Thank you to everyone who greeted me a happy mommy's day. That really amused me since, technically, I'm still a mom-to-be but, gee, I already am taking care of a little one in my tummy and a fat rabbit in the utility area so yup, that makes me a mom! Thanks!
Happy Mother's Day to you, too--moms of their own kids, pets, nephews and nieces--as long as you're taking care of someone, I salute you!
I was thinking today of this huge irony in my life: Mama had always wanted a nice house in a nice neighborhood. Our house used to be nice but decay had set in and we didn't have the money to do repairs so the house just became... well, not nice. Also, our once quiet neighborhood had become a den of thieves and peeping Toms, the kind that needed tall fences, dead bolts and driveway alarms, so Mama always talked about moving to another place.
She loved looking at the Crown Asia subdivisions in Antipolo--Maia Alta, Cottonwood--pretty little communities nestled far up in the hills. She'd say she'd buy a white car so she can visit us and she'd plant a pretty garden because Mama had an awfully green thumb and she can make dead things come to life.
So when I started working, I promised Mama I'd buy her a house in Cottonwood (it was nicer there, I thought). Vince knew this dream and agreed with me--we were going to buy Mama a house! Of course, a house and lot (and that white car) don't come cheap so I really spent the last decade just slaving away. I had a day job and then I had many other projects--PR writing here, web content there, and magazine articles, too. I seemed to be endlessly writing and never sleeping. Mama said she understood whenever I couldn't see her. I was just too damn busy, yes, but it was all for buying her that house! I hardly saw her the last few years of her life but I was getting there, getting closer to our dream.
On February 14, 2008--her 63rd birthday--I told her that with the way things are going, Vince and I would most likely buy her her own house and lot as her 65th birthday gift. She was so giddy. She died a few months later.
A few months after we buried Mama, I got a big raise. I remember looking at that piece of paper and just feeling... nothing. Just this vast emptiness that threatened to swallow me up and never spit me out. I think I went on a shopping spree for me, Vince, my sister and my nieces. I don't really remember.
Do I regret working too much when I could've spent that time with her? Sometimes I do, most times I don't. I did it for her, you see.
Still, when Mother's Day comes rolling around, or her birthday, or mine, or the holidays, or when this whole motherhood thing crashes down on me and I get terrified at becoming a mom myself, I do wish she were still around so that I don't have to be so strong and so brave all the time. Because really, most of the time, I don't have any idea how life works and it would be so nice to have a mother around. Even for just a little while.