine the success of the family unit staying together but God designed mothers to endure, tolerate, love and forgive better. I was devastated when Dad passed away when I was 16 – disappointed he was not able to see any of his grandchildren. Mum’s turning 70 years old this year, blessed with four kids and four grandchildren my wish is to make her happy. With our borrowed life, we don’t know when our time will be up – it would be a great regret if we are unable to express our appreciation to our loved ones most especially our mothers who had been our cradle of love since day dot.
As tribute to our mothers, I encourage those who have been busy in their circumstances to pick up the phone and just let her know how much she is loved. As the saying goes, “the most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother”. A simple “I love you” or a big hug means the world to this beautiful medium who made us who we are. As the bible states in Proverbs 31:28 “Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her.”
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!