Dear Mama, Happy Mother's Day!

I had my Mother’s Day conversation with my mom last Friday.  I’m just finishing my Mother’s Day weekend with my boy here.  It has been meaningful because of him.  Eight Mother’s Day have passed where I was finally one of those being celebrated, and I look forward to more years with Angelo.

Motherhood is one of the most challenging roles for me, but which I play to the hilt because of the inspiration his love gives me every day.

But today, I want it to be about my Mom, the woman responsible for making me the mother that I am today.  I have always said that you can only give what you already have — and to my Mom, thanks for giving me all that I needed to be a good mother to my son.

Dear Mama —

Happy Mother’s Day.  You know that though I am 10,000 miles away, I am there with you.  Thanks for the call last Friday.  I know you miss me dearly because you said you dreamt of me.

I’m doing okay, don’t worry.  Sometimes the one we miss the most visits us in our dreams.  Sometimes the one who misses us the most gets to cross time and space and be with us in our dreams at least.  Like I tell Angelo that I will always be in his heart come what may, so are you.

I know that we’re both getting older.  You just turned 72.  Every time I go home, I see you shrink just a little, and I see more lines in your face.  I notice a difference in your demeanor.  I think that I am most fortunate to be seeing this and appreciating the changes that ageing has thrown your way, because I don’t think my siblings who are with you everyday see it and appreciate it for what it is.  I keep telling them, “Mama is getting older.”

I wish I wasn’t so far away.  Then we’d have more dinners together.  We’d go to Manaoag more often, and on Wednesdays, I might even muster enough energy to wake up as early as you and brave Baclaran before the crowds descend upon it.  But life has put this distance between us as I started my own family.  I know you know that you are here in my heart.  In the meantime, I look forward to having you visit… hopefully soon?  I know.. you are busy taking care of many things there, but I am going to keep bugging you about it.

When I hug Angelo, I hug him for you.  You two have such a special bond that I find so precious, since I know it took a lot of effort to take care of him the first three years.  I have been so lucky that you were still young enough then to afford me that chance to have you take care of my son, and to show me the rudiments of motherhood firsthand.

I miss those days when I’d see you two playing with each other.  And I remember the last time you two said goodbye this previous December, how your grandson teared up as we neared the airport, as it dawned upon him he was leaving his favorite grandma.  Even I was surprised at that show of emotion from my then 7-year-old.  Precious.

I cannot ever thank you enough for making me who I am today, Mama.  I know that life hasn’t been kind to you, robbing you of the chance to have a proper education beyond elementary, but you made sure my siblings and I went to the best schools, and that we got as close to the fulfillment of our dreams if not the fulfillment of those dreams itself.

I know that these days, you often think we don’t understand you, or that we are ganging up against you.  That can never happen.  You are the precious bond that ties us all together — and will keep us tied together as a family long after you’re gone.  In our minds and hearts, you are the best mother we could have ever had.  So please forgive us when we hurt your feelings and make you feel like we are not being mindful of hurting you — we have your best interests at heart.  We just want you to let us take care of you this time around, as you’ve worked so hard to take care of all of us these years.

Time to let go, Mama.  Your children are no longer babies.  Let us take care of you now.

We love you deeply.

Your children

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