MOM WAS THE ONLY CONSTANT PERSON IN MY LIFE. I’d She was my movie and soap opera partner. We can last for hours just sitting in front of the television watching our favourite soap operas. We would even skip having dinner at the dining table and bring our food instead in the living room just to watch them. It’s a little funny to think that sometimes, we would ask for an update whenever one of us missed an episode or two. It had always been me as I have been working.
It was only until recently that I got a new job that I was unable to sit with her anymore in front of the telly. I got totally busy.
Aside from our addiction to soap opera, our only habit that seemed to be very hard to break was to go and eat out. We used to have a lot of dates, just me and her. That was besides the days out she spent with one of her closest friends Tita Margie. That was how she is relieved from boredom, whenever she went out and eat at her favourite restaurant, Chicken Inasal.
For more or less four years that we spent together since she came back to the Philippines in 2007, from Toronto, I made sure that she had a good time. Aside from the usual arguments and discussion that we had, everything seemed to have been very normal and yet wonderful for her. Whenever we have extra money and there’s a new movie that she wanted to watch, she’d ask me. And although I had not been able to take her out of town, not once, she was okay to have just spent time with me.
She was the only person I have got. I never want to think that she’s gone. I think I would be in denial first after this but eventually, an unseen powerful presence would give me peace and comfort knowing that I still have her, we still have her, watching over the things we do.
I also don’t want us to think that this will be the last time that we’d see her. No. I don’t want us to be left with mom’s image in a white box surrounded by flowers and people mourning her passing. What I wish for us now to remember is the happiest of all moments we had with her, because my mom was a very happy and friendly person.
If there’s anything that I would always be thankful for, it’s the fact that we were not given the option to choose who our parents would be, because who knows, I would have made the wrong choice. I am ever grateful that I was borne of parents like my dad, whose coming home we also remember today, and my mom, whom we will all together send off to her maker so that she would be with dad.
Within the past week our home had been filled with sadness because mom was in a critical condition. And her physical regression made us feel that she was suffering. Tuesday morning, when I got back from work I told her that I’d bring her to the hospital so she could get better. Apparently, there was need for her to be brought to a different hospital but she thought against it. I asked her if she could still bear the travel in an ambulance and she said she just wanted to be brought back home and rest so we could go to the hospital the following day. I did not have any idea that it would be the last request I would ever give her, that she be brought back home so she’d be more comfortable as she rested. If you were to ask me, I was torn between my hopes of her to recover and have her strength back so we’d have more time together and she could also go back to Canada against the silent prayer for her suffering to be over and let her rest.
On Wednesday when I talked to her and she could barely speak, I took the spot beside her and laid there to hug her and touch her hair while talking. I asked her if she needed to rest and she nodded her head. It was the same thing that my brother asked her because we all felt she was tired and she needed to rest and come home. I asked her to sleep but she wouldn’t oblige. She was waiting… na perhaps for an assurance from us that we would be all right.. that we won’t fight anymore. We have to admit that siblings would always have differences, but one thing I promised mom on that day, we would reconcile our differences and avoid in as much as we could the nasty arguments. I also assured her that we can pull through.. and at the back of my head I silently said that my siblings and I would look after and take care of each other.
I really don’t know what is going to happen after this. As far as I am concerned, although I know I’m old enough to choose and stand-up to what I want in life, I still cannot take it for granted that I might need help and that in the future, my only fear is to become helpless. I don’t want it to happen. Perhaps that was one of the reasons Mom did not let go right away. When she was in the hospital last year and my friends visited her, I stepped out to smoke. And because I didn’t get to listen to what they talked about, my friend NyAnn told me that Mom was only worried about what I am going to do when she’s gone (referring to her coming back to Canada and leaving me at home on my own). Then again, I know, with all the spiritual guidance that I can get, nothing bad is going to happen to me.
When I was getting dressed for this service I was asking myself, can I really make it? Will all of us be able to survive without our parents around now? Perhaps my siblings could because they have their families to support them. But for someone left alone, what is it going to be like for me?
I don’t want you to be under the impression that I have just begun to feel sorry for myself. I was just thinking out loud. The answer would be dependent on the choices I make. I can survive if the choices I make were to only help me go through it all.But what I have really been thinking of is the prayer that was started by Francis of Assisi. When push comes to shove, I think I only need to remind myself to ask God to grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
That prayer helps and I am sure it would continue to help me… us, a lot through our lives.
Mom has come home, to all of us who love her, may we all be given the serenity to accept the inevitable. We cannot change what’s supposed to happen and neither could we go against God’s will. What we could do now is to thank God that Mom was given a life that I would be safe to reckon she lived to the fullest.
Mom finally rests. May we all be given the courage to change our feeling of loss and misery into something more peaceful. I hope we all have the strength to continue our lives thinking of all the happy memories we built and shared with my mother. May we not become weak and weary to move on only because our loved ones went ahead of us. Let us all have the courage to think that we did not lose anything or anyone at all.
Mom has taken the hands of God and is now walking with Him to eternal life. May we all be given the wisdom to know the difference. What we feel now is that we lost someone we hold so dear in our hearts, that’s inevitable and undeniable. But if we come to think of it, Mom will finally be happy, with Dad and with God.
Before I wrap this up, I would like to tell everyone that our family appreciate everything you have showed us. From the people who stood by her while she was fighting for her life to those who have extended their help by simply sticking with us from day one until tonight. Your gestures of support, love and condolences together with your prayers and our faith will surely help us pull through and get through the grief. In behalf of my siblings, I will forever be thankful that you have shown us your compassion to Mom and all of us in the family.
In closing this, I would not share any dreams of Mom. I didn’t have any. Maybe because the lifetime that she lived and shared with me were enough for us to make each other feel the love that we had for each other. But we will always have her memories. I will always have her love. And she will always have mine… ours. I love you Mom.. and thank you.