Our Last Family Picture
I’m about to be a mom in a few days, that is, if my baby will cooperate and make her grand entrance on Aug 4, 2011. If not then I might have to go through some test that I assume will be painful or uncomfortable in the least. So, hopefully our little princess will be punctual unlike mommy who is always in the last 2 minutes before the start of every event.
But before I was preparing to be a mom, I have always been a daughter. A very spoiled one at that. I’m the youngest girl in the family, and was the center of my mom’s world. She was everything to me. She made feel like being loved is the most natural thing that every daughter deserves to feel. Her world stopped just to make sure mine was on the right track. No sacrifice was too big, I never had to suffer anything other than the petty things that kids has to go through during childhood. I felt invincible just because she was my mom, and she loved me so and I knew that when she is around, I will always be loved by her and no other person can harm me, lest they want to see the wrath of a mom protecting her child. She was everything to me, my dad, my super mom, my confidant, my head cheer leader, my best friend and my best enemy too. We had a love/hate relationship that would be so up and down it felt like a roller coaster ride at times. But regardless of how much we fought, our love was also as fierce. I dont think i can ever love any other person the same way. Maybe I can love as passionately, but not the SAME way I have loved my mother.
I also had a younger brother, and he and our mom had a different relationship. They became playmates. They would go to the zoo together, go to parks and have picnics. They did the things even my mom and I didn’t get to do. Maybe because while I growing up, our business wasn’t that established yet so my mom had to spend more time in the store working. Even though we saw different versions of our mom, I love my brother very, very much. When he was growing up, I took on the role of the disciplinarian, and my mom was the spoiler. So whenever my brother was being troublesome, my mom would call me to scare the heck out of him. I was the big, bad sister not to be messed with. Period.
And then one day, my world turned upside down. My mom was caught in a very bad situation. She was robbed and she got hurt. Very severely hurt that she didn’t survive. And it was the worse day of my life coz my mom is the strongest person I knew and all of a sudden she wasn’t there. I was so lost I didn’t want to move or feel anything. I wanted to be with her. I wanted to hurt every single person who hurt her, including myself for not being with her. I was in such excruciating pain all the time and I tormented myself even more by living every single moment I spent away from her. Every meal I missed, every night I spent out, every argument we had. The pain was so deep, I thought I would never resurface.
But whenever I would see my brother, I would pick myself up, act mature and strong to make sure he wouldn’t wallow in the misery I wished to stay in forever because of my grief. So he became my rock. My reason to get up in the morning, my reason to live. The same way I was the reason my mom wanted to live after she and my dad got separated. I had to learn to live so he can live too. I had to adjust my treatment of him, instead of being the unapproachable, strict “achi” or sister, I had to be the sister who he can talk to when he needed me. I had to learn to me a mom/sister to him. And 2 months after our mom passed, he told me how much he misses our mom, and we both shared our pain and grief…
While in grief, I would pray in church, and keep on asking God to please, please give her back to me. Like a child praying hard for something really wished for, I would promise to do anything, sacrifice anything… just let me sleep and wake up from this nightmare and everything would be a very bad memory. But every time I woke up, I would still be in the same bad dream. In the world where I didn’t have my mom with me to love me, and care for me. If pain, tears and heartaches could kill, I surely have already died a million deaths.
I had to make a choice for our future. To continue the family business here, or go abroad with our other siblings. I chose to stay here, and be responsible for the the stores in Divisoria my mom left. It was hard work, but I knew that I was more lucky than others who get left behind by their parents. And I’m lucky who had siblings who gave me room to grow. They let me do things the way I thought best with little interference and a lot of support.
To survive, I had to deceive myself that my mom is just on an extended vacation and I would have to be in charge while she’s away and I have to make her proud. It’s been 4 years… I sometimes still ask her in my prayers “Mom, I’ve been good, please come back now…I’m still waiting… ” or I would pray to God “God, please, please I beg you, please lend her to me, even just for 1 day, or in my dreams… please….” and sometimes I would see her in my dreams just like I prayed for…
I grew up the day our mom passed. I was 25. It felt like I turned 40 the day after. And up to this day, I would always ask my mom, “Am I doing this the right way?” Whenever my brother would be winning contests in school, or getting good grades or awards, I would feel like my mom and I raised him right. But whenever he would be so stubborn or lazy or irresponsible, I would still ask my mom “Mommy, how could you have handled me, my being maldita?, coz this is so hard! What should I do?!?” Thankfully my shoti is a good kid, he listens and understands. He makes me so proud, he makes our mom proud. He’s very unlike me growing up, gosh I was a handful. He’s thoughtful and considerate. Of course he falls flat on his face at times, he frustrates me so much I want to pull my hair. But he’s learning, and I pray to God and Mom that I’m on the right track… Coz I’m really trying to make my mom proud so that I can see my mom happy again the day God decides that I’ve been through enough and would lend me my mom in my dreams again.
It doesn’t matter how long, I would still wait…