Mothers

12 May 2014
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I had such a wonderful Mother’s Day yesterday.  My amazing husband let me sleep in while he took care of the girls.  Then Ruthie and Noah made me a delicious breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes, bacon and eggs.  It was almost commercial-worthy… were it not for the pile of dishes I volunteered to clean up afterwards.  Miya even took a leisurely three-hour nap, which left me some time to sit back, sip coffee, read and indulge in something vaguely artistic.  In the midst of it all- I found myself reflecting on how lucky I was to have had a childhood filled with strong, admirable, willful women to look up to.

Some years- my parents and I would live apart from each other.  It was one of the consequences of being an OCW (Overseas Contract Worker) baby.  My mother had to work in Saudi Arabia and we would only see each other during Christmas vacations and summer.  I would be living in Philippines- either with my grandmother, or my aunt or living with nuns in a dormitory.  While it wasn’t ideal- I have such respect and love for all these women that raised me.  My grandmother– an incredibly strong, independent, respected member of her community.  I lived with her for several years as a toddler until I was around 5 or 6.  She was my first teacher.  She taught me to count out change to the waiting customers of her shop.  Tita Alona, my mom’s youngest sister, also took care of me while I lived with my grandmother.  I still have sepia-toned memories of eating breakfast with her while we waited for my school bus to take me to kindergarten.  Then, there was a time when I lived with Tita Belle, my mom’s middle sister.  She was my guide in those formative years- my moral compass, my friend and role model.  Then, of course, there is my mom, who have changed so many people’s lives for the better.  She is my anchor and I could always find comfort in her embrace.

I have had many mother figures through my life.  I am incredibly blessed to be surrounded by such amazing women; women who taught me the value of hard work, self-sacrifice, discipline and laughter.  These women shaped me into the woman I am today.  They have set a high standard in motherhood to which I judge myself everyday- and I am so thankful that my daughters have gotten to know them and will continue to be surrounded by their love.  I love you, Nanay.  I love you, Tita Belle and Tita Alona.  I love you, mommy.  Thank you so much for giving SO much.

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