Dear Mama Pearl,
#WishYouWereHere. Miss na miss ko na po kayo — araw-araw, tuwing nakikita ko ang mga apo ninyo.
Lalo na po yung kamukha niyong si Jude — hindi ko alam kung paano niya nakuha pati ang mannerisms ninyo kapag nagsasalita. Baby lang naman siya nung huli niya kayong nakita. At thanks be to God po, matalino din siya, at gumagaling na siya mag-piano ngayon. Nung first day nga po niya sa piano school, nagulat kami at pati instructor niya — 10 lessons po agad tinapos niya sa first day. Salamat sa Diyos po sa ipinamana ninyong hilig sa musika.
Si Moriyah naman po, malapit na mag 3 years old. Kapag kumanta na siya – mula sa bahay, hanggang sa mall, hanggang pag-uwi sa bahay – paulit-ulit yung medley niya ng Eensy-Weensy-Spider, Old McDonald, Baa-baa Black Sheep, at minsan may kasama pang “One call away.” Long play! Sino nga po ba yung ganun? 😉
At si Jaron po, 8 mos. old na today, sa birthday niyo. Kasing bigat po ni Ysrael nung pinanganak. Kasing lakas din niya umiyak. Pero ang sarap tumawa! At grateful din po kami na hindi siya sakitin, sa awa ng Diyos.
Ngayong birthday niyo po, Mother’s Day din. Madalas pong magkasabay ang mga araw na ito, kaya masayang mag-celebrate talaga. Gusto ko po ngayon magpasalamat sa Diyos para sa inyong buhay. Kung nandito lang kayo, may kasamang yakapsul pa ito.
Salamat po for having loved us more than you loved yourself. Di ko akalain na maririnig niyo yung sinabi ko doon sa hospital, nung comatose kayo after a massive stroke: “Ma, you promised you’d be around to help me give birth to my first child.” Sabi ng doctors, 20% lang ang chance na magsu-survive kayo. Pero five days later, nagising kayo. Another two days later, nung birthday ko, nakapagsalita kayo ulit. No force on earth could stop you from keeping your promise. Ganun pala talaga ang Mother’s Love.
And you were there two months later nung nanganak ako, kahit sinabi ko pa po na huwag na lang sana dahil mahihirapan kayo physically. Hazy pa kayo minsan dahil sa gamot, pero pinilit niyong bumiyahe mula Batangas hanggang Manila para samahan ako. Hindi ko po makakalimutan yung paglaki ng mata ninyo nung nakita niyo si Jude, at ang una niyo pang sinabi: “Ang tangos ng ilong.” Kung may hashtags na noon, definitely #ProudLola yung gagamitin. Ilong niyo yan eh.
Salamat po for teaching us that the whole world is our school, and we must keep on improving ourselves. You taught us to respect others, especially the weak and the elderly. You taught us that honoring our parents meant we must also honor your parents, their parents, and so on. I teach the same thing to my kids now, with matching “repeat after me”: “Kung wala si Lola, wala si Daddy/Mommy. Kung wala si Daddy/Mommy, wala ako.”
You taught us that if we can’t say anything nice, it’s better to be quiet na lang muna. You taught me how to tame my temper by counting 1 to 10 every time I got mad. And when you noticed that as a teen I was always angry, you took me aside and asked why… and when I finally found the courage to tell you, you embraced me and cried with me. You did your best to make me feel safe again. You taught me that I can’t control other people’s words and actions, but with the Holy Spirit’s help I can always pause, and choose how to react. You helped me translate this page (http://www.sacc.to/asap/aboutus/tagalog.htm) and planted seeds in me to help me fight back against the culture of abuse. Sabi niyo rin po sa akin na ang ultimate goal niyo, was to see all your children redeemed and restored in God’s love. You taught me how to live not as a victim, but as a victor in Christ.
Salamat po for showing me how invaluable memories are, and that building the right memories are just as important. Those final six months God allowed us to have with you, we had a lifetime’s worth of conversations, many of which I am not strong enough yet to share without breaking down in tears. As you struggled with increasing pains and short-term memory loss, I found you crying in bed one night, deeply frustrated that you couldn’t remember what happened yesterday or the day before. I didn’t know how to make you feel better, so I asked quietly, “What do you want me to do po?” You asked me for pen and paper, and to write down what you wanted to remember, a.s.a.p. First thing on your list was: “My apos are Sofia Belle, Timothy Andre and Jude Elisha. I must never forget that.”
Teka lang Ma, break po muna. #CryingAko. Bukas ko na lang po itutuloy ito, siguro…
Basta ngayong birthday niyo at Mother’s Day pa, I pray that when we meet again, you will be happy with my choices tomorrow. Eleksyon po kasi, but rest assured, pareho kami ng choice ni Dad at ni Ate, #RoxasRobredo. Sila po kasi yung may values na consistent sa itinuro niyo. Idededicate ko po ang desisyon ko para sa inyo, at para sa inyong mga apo.
You often told us that you were thankful to God for giving us, your children, as gifts to you and Dad. Just like the way I am always grateful to Him for choosing you to be our Mom.