Even days before, I already had in mind about writing a little tribute in honor of the very special woman in my life, my Nanay (Mother). I did try hard to compose something better than my previous works, sadly it proves futile. Instead of focusing on my blog contents, my drive to produce a sensible blog this time, creates more hassle than help. I cannot focus. I was bewildered. So I let the thinking cool down a bit, doze off greatly from time to time, repel what negativity comes to mind and just savor what the heart wants to say.
After a considerable time, I had me bolted in my seat typing this. It’s nothing spectacular actually. But, however mediocre this piece may seem, know that it comes from my heart. Anyhow, my Nanay knowing her as an avid fan of my humble writings, would love this. She may even cry upon knowing I am writing about her… OK, no more nonsense, I promise.
My Nanay has been a significant person affecting me and the way I view life. With her as the only (aside from me of course) woman in the family, expectedly, most of what I know now and what I am now, is a lifelong result from being her as my guide and fortress. But she knows this does not hold true to every aspect. She is not much of a disciplinarian but she is neither a carefree Mom who thinks less about her offspring. She is one concerned Mama whose naïvety can sometimes drive you crazy. Yes, she’s as naïve as my four-year old nephew, Xian. And we love to tease her and play her ignorance about things serious and trivial. To a times, she would cry, while us, we giggle to death.
Look in those eyes… Listen to that dear voice… Notice the feeling of even a single touch that is bestowed upon you by that gentle hand ! Make much of it while yet you have that most precious of all gifts. Read the unfathomable love of those eyes; the anxiety of that tone and look, however slight is your pain. In after life you may have friends, fonds, dears, but never you will have again the inexpressible love & gentleness levished upon you which none but a mother bestows.
It’s not that we like to see her cry. It’s just to let her know that being a mother doesn’t always have to be serious all the time. That an innocent mistake can be a source of healthy fun among the family members. A fun that’s worth keeping and laughing.
There’s nothing so special about Nanay, except that she can juggle her time between her so many and often schedule-conflicting responsibilities as a Laity and that as our mother. As an active member of the Church (a Legionary for almost two decades already, a chapel leader and an officer, BEC coordinator, etc.), Nanay is probably the busiest woman I know. Although sometimes I would have preferred her to give up her many responsibilities in the church and just focused to her role as our mother, she refused and rejected the idea. At times I had a hard time figuring out why she had to do what she was doing, why we had to compete with other people just so we could have a moment with her, why sometimes we refuted on petty quarrels as a consequence of her responsibilities, but eventually, after witnessing (for almost twenty-eight years now) on first hand her passion with the little endeavors she had, I realized that her role as a mother is not only confined to the corners of our home– to us her immediate family but instead to wherever her presence is needed, may it be inside or outside the church. Reaching out and extending her hand to those who needs her is something I cannot take away from her, not even me her biological child.
And because of that, I loved her. I loved her stubbornness to stand with her ideals. I envy the fortitude and humility she possesses, something which I am finding hard to practice. She is a modern-day martyr who opts to be submissive to other people’s opinion to prevent possible clash, although sometimes situations just flare up uncontrollably.
As a practicing Catholic, Nanay brought us up to be faithful and true professors of our faith. Perhaps, my decision to consider entering the religious life has been affected, one way or the other, consciously or unconsciously by what I saw Nanay had been lovingly working since long time ago. I could not imagine Nanay without her church activities and the church without my Nanay in it. The one can’t be separated from the other. But she is nevertheless, still a person, not a saint.
There are however qualities which I wish would somehow disappear from her as much as there are odd/weird/bizarre personality that is uniquely Nanay’s, as she is not at all perfect. Like when she suddenly becomes a monster (just kidding) and initiates an argument, although this becomes visible only occasionally. I think, like Tatay (Father), we half- understand what causes such outpouring of emotion. It’s most likely the mental and physical stress, not to mention the severe fatigue that gets through her due to the varying work she had that made her react that way. That’s why sometimes instead of arguing with her, I just agree to what she has to say, for I know she’ll eventually cool down and therefore realize her mistake. (I think I did learn from her the strategy how to keep mum when the need to become a sudden PWD arises). But the good thing about her is that, she knows how to accept her mistakes, sometimes she just needs other people to help her figure that out.
As the kind of mother that she is, Nanay did her best to compensate for her little shortcomings. In fact she is a trying hard-to-be-perfect mother. Yes, she may indeed not be a perfect mom for us, but I believe she did what she can to do her role, as best she deemed it to be. Even if it means she’ll have to pass a meal so we could have ours, or keeping up with her “housewife roles” simultaneously with her out-of-home church responsibilities.
“A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.”
For the countless times that Mother made me feel loved, for the many instances that she unconsciously affirmed to me that I am unconditionally loved beyond my imperfections and failures as a daughter, as a sibling, as a person, for assuring me without having to verbalize it that even if I am the most useless, incapable person in the world, or even if I happen to be born handicapped of something, she will stood by me through it all and loved me for me; for this I am honored to have her as my mother, however imperfect she may appear to anybody.
” For all the ways you’ve helped me grow I want to say I love you so.”
Happy Mother’s Day Nanay Dora! And to all Mamas, Moms, Mums and Nanays out there! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to live, enjoy and experience life! Mwah! Mwah! Tsup! Tsup!