In celebration of Mother’s Day: May 9, 2021
I know I’m not the type of person to reveal my emotions to you — you know that so well — but for today, here I am. I think this is what you’ve always wanted, and here I am. Here it is.
I just want to say thank you.
Thank you because since my birth, you’ve never let go of me and you’ve never failed to make your love known. I know you and dad waited a long seven years for me to come, and I can’t even imagine the joy you felt when I was born on that day, not because of my own merits and all that, but because you were just dying to give your motherly love, and be filled with it.
Looking back to when I was much younger, you were the one who disciplined me a lot. Whether it was to have me face the wall for a few minutes or even to verbal scolding, you were the disciplinarian. No wonder I clung more to dad, whose big smile and more relaxed disposition radiated more positivity for five year old me. We were never really too close before because you were a very important employee in that large company you used to work for, nothing short of excellent. You then resigned, saying that you wanted to be closer to the family.
You yourself said that I was even closer to our yaya and when, if I remember it right, something crazy happened, our yaya was the first person I looked for.
You and dad insisted that I be placed in a Chinese Filipino school from nursery though it was expensive. You yourself didn’t know how to speak Chinese, so you labored painfully to teach me something you yourself had to somewhat learn. Back in first grade, you had to send me to tutor because you could no longer keep up, and I myself was doing bad in class. I remember crying my heart out on that first day of tutor! Now that I look back, I wish you were actually a little more insistent on our Chinese Filipino identity — it’s part of our heritage, after all!
Fast forward to 2018, you had that mild stroke. Praise God it was very mild and that a doctor was literally nearby to help out. If not, you might’ve not been here today. After you recovered, you still decided to keep working in that canteen stall you’ve been managing. You could’ve just stayed at home, but because you wanted to feel productive and because we needed it, you kept on working.
Now that I am older and an adult myself, I realize that what you had been doing was all, in one way or another, for the family. The scolding? That was for us to become better. The working? That was, of course, to provide for us and more, so we could buy what we wanted! The resignation from that prestigious position in work? That was to be closer with us, who I now realize was more valuable to you. Sending me to Chinese tutor? That was to help me improve, not to make me cry.
So, thank you, mom! I know you probably won’t read this — letters aren’t really the way I show my love — but you know that we all love you. I hope and pray that one day, I will be as dedicated a parent as you have been to us.
Happy Mother’s Day! Gua ai di!
Cover photo: Pinterest