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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mother's Day makes me sad

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!

Anyway, I've been avoiding my darling blogging community the last few days because it was Mother's Day weekend and I just didn't want to read about how happy you are to have your moms around. Makes the emptiness in my heart just a wee bit more hollow, you know? But that didn't mean I didn't think of Mama--though I did try not to so I wouldn't be sad, but hey, maybe sadness isn't too bad. So today I finally allowed myself to wallow.

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.

Sure, I may not have been able to get her her house but I was able to do this one thing for her... When I got married in 2007, and Mama walked down that aisle looking like a queen, I was so happy for her. When the wedding came out in the society pages and the people who had put her down and sneered at her all those years for being poor and unlucky began calling her up and wanted to be friends again, I was happy for her. She had a daughter who made her proud, and I was that daughter. I gave her a reason to lift her chin again. And I am never going to regret that.

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.

18 comments:

  1. Ms Frances, this post got me all choked up. *hugs* No matter what age, we all need our mommies pa rin.

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  2. I feel for you. I'm going through what you went through. Our house was nice and, well, repairs are expensive and an education and food on the table are more important. My mother isn't with me as well. There are times when I would wake up in the morning and feel like crap because I had a dream of her naglalambing sa akin. I miss her. And I'm glad that it all worked out for you. It gives me hope that this situation I'm going through will come to pass and I too will have my day under the sun once more. Thank you.

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  3. Wonderfully written Ms. F! I was teary-eyed. I'm not close to my mother but I made sure she's appreciated. You've gone too far and you know by heart your Mama's very proud up there in heaven. :)

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  4. your post made me teary eyed. i still have my mama & i cannot imagine her gone.

    that's a very beautiful pic of you & your parents. your mom was really beautiful; looked very elegant in her outfit. :)

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  5. You have such a good and honest heart. Something so refreshing to me, an avid follower of so many blogs. I love how you never gloss things over and pretend that life is extremely & supremely perfect.

    God bless you Frances, and your family too (especially dear Jellybean!). :)

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  6. a very beautiful and inspiring post. your mom must have been so proud and happy to have you :)

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  7. regrets or no regrets,
    your intentions meant well.
    <3 one of my favorite posts.

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  8. loved this post. beautifully written.

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  9. Thanks everybody. My heart was broken and writing about it eases the pain. So I guess you'll see more posts about Mama here. Grief is a strange thing--it never fades away =(

    Anonymous May 12, we'll always miss our mommies but life goes on. We need to move on, though I do think it's healthy to stop and grieve sometimes =)

    AEC, yes, didn't Mama look so amazing at my wedding??? Utterly amazing!

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  10. Frances, being a mother myself, I'm pretty sure your mom is very very proud to have you for a daughter. I couldn't help but get teary eyed while reading your post.

    And yes, your mom really looked very elegant and beautiful on your wedding day.

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  11. Anonymous May 14, thank you. My mother-in-law said the same thing--that a mother always understands. Sigh!

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  12. Awww, I'm late on reading this, but I still want to say that you inspire me to be a good daughter. My mom and I are not that close, and we fight at times, as in REALLY FIGHT. But at the end of the day, I still want to be a good daughter while she is around. Thanks for sharing this, Frances. I hope you're feeling all good now!

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  13. Aww, I just read this, Neighbor! Your mom was gorgeous at your wedding! And I think she passed away happy and knowing your were settled in your life, and she was delighted at the thought of you buying her dream home and car. But mothers, being generous as they are, maybe she wanted you to have it instead :) Anyway, what a heart-pinching post!

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  14. hi ms. frances :)

    while bloghopping i stumbled upon yours and i instantly became a fan. i am a wedding enthusiast so when i found 'My Wedding' in your 'what i write about', i immediately clicked it and this first post that i've read is really touching. I hope someday I'll be able to make my mom proud too (as proud as your mom is of you, I hope) :)

    You are very inspiring and I'll sure be a regular reader.

    More power!

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  15. Hello Frances.

    I'm your new lurker here. I saw your blog link from Daphne's blog recently lang and I got hooked in reading your blog entries already.

    There are lots of stories from your past entries (i started reading from the oldest moving to the newest) that moved me, or touched me, but this one really moved me to tears.

    Sometimes, I can see myself in your stories. My mom is an accountant too and she wants us to be like her too pero all of us (5 daughters) hate numbers so no one followed her steps. I remember when I almost failed one sem of Interior Design because of one subject, she was really convincing me to shift to accounting already. Buti na lang, hindi ako bumagsak. Now, I'm earning good enough as a designer pero I still yet to buy my mom a dream house. Sana, i can do that as soon as possible.

    I enjoy reading your blog :-)

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  16. Thanks, Peachy =) If I had to do it all over again, I'd at least call Mama more often. I've always been taught to not lose sight of the goal but in doing so, I ignored everything else, especially the one I was doing all this for! I'm taking that lesson with me and applying it on my marriage and kids.

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