I will always remember that time when I was lying at the hospital. A few hours after being moved from the recovery room, the doctor said that I am not allowed to talk or open my mouth at all or make any movement for the next 24 hours. I can only drink water by having a wet cloth or cotton damped on my lips. You were there. I slowly woke up and opened my eyes as you lightly comb my hair. You were staring at my face. As I do the same to you.
I notice how old you’ve gone. Your hair had turned gray. Your face had its remarkable age lines. Your skin had wrinkled. Yet, you’re still so beautiful. It was one fleeting moment that I got to look at you. Tears started to fall from my eyes. You simply smiled and wiped them away. You asked if I want water, I nodded and you got me that dampened cotton. I wanted to touch your face. To feel those wrinkles. But I can’t move. It’s as if my whole body was nailed on that bed. All I can do was stare at your face.
I remember you telling us about your childhood days and how it felt growing up with Lola as a your mother. Every command needs to be done right then and there. Delayed responses will cost a sharp piing either on the armpit or on the “singit”. You tell us that not a day goes by without you crying. If one of your younger siblings was heard crying, you will automatically responsible for it and again, you get more pinching. You told them before that you wanted to study for college, Lola said no, and you appealed no further.
I rarely remember the times you said no to us. I clearly remember you line whenever you use a stick on us though. “Ayokong mamalo kasi masakit, pero kapag nasimulan ko na, ang sarap na mamalo.” I shared to you that it was true and that I borrowed your line for use in my classroom. I also remember our neighbors asking what you feed us because your kids are so smart. You just smile and say that you feed us “gulay” and fish and avoid processed foods like noodles and sardines. Each of us also gets our daily cup of taho from our favorite taho dealer. I wonder how you managed to stretch that Papa’s meager budget to feed us all healthily.
Your childhood had been full of pain, yet you never let us feel that way.
Now that you are back in Lola’ side, I understand why Lola wants you to be the one to take care of her right now even just for a little while. You have that warm and very light hands for touching. It’s very soothing and relaxing. You have soft voice for humming that puts us to sleep. You have that caring heart that cannot say no to anyone in need. Something that is natural in you.
You are that Godly mom every child would be so blessed to have.
If there is a standard on how to be a good wife and mother, you definitely get all A’s on it. If there is an award-giving body for the best mom in the world or the universe, I would definitely nominate you and defend why you deserve that title. I don’t want another mother, but I don’t mind having other mothers just like you around me.
As promised, now that we’re all grownups, we will try to give you that life you deserve. We will try to let you feel how wonderful having you in our lives. We will take care of you, sing for you, take you to places and many more, just ask.
For the meantime, I guess, let’s be textmates. Update me with what’s going on with you and lola. Tell what kind of things you wanna buy while in there. And oh, your minigrocery is temporarily closed. But Papa opens it every now and then to sell the indian mangoes he harvested from our tree. The kitchen is still intact so as the entire house until further notice. Papa is enjoying the cooking for us until I don’t know when. Sundays are a bit slow with you not waking us up to go to church.
We miss you. Come home soon.
I love you. You should hear us sing that new song Papa had composed for Mother’s Day!