An Extra Ordinary Woman

It was breaktime. The girl in her old uniform excitedly went out the school compound and was looking for someone. Her face lit up upon seeing the woman hiding behind the tree, covering her face with a veil. They hugged tightly and kissed each other for a while. They must have missed each other so much. Then the woman asked, “How are you and your siblings?” “Has anyone got sick lately? I am always thinking of you. Here is your allowance. Buy something for your siblings. Don’t worry, we will be together again someday…all of us. Please do not tell your father that you are seeing me.” The poor girl hugged the woman again while crying. The woman wiped her tears and kissed her then bade goodbye. The girl was watching the woman while she was walking away. She didn’t know when she will see the woman, her mother, again. She wanted to go with her but she can’t. Her siblings need her.

That’s the story of my Nanay’s childhood. Their parents got separated. Their father left them for another woman and their Mother went away to look for a job. They were left in the care of their Aunts and Uncles in their father side. An 8-month old baby girl, the youngest among her siblings, was left with her. She became a sister and mother at the same time at an early age. Mom is the second among 9 children but their eldest got married early so all the responsibilities were passed on to her. Unlike other children, Mom didn’t enjoy her childhood but she didn’t mind at all.

Until now her story makes me cry. I do not want my post to be mellow-dramatic but I can’t help it. That is how I see Nanay…a woman who will put her loved ones’ needs above her own. Her love is instinctual and unconditional. Even now that we have our own lives and families, she’s very supportive and always there to lend her hand. She’s just a call away whenever we need her and we don’t need to ask her twice for a favor. She loves taking care of her grandchildren and playing with them…a great spoiler for that matter.

Nanay with Tatay and grandchildren…still pretty at 62.

Nanay is a good listener too. She’s very open-minded so we can share with her anything and everything…problems with partners, kids, money, sex, etc. I remember when we were still teenagers she watched R-rated film with me and my sister. She said that sooner or later we will be curious about those things so it’s better to watch it first with her than with our friends who cannot give us good points of views about sex and sexuality. That is the reason why me and my siblings all got married on our late twenties…we are well-guided with Nanay. She has all the answers to our questions that satisfy our curiosities. And oh, she gave me 2 beautiful T-backs as gifts before I get married. Nanay is so cool!!!

Yes, all mothers brought children to this world but not all accepted the responsibilities that came along with it. All mothers provide their children with love and care but not all are willing to give up their career, their pleasures and full time. But Nanay is different. She gave her whole life to all of us…to her siblings, to her children and now to her grandchildren. That’s the best thing I learned from her…the same thing I will do for my family. Nanay is indeed an extra ordinary woman.

Hats off to you, NANAY! We love you very much!!!

Those were the Days

I have forgotten about these pictures until I saw them on my Aunt’s Facebook wall. She’s asking us if we still remember these. Good to know that she still have them. I can’t recall what the occasions were when these two pictures were taken but most probably it was December as we mostly had our reunions on holiday season.

If I am not mistaken, this one was taken 12 years ago before I got married. I am the 4th from the left. The one below was taken when I was still on third year college 20 years ago. Those were the days.

Just this week, at my Aunt Cora’s funeral, I was able to be with my cousins again. It could have been a great get-together if not for the overwhelming emotions.

If Tears Could

If tears could build a stairway
And memories were a lane,
I would walk right up to heaven
To bring you home again.
No farewell words were spoken.
No time to say good-bye.
You were gone before we knew it,
And only God knows why.
My heart still aches in sadness
And secret tears still flow.
What it meant to lose you,
No one will ever know…

We will miss you Tita Cora.