Today is my mom’s birthday. And I want to share my thoughts about her. First of all, she is the epitome of a self-effacing mother who left an indelible mark in the hearts of her children and grandchildren. Her painful toil and sacrifices made me who I am today. The principles that I imbibe from her guidance were priceless and later became my own values.
I remember my mom’s convivial nature, her wonted nod and smile, and her cordate face that beams with pleasant warmth and delight. While my father taught us the value of discipline, my mother shuns away from askesis; rather, she is more of a loving and tender individual, tolerant on the missteps of others. I learned from her that I should not be afraid to make mistakes – as long as I learn from those mistakes.
My mother is the paragon of a God-fearing woman. She taught me the value of praying. When I was seven (7) years old and our family moved back from Palauig, Zambales to Calatrava, Negros Occidental, my mother started to teach me how to pray the rosary and the novena . I continued these practices until my adolescent years. I used to go to the chapel in Hacienda Aquiles every afternoon after school. There at the altar I would pray the rosary: sometimes by myself, and at other times with my childhood friend Raffy Dayondon.
Though we were poor, I am always proud to be his son.
My mom is my inspiration. She showed me the example of working hard with my own hands and she would be visibly disappointed if I miss one of my daily household chores or if my cousin Gabriel would miss one of his own tasks. She taught me the value of hard work and persistence, and most importantly she taught me not to give up. She said that dreams are like fuel that burns and energizes us so we can go on and on. And so whatever happens, I will chase the dreams that I have and never give up.
I also witness the way my mother showed her love and devotion to my father. She never complained; she never cowered in the face of hardship. Instead she took it upon herself to help out my father in providing the needs of the family, day after day after day – even if that means working in the sugarcane plantation on a hot, mid-day sun. Living a life of poverty was never a hindrance to keep the family together. Her love for my father cannot be measured. Before their untimely deaths in 2013, my mother and my father have been married and stayed together for fifty-five (55) years.
I love my mother. I love her since the day I heard her voice, since the day I opened my eyes and saw her face. Even though she is no longer with us, her memories will always live in our hearts.
Today is her birthday. And I miss her so much. But I know that she is now in a better place because she is now with her LORD and her Maker.
“All that I am or hope to be I owe to my mother”. Abraham Lincoln