My mother is probably the strongest person I know. She married late , during their time 30 yrs old was late. She came from the upper middle class while my dad came from the lower middle class but was hard working. My mother was a PE and English teacher. Actually she met my dad during the wedding of her older sister she was maid of honor and my dad was best man.
She was the 7th in a family of 9 and the 2 daughter of 3. Since my father was in the US Navy he was only able to come home every 3-4 years. So I can imagine how hard it was for my mom to take care of all of us. The first year of marriage she had my older brother. My Dad was allowed to come home for his 1rst birthday and left me still developing when he left. I did not see my dad until I was almost 4. It was always my mom for me and my brother. We had our own house and my grandmother, my dad’s mom lived with us. My mom got along well with her mother in law, she took care of her until she died.
My mom was finally able to follow my dad to Hawaii, and was able to stay wherever he was assigned. In Hawaii my mom had my 2 younger brothers both with 3 yrs in between. I think my mom was scared to go to an unknown land without knowing anyone but she handle herself well. She manage to raise 4 children and to travel where ever my dad was. To meet different people and cultures. She was the pillar of strength in our family. Religious and caring. She would help others often. She taught me at a young age to cook and clean the house. She also learned to sew so she sewed all our clothes and uniforms to minimize expenses.
When we came home in 1973 to the Philippines, she was so happy being back in here own home. But sad to say her happiness was short lived , in1977 my dad died in an automobile accident. My mom, a helper and me were with him that time. It was there I saw how strong my mom was. She pushed me out and climb out too. She had no shoes so she was walking on hot cemented road (this happened at 12 noon) I did not see her panic or cry but only to shout for help. She got 3rd degree burns on her sole. When someone did stop and bring me to the hospital she took charge. She was calm and collected. At the hospital which was in the same town and just 1 town before my hometown people were panicking around me they thought I was the one severely injured because of all the blood, a head cut can cause that.
When they brought my dad and mom to the hospital, I was already better. She was placed in the next stall and my dad was at the morgue DOA. When my mother asked about my dad and was told I could clearly hear her say calmly “did you call for a priest?” I did not hear the loud crying and shouting like in the movies.
When my aunt and uncle arrived they thought I was the one injured and when they finally asked “where is Jesus?” thinking my dad was settling the bill. When they heard the news, they cried and that was the only time I heard my mom cry.
My mom was young only 51 then, my dad died at 50. But even though she was left alone at a young age she was able to raise 4 children and have them graduate college, a doctor, a nurse and 2 mechanical engineers. She budgeted her pension from dad and our schooling allowance.
But even thought my mom only had a pension, she never said “no” to any brothers and sisters even sister-in-laws when ever they come running to borrow. Sometimes she never bothers to ask them to pay back. Some would some didn’t. My mom turned to the church, helping and cleaning, whatever the Mother Butler Guild does. She was their president for more than 20 years and also a parish council the treasurer. Whenever there is not enough money in the church funds or when there is an unaccountable lack of funds, she would just cover it.
The best thing she did was to accept me back home, pregnant and alone. She helped me raise my daughter with all the love and care. Thank you mom for loving and accepting me. She was never embarrassed going to church or attend functions with me in tow, pregnant. It made me realize I should not be ashamed, everyone makes mistakes and no one is perfect. My mom was always calm and patient, I have never seen her in a panic mode.
Now that my Mom is 89 years old and has memory lapse, it is my turn to take care of her with all the love and care she gave me. I try to celebrate occasions with her so this Mother’s Day we will have dinner at a very good restaurant here with my daughter, my helper and her husband and kids and I also invited my cousin and her daughter also a single mom.
I only hope I was as good as a mother to my daughter as my mother was to me. I chose this picture because it was taken when she turned 88 last Dec. I can see the sparkle of my old mom in her eyes, but I know I can never have her back as she was but I hope she will stay with me as long as possible. Caring for her may be stressful but I can do it…..Because she is my Mother and I love her. I also hope someday my daughter will care for me too.
If this is too long please bear with me 300 words is not enough to talk about my mom. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL MOMS!