She was my first teacher. Always patient and encouraging. She taught me my abc’s, my 123’s. She taught me how to do laundry and cook. She taught me love.
She is my fan. Always been and always will be, I guess. She believes so much in me that, unintentionally, she put some heavy weight on my shoulders. I’m not complaining. I can’t. Because I saw how much she herself endured throughout the years. I remember asking her one time if she ever grew tired of all the hardships she continues to face every day for and because of the family. She said no. But she told me she hopes some kind of let up someday. So I try to be strong for her.
She is my bestfriend. I can tell her things I’d not willingly tell my friends. I told her about the boys and the crazy things I did in college. I sometimes catch panic in her eyes. Maybe she’s thinking I’ve become so wild being away from home but she doesn’t say anything. She trusts me to the point of practically giving me a carte blanche for my life. And I have not the heart to break her faith. I love her so much for that.
She showed us that love is more strongly expressed in actions and service rather than words. She sacrificed her life for us, giving up her career the time the gave birth to me, becoming a homemaker and the kindest, best mother in the world. I think of her and one scene always plays in my head and I find myself on the verge of tears, a knot in my heart.
“Happy mother’s day Ma.” Then I kiss her on the cheek. She kisses me back and smiles. And I’m thinking, “Oh God, she has no idea how much I love her.” I smile a little ruefully. She really doesn’t know.
She has no idea how that her memory gave me comfort during the times I was away from home, all throughout college. She has no idea how I never look at adobo, luggage, well-pressed clothes, and kitchens without ever thinking of her.
She is the light the beckons us home. And I fear that if I lost her, the world would also lose its colors.