Dearest Mader -
I thank you for your unconditional love and support – from the time I was born to my most trying times when I stumbled, I knew you were there for me. And because of that, I became confident of myself – strengths and weaknesses combined. I learned to accept myself in a way no Philosophy class can ever teach nor a million sessions with a top counselor can ever resolve. I learned to try new things, be independent and reach for goals. I am continuously growing my wings.
I thank you for being stubborn in your resolve to raise me, Cacay and Topet with the right morals and values. For not giving in to the easier road of being nice and very forgiving of mistakes, you taught me the values I live by now and try to impart to my own kids and my own circles of influence. Foremost of these values is faith in God, the zeal to do good and the best that I can ever be. From these, I learned to have a strong heart and an objective mind.
I thank you for ingraining in me importance of family and traditions and what these stand for. No matter where I go or what I have become, family and background is something I am quite proud of and will never forget. My roots are deep and it is from there where I can reach for strength, reflection or even just a funny respite.
I thank you for giving me the gift of laughter... that no matter how happy or dire a situation is, there is room for a hearty laugh! From this, I learned not to take myself too seriously... and more importantly, I learned resilience and courage to face trying moments knowing that this too will pass.
At this central point of my life, I thank you for making it abundant and joyful with your presence. As I unfold my life in the next years, I will continue to abide by your guidance. You have become the voice of reason on my head whenever there’s a need for one.
I hope and pray for your continued strength and health ... that you may enjoy many, many more years with us, your friends and your grand children. May we, your children, in some way have enough time to show you how much love we have for you and how grateful we are for raising us well.
Happy Mother's Day! I love you so much!
About this Post: I am my mother's daughter. I originally wrote this post on my 35th birthday, June 16, 2005, as I reflected on how thankful I was to have her as my mother. But I never gave it to her. As in most of my writings, I usually (then) just kept everything to myself. Eventually, I re-edited this and posted on Facebook as a Mother's Day greeting to her last May 9, 2010 and asked my sister to print and give to her (she didn't have FB then). After she died in January 2016, as we were fixing her personal belongings, my sister and I found the printed copy she kept.