It does not matter how old you and I are. Our mothers will always love us and will always look at us and see a child. I suppose it can be unnerving or unsettling at times, particularly when you reach 30 or are pushing 40, but that's just how mothers are. They just love us to death! I should know. I'm a mom and I fiercely love my kids. Does not sound so tender does it -- but the strength of a mother's love, I suppose, is just unfathomable.
It is about a month to Mother's Day and am sure most of us kids are wracking our brains on what to give our mothers. I share here a piece I wrote for Philippine Fiesta (the Filipino-American community newspaper I write for which is based in Sacramento) last May 7, 2004. Even as you search for a store-bought gift for mom, please consider these "gifts that you can't buy mom."
Mommy. Mama. Mom. Inay. Nanay. Ima. What's in a name? A mother, by any name, would be as loving. In a few days, it will be Mother's Day. I have no recollection of Mother's Day as a child. I suppose, we hadn't adopted the practice of celebrating this occasion in the Philippines that early. Well, I'm glad we have started celebrating it in recent years, as "mothers" truly deserve a day (in fact, more than a day) in their honor.
WRITE HER A NOTE. Better than grabbing that cute commercially-bought card, why don't you write mom an old-fashioned, hand-written note? I'm sure you'll find the right words to thank her for all that she has done for you all these years. Express your gratitude for her taking care of you as a child; for supporting you in all your endeavors; for her unconditional love. There is really something about the written word. Your mother can re-read your letter repeatedly. Your thoughts will also be better organized.
LIVE YOUR LIFE RIGHT. You do not have to be the richest nor the most distinguished. Be a good person. Do your best. Be considerate and kind. In the vernacular, there is a saying: "Hindi namumunga ng mangga ang santol." With apologies to the santol ( a local fruit which most of us love), this means that the kind of person your mother (or father, for that matter) is, will dictate the kind of person you will be. The statement is a bit unfair, to a certain extent, for we all individually choose the path that we eventually take. Our faults are totally our own. We cannot get away from the notion though that if you turned out well, you were raised right by your parents. "Maganda ang palaki."
BE THERE FOR YOUR OWN KIDS. If you are a mother yourself, the best tribute you can give your own mother is to be a good mother to your own children. Spend time with them. Play with them. Talk and listen to them. You'd be amazed at how much they retain and remember.
PRAY FOR THEM. Say a prayer for your mother. Better yet, say a prayer for all mothers. Offer a rosary or a mass. Thank the Lord for all the years that He has given your mother to you. Pray for her continued good health.
Even the Lord pays tribute to all mothers. In Isaiah 49:15, it is stated: "So the Lord answers: 'Can a woman forget her own baby and not love the child she bore? Even if a mother should forget her child, I will never forget you.'" So I suppose, while on earth, the closest thing to God's love for us would be the love shown to us by our mothers. Mothers are truly blessings.
So to all mothers, Happy Mother's Day! To my own mother, Aurora, who as her name implies, is truly like the dawn - constantly present, one bright day after another - all my gratitude and love.
[By Angelica Viloria | Wednesday, April 6, 2005]
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