10 May There is no JUAN without MAMA
I used to cry when I see old couples walking hand in hand because it gives me a foresight what is to come. I chanced upon a post on facebook not so many years ago which changed my perspective on my mom drastically. I began to understand that it is not easy to be old. It isn’t easy to be alone all the time with no one wanting to talk to you. In 2013, I gave up my position in my former company and focused on JUAN so I would have enough time to spend with my then aging mother. Everyday I tried to make her feel that she is not alone. I spoke to her more often, told her stories about my life even when I knew she had a hard time comprehending. Everyday, I became grateful just to see her, even when she isn’t the same like what she was 10 years ago.
I used to look at my mom and found the strength that I needed to press on, to keep pressing on. It took one look, knowing that she is breathing, knowing that I had every reason to surpass the insurmountable, to believe that God is always in control, to fight to live and to give life a fighting chance even if many times I felt like I was at the losing end. To many of us our mothers were our life lines. Our mothers were our reasons to succeed.
When I was younger, I used to cry to my mom whenever I felt down, until last year, I cry alone. I didn’t want to burden her with my problems, because I know she deserves better. Knowing that she was just in the next room gave me the courage to strive harder and reach for my dreams. Our dreams – those dreams that we started building when I was little. My mom has always been my source of strength and my reason to succeed. She was my unfailing inspiration. Everything I did was for mommy. She is and will always be, “the wind beneath my wings.”
She never complained when she gave me more, leaving her with almost nothing. She was always proud of me, clipping every article I ever wrote and showing the scrapbook to practically everyone she knew. And when she suffered a mild stroke in 2006, tables were turned and I had to be strong for my mom, the way that she was always strong for me. I’d fight for my mom anytime, any day. She may not be as pretty as she was when she was 40. But the lines on her face, the wrinkled skin show how beautiful she is inside. Every line in my mom’s face tells a story of how we both struggled to where we are now. Mas matapang pa rin ako kapag kasama ko si mama. Mas lumalaban pa rin ako pag nasa harap ko ang nanay ko. If there is one legacy my mom would leave me, it is her unwavering faith, praying without ceasing, and her giving, and giving, even when there was no more to give. On her 78th birthday, my brother asked my mom: “if there was one legacy you would leave us, what would it be?” My mom quickly replied: “yung mapagparaya.” My mom may not have given me all the luxuries in the world, but her selfless love for her children is more than priceless.
My mom died on Sept. 6, 2014, and my life has drastically changed ever since. And in my most trying moments I would still remember my mom and everything that she had taught me.
Today, Mother’s Day, is the first time that I would be celebrating it without her. So I, together with everybody from JUAN.com.ph have decided to pay tribute to our mothers, and all the mothers in the world for their unselfish love for their children.
What do we say to someone who has lived their lives more fruitful than ours? What do we say to someone who risked her life to bring us to this world? What do we say to our mothers whom we owe everything that we are to? Today, we take that chance to show our appreciation for everything that you have done for us. Without you, we don’t know where we would be.
We have always seen our mothers, especially those who have reached their ripen age as our beacon of light, our shinning stars. For many of us, you are our source of inspiration. We do want to be what you have become. You have showed us the right path and have guided us through all these years.
You were our “idols.” Pag laki ko gusto kong maging parang nanay ko! That’s what we used to say. You are our unsung heroes, the wind beneath our wings. You are our one-man cheering squad who clapped, hollered and cheered as we were reciting the closing lines of our declamation pieces. You memorized it with us, recited it with us, even if to a point, you looked silly. We’re sure you felt silly while emphatically reciting every word that you have co-memorized with us, your children. Through the worst times of our lives, our mothers were presidents of our so-called “fans clubs,” our prayer warriors, our head cheerleaders. You were where we found peace and solace. Whenever you said: “kaya mo yan!” We knew in our heart of hearts that yes, indeed we can! It was your belief in us, your unwavering faith in us, that brought us to who we have become today.
