Yes, today is my 23rd birthday. I am now starting to understand why some adults aren’t as hyped as I expected them to whenever their birthday occurs. It’s another candle on the cake. It’s another year closer to grave. It’s another year to start becoming hopeful again.
It’s another year of same routine for me—school and home all over again.
Hence, I decided NOT to talk about me today.
I’m strong, I’m sure, I’m in control, a lady with a plan.
Believing that life is a neat little package I hold in my hand.
I’ve got it together, they call me ‘the girl who knows just what to say and do’
Still I fumble and fall, run into the wall, ’cause when it comes to you,
I’m just another woman in love.
—-excerpt from the song, “Just Another Woman in Love” by Anne Murray. This is her favorite song in the karaoke. I think those lines from the song is a clear overview on who she really is.
Twenty-three years ago exactly from today, it was also a Sunday. It was also Mother’s Day. It was no different probably from today, except that Manny Pacquiao does not have a match then. It was five minutes until seven in the morning. Finally, after three seemingly endless days of having premature labor her work was successfully finished. She was almost thirty-three years old then, she’s no longer young. From exhaustion, she fell into a deep slumber. Thus, she wasn’t the first one who first saw the shadow of her firstborn. She wasn’t even the first one who heard the babe cry to the world that it was alive. But at that moment her life was changed forever.
She now understands why such day like Mother’s Day exists.
It wasn’t an easy task for her. Nobody would ever tell me that motherhood is easy. Three years after my birth, she gave birth to another daughter. Five years later, when nobody is expecting her to have a child anymore, she gave birth to a son. She is a modern career woman. She is a Certified Public Accountant and even earned her Master’s in Business Administration even if she did not come from a rich family. She’s lucky enough to have parents who did their best in order to supplant her and her five other siblings their respective college degrees.
She is not the perfect mother. But who is? Her homemaking skills may still need some more practice but she is intelligent and hardworking. She knows exactly how to budget her money without the feel that she is really budgeting. She is probably one of the world’s corniest people but she laughs a lot. You would just fall in love with her laugh over and over again. She rage at times which I found the most annoying trait of her, but often that is because she loves us all so much and as I grow older, I found out that sometimes love is devoid of reasons and sometimes we hurt the people we love thinking that it is the best in them.
This is clearly the stage in my life wherein I realized that the reasons why I disliked you at times because are because I disliked myself. However, it is evident that every single day, our similitude in our behavior, beliefs and actions became more substantial in me. Of course we have differences like I am more expressive than you with my feelings. I dislike some of the foods you like. I wouldn’t eat kiamoy to save my life. I wouldn’t understand too what’s up with you and buying bags all the time. But whether you like it or not, I would become like you. Now that I realized it, I become more confident and happy about myself. It would be an honor to be like you. We are corny, crazy, hotheaded at times but we are both self-sacrificing for the sake of our family. Nothing comes first before family. We are both trusting in God. We like going on to many places. We always order what is new on the menu. We are both mababaw ang kaligayahan. We are crazy. For example, we are very mad at Gio now for screwing up but later we are hugging and kissing him like crazy while calling him all the pet names in the world. We both like talking about our friends even if we sometimes have no idea on who exactly are we talking about. We always have room for dessert even if we are already too full to move. We love fruits. We love accessories. We love learning.
We just love each other so much.
I hope that someday, I would become a mother too. I am not sure if I’ll ever be as great parent as you were to Le-Anne, Gio and I to my future children but I would teach them the things you taught us—-how to love unconditionally, to be trusting with your friend but more so in your own family, to put education first and fun later, to always have a sense of responsibility in all your actions and to always be humble upon God. I love you so much. Every day, I thank God for having you as my mother. You are one of my life’s biggest blessings. I know that I did give you headaches in the past which I am greatly remorseful and sorry. I hope you have more fond and happy memories of me than those negative ones. I do hope that you did not regret having me as your daughter. Thank you for choosing to take care of me endlessly since that Mother’s Day of 1988. Thank you for being brave enough to face the responsibility as a mother. Thank you for being our family’s Wonder Woman. I hope that someday I’ll make you and Daddy very, very proud of me.
I now understand why there is such thing as Mother’s Day. Actually, every single day is Mother’s Day. Once a mother decides to be a mother to her child, she never halts from that point on. Even if she’s far away or in vacation or in workplace, her heart would always be with her children. When she eats, she’ll worry if her children are eating well. When she sleeps alone, she would wonder if they are sleeping well. When she is in grocery, she is budgeting not to buy the things she wants for her to buy ice cream which her children would love. Mothers are the world’s greatest hero for me. Everyone would surely claim that they have the best mother in the world. But for the most part of the year, we take them for grated. Some avoid talking or hearing them out. Some would just not care. Perhaps, Mother’s Day is specially made for us to think and reflect on all the goodness that our mother had shown or sacrificed for us. It is the time to thank them and say sorry to them. Maybe she deserves hugs and kisses as well.
Thank God for mothers. I wouldn’t imagine what life would have been without them. Thank God that He gave me, Professor Olivia Custidio-Ayuyao as my mother. I wouldn’t say that she is the best mom. “Best” sounds too cheesy and unnatural for me. But definitely she is a good mom—the one you’ll treasure for the rest of your life.