This was the year that my mom got married. This was the year that my mom decided to do things for herself. She was still stuck in a Filipino world, where everything was still traditional and easier, but when she turned 27, she said enough to everything and decided to do what she loved most.
I cannot even begin to describe the woman who gave birth to me.
Growing up, I’ve always believed that we were so different. I always remember that I would say that I was NOTHING like her, and that EVERYTHING that I am now, I got from my Dad. Little did I know, I would continuously be proven wrong. People who have grown up with her, who’ve known her in her adult life, stop me in my tracks and tell me how much I remind them of her. That is basically a HUGE compliment to the woman who bore me life. I never get the end of how much I smile like her, be as charming as she is, as friendly and warm she is to strangers. Until now, I’m surprised with how much I get of her.
Ours is not an ideal mother-daughter relationship. She was always the disciplinarian when she was still here in the Philippines. I remember being so scared after breaking a glass, eventually learning how to breathe afterwards when my dad and his siblings assured me that it was okay. They said it was a good thing my mom wasn’t there because I would receive the biggest reprimand from a parent ever. Little did they know, I would usually get that, and it wasn’t that big, because I was used to it. She became a stranger to me when we moved to the States. She was so busy with working and providing food on the table that she was rarely at home. I remember being so scared of her, and would have that feeling of hate towards her. It’s something that I’m not proud of. Being a daddy’s girl, I would always think of my dad first before her. Our relationship only started when she decided that I had to come back to the home I’ve always known.
For a mom, being so far away from her daughter for so long, that was probably the most hardest thing she must have experienced in her life. Never mind that she wasn’t used to this kind of life, or she had to break her back just to make ends meet. Being away from someone you gave birth to and have brought up for 14 years, most probably breaks her heart every day. I don’t even know how I could deal with that. The only thing I know is that I don’t want to go through what she’s been going through for the past 10 years we’ve been apart.
My mom has never failed to call me every week, or every other week. Of course as a kid and teen, I would always take it for granted. I never knew how much it affected me until that fateful day when I was in college. A friend pointed out that I was being so difficult to deal with and so he tried finding out what was wrong with me. He eventually realized that my mom missed her weekly calls, and then I realized how much I relied on her calling me. It didn’t matter if we fought, talked about nonsensical things, but just hearing her voice made me feel okay. Friends would always remark on how lucky I was that my mom would always get me the newest things in the states–how I’d get them in big boxes and not the usual one by one piece that they would. I would always explain that it’s the only thing that could compensate for her absence. It definitely wasn’t ideal, but for her to do that when I knew it was already hard for her financially, that was enough for me.
Not everything is right as rain. I still envy those who physically have their moms near them. I still feel the sadness and isolation that people feel when their family is a thousand miles away. No material thing will be able to compensate her absence, no one else can replace her in my life.
Through this whole ordeal, our relationship has become stronger. Without asking her to be there for me, she makes sure that she’s actually there. It’s good that I work at night now, because I’m up the same time she is. For the first time in our relationship, we talk more online than on the phone. Actually, the tables have turned. Instead of her being the one to call me, I’m the one now that calls her at odd times of the day–just because I missed her. When my shift changes to an earlier one, she wakes up earlier and goes online. She talks to me while cooking breakfast, during her lunchtime, and even when gets home. She has become more than my mom, she is now my bestest friend. I’m able to tell her when I’m sad, happy, or even tell her what I’m going to wear for the next day. I seriously think that if she wasn’t there in my life, I wouldn’t know what to do. Despite that she’s never emotional and I always am, she makes it a point to let me see her emotional side. She lets me see that she’s not just a mom, but as a person too. I read her thoughts, feel her pains and understand why she is who she is.
Our family may not be the most ideal one. What I definitely know is that I don’t want it to be the same with the family I will make and have in the future. What inspires me more now is to be the mom that she is to me. I see her compassion and understanding for my brother. I see the love she has for my dad. I see and feel how much it matters to her to reach out to me.
My mother is my hero. She pulls me out of the most troubling things I’ve been in even if she’s not physically here. She loves me despite my many flaws and mistakes. I will always work hard to be like her, though I know, she is on a different plane than I would ever be. No one could ever compare to her, and no one would ever be able to replace her in my life. I am nothing without my mom.
I love you, Mommy. Without you, I wouldn’t be the woman that I am now. I may not have done the things that you’ve done when you got to this age, but as I remind you everyday, things are different now. 🙂 I will always try to make you proud no matter what I do. Thank you for being my strength, and courage for each day of my life. Not a single day goes by with me not thinking of you. ♥