You were our first loves. Our first hugs and kisses. Our first glimpse of what love is all about. Until we found our true loves, our careers and our families. Our mothers, the very people who brought us to where we are supposed to be, took the backseat, while we, your children were already in full speed to the future. We all got caught up with our daily routines that we spent less and less time with you, when we should have given you more. Instead of demanding, you were patiently waiting for us, understanding that we too have lives to live. Instead of forcing your way on us, you let us be. You let us make our own choices, and you supported these choices, our ambitions, our dreams, even when you felt afraid for us that we maybe disappointed should we not make it.
Yet, there were times when we could have given more. We your children think the same thing: what else can we give you, when we know you already have everything that you could ever want in your life? What else can we give you when you already have achieved so much in life? What can we, your children, as inexperienced as we are, give you, when life has already taught you valuable lessons which you have already imparted to us, your children? What then can we give you?
We chanced upon this short message while I was browsing through my facebook. And today, we wish to share with you our awakening:
When I get old, I hope you understand and have patience with me
In case I break the plate, or spill soup on the table because I’m losing my eyesight, I hope you don’t yell at me.
Older people are sensitive, always having self-pity when you yell.
When my hearing gets worse and I can’t hear what you’re saying, I hope you don’t call me ‘Deaf!’
Please repeat what you said or write it down.
I’m sorry, my child.
I’m getting older.
When my knees get weaker, I hope you have the patience to help me get up.
Like how I used to help you while you were little, learning how to walk.
Please bear with me, when I keep repeating myself like a broken record, I hope you just keep listening to me.
Please don’t make fun of me, or get sick of listening to me.
Do you remember when you were little and you wanted a balloon? You repeated yourself over and over until you get what you wanted.
Please also pardon my smell. I smell like an old person.
Please don’t force me to shower.
My body is weak.
Old people get sick easily when they’re cold. I hope I don’t gross you out.
Do you remember when you were little? I used to chase you around because you didn’t want to shower.
I hope you can be patient with me when I’m always cranky. It’s all part of getting old.
You’ll understand when you’re older.
And if you have spare time, I hope we can talk even for a few minutes.
I’m always all by myself all the time, and have no one to talk to.
I know you’re busy with work.
Even if you’re not interested in my stories, please have time for me.
Do you remember when you were little? I used to listen to your stories about your teddy bear.
When the time comes, and I get ill and bedridden, I hope you have the patience to take care of me.
I’m sorry if I accidentally wet the bed or make a mess.
I hope you have the patience to take care of me during the last few moments of my life.
I’m not going to last much longer, anyway.
When the time of my death comes, I hope you hold my hand and give me strength to face death.
And don’t worry..
When I finally meet our creator, I will whisper in his ear to bless you. Because you loved your Mom.
Thank you so much for your care.
I love you. ! ♥
We are as guilty as any child who has been busy with their lives, chasing after their dreams, thereby having less time to spend with their aging parents. We are as guilty, as any child who once showed impatience to their parents, particularly to their moms, who thought they were like broken records, asking the same question four to five times in a row. We are as guilty as any child who has reacted violently to the advice of our moms. But today, we’d like to rectify that. We would like to give more.
Today, as we bring you our for lunch or dinner, as we cook your favorite meal for you, and as we remember you, and live our lives just as how you taught us to live, we would like to say thank you for making us who we are. We understand that you don’t need much from us, but you just need more of us — time, patience and love. A little hug, a simple touch, a free lunch or an hour of chatting, a little respect that you truly much deserve. That is already everything to you.
Thank you mommy for everything that you have done for us, for being our inspiration, our light, our guide. Thank you for loving us more than you have loved yourselves. We would always cherish what it is to sit on your laps, kissing the pain of our “sugats and gasgas” away. Thank you for giving us your legacy of living with integrity, working with honesty, honor beyond any material wealth, and for showing us the dignity in labor. Thank you for showing us the right path to God.
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but the woman/man who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)