Remembering Mom

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014


I REMEMBERED how excited she was when she heard the news that my younger sister will be arriving in Cebu International Airport. Excited indeed that she managed to tag along my kids before I can finally say, “Yes, ma. You can take the kids with you.”

I remembered how eager she was in opening those little boxes, containing a simple but elegant watch and a touch screen cell phone, insisting that she needed a sophisticated one so that can she can contact us through Facebook and play her favorite Candy Crush.

How I recalled her complains that day as we stroll along SM Cebu to find a restaurant where we can have our lunch. Only to find out that she wants to taste Asian cuisine, the kind of food friendly enough to her taste buds. And since it is located in the upper floor, she did manage to convince my sister to buy her flat sandals instead of those wedged-typed shoes. As she said, “Gikapoy bya kog baklay aning sandals nga nay takong.”

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That was how I celebrated Mother’s Day last year. Back when my mother was still alive.

Sunday, was no ordinary day as I celebrated Mother’s Day with my family.

I went home to Bukidnon to grab a special date with my mother. I reminded my husband countless times to ask permission from his commanding officer and convince him to spend the weekend with me. Sure enough, he was allowed for a weekend travel even if there were also tasks given to him during that day. I did not mind. What is important is I have to be there before Sunday.

The experience was entirely different. There were no early wake-up calls, no hamonada aroma coming from the kitchen (one of my mother’s fave recipes), nor arguments as to where to eat for dinner. Instead, I and my kids were busy arranging the flowers and preparing the candles. I decide to have red, long-stemmed roses, white chrysanthemums and purple baby’s breath. My first choice was Malaysian mums but my mother might grumble up in the heavens since I gave her mums the last time I gave her a visit.

As for the candles, my father murmured as to why we brought the “sperma,” saying that he needed those during the rotation brownouts. Oh well, I never thought of what kind of candles appropriate to bring as long as they will light up.

The sunny day and the cool breeze of the cemetery reminded me of the Mother’s Day celebrations that I spent with her. I said a silent prayer, quite a long one, for her soul. It was a hard battle as I tried concentrating to finish the prayer without crying. I got a good glance of my father wiping his tears at the other side.

Thank God I brought with me my kids who delighted us with their rendition of “Let it Go,” that popular theme song from Frozen. My eldest was practically singing it the whole time during the cemetery visit while my son was busy posing at the camera. As my eldest said, “I am singing for Mamalo, so that I’ll get a gift again by December for learning a new song.”

No language can express the power, beauty, heroism, and majesty of a mother’s love. It shrinks not where man cowers, and grows stronger where man faints. I will forever be thankful to Anna Jarvis, for petitioning the American society in 1905 for the celebration of Mother’s Day.

I was interrupted by the ringing of the phone in the office. Then, came that familiar song “Laura” by Christopher Cross. This time, tears fell from my eyes.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 13, 2014.

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