Ode to a woman of courage and persistence.
My mother is a wise woman. Given that she is a public school teacher, her nobleness and service cannot be contained to such merit or plaque of awards for I know it would not be enough. Her time comes in full circle with the job she has. I have grown to have witnessed how passionate she was about it and how she truly cared in being an instrument to mold the lives, not just the minds of her students.
I am in awe of her on how she managed her time and dedication of making good at her profession and at the same time being the doting mother that she is to us.
In retrospection, she was really clueless that I was a lefty. My left hand is my prominent working hand in almost everything from holding a pen, a spoon or anything I could grab on. She honestly told me that when I was I think on my second or third grade in elementary.
After hearing that, I felt sad. In my head all the reasons came rushing down in me. I could have talked back at her and said, “That’s because you were always busy and we only see each other after school.” Well, that did not happen. I could not bare talking to her like that in front of the dinner table.
All throughout my grown up years, it was like that. But I never felt sad about it anymore, I learned to understand and accept. I learned to trust my own capabilities and myself, only myself. I have felt too that she was so proud of me when I would do good in school and finish being one of the top students of the class. That smile on her face would be the most endearing response I could get from her and she would tell me how great I am.
Initially, she was very supportive of our schooling with the rest of my brothers. I knew that when I was in high school that she really dreamed of us, the four of us, finishing school and living the lives that we love. She was full of encouragement at this time. What could you expect, teenage years was a hectic stage. With all that roundabouts and curiosity, there was a time that I am always out of the house during weekends and even schooldays’ nights yet I would only hear from her, not a scold, but a word of care, if I am okay, and that I should take care of myself more, that’s it. If I was just a rambunctious one, I could care less to her words of wisdom but I am not. I got to reflect on why was that her reaction, she was reversely psyching me out alright. If that was her approach on me then she made her point.
I have grown to be a thinker, not over thinker, on things that unfolds before me. I was hell way too observant of people, things, nature and the rest of the world.
I think I can fairly say that, that is how diplomatic, kind, caring and loving she is to us. I believe too that not any from the four of us received that much scolding, or disciplining from her because that’s not her attitude, that’s not her way of parenting. She could really only say so much, repeat that over and over again until you told her that, “Yes, Ma. I understand, okay.”
Isn’t it but normal for mothers to fire up with words of scolding, advice, and how-to-dos only to smooth things out along the way, I guess. I think most parents would do that until to the extent of letting their children get the message across. Like a hen, it would strut and continuously crow whenever one of her chicks are lost, not walking along the troop line or snatched away from her.
It is normal too of her to tidy up the house and get things organized as always. Weekends are her busy days. She domestically grew up being with her mother’s comfort that is why, again, I am in awe of her on how she gets to go full circle of all the household chores. She managed to train us on that. I would remember how she would assign each of us on cleaning the entire house, from the living room up to our room. Our boys room is designed as an open big room with three beds, two singles, my oldest and I use it, and one double, I think that’s queen size, for my two youngest brothers.
Sweeping, rubbing and polishing the floors was first on our what to dos, then dusting everything and we’ll be changing the mattresses and pillowcases after. I think that’s how she would reward us after a cleaning day’s work, fresh linens and pillowcases so that we could sleep soundly and really have a restful night.
During those weekends too she gets to showcase her culinary prowess. It was her delight to cook us dinner and eat with all our hearts out. No wonder, the four us grew up to be loving every bits and bites that we could have. Most of us weren’t that fussy when we were young because early on she would cook different kinds of meals, from meats, poultry, fish and vegetables. She only hated eating mudfish or snakehead. That’s the only local fish she couldn’t dare to eat. I really don’t know why.
Her best kitchen recipes are Laing, Bikol Express and Sinanglay na Tilapia. All of it are local cuisines, an original authentic Filipino dish found in my hometown, Baao, Camarines Sur, Philippines, categorically the Bicol region. Also, her winning dessert too cannot be missed, the Leche Flan. The most celebrated dessert of her because whenever any family occasions were marked on the calendar, no one could resist not to ask her to make it.
On a different vantage point, I would take notice that Mama is an easy to be with person. She easily warms to people with her ever ready smile. She has won a lot of colleagues that turned to friends but she knows how to really keep those real ones, maybe that’s one thing I look up to her and I get to carry that with me.
While all of us were busy growing up, we never really forgot her. We cling to her. I think we are all Mama’s boys, literally. She is but our rose, so we just can’t really set her aside. Of all the highs and lows our family have endured, she remained to be that woman of strength, strong willed and full of vigor.
With she being our mother, her mere presence just made a great impact on our lives. As we continue to live the now, she is still there, praying, encouraging, supporting, guiding and never getting in the way of what we want. She would just again ask how we are doing, how we are coping and to take care of ourselves always.
Now, because of you we grew up and became better persons and we will be at our best in gratitude of you forever, our dearest all-time Mama.
(Happy Mother’s Day, Mama! To a healthy and happy life. I hope we get to travel now that you have more time to spend. To an adventurous retired life! Yeah! All the love for you!)