04 June 2007

Winner, "Bida Si Mama" Essay Writing Contest

Hi all, I just wanted to share my children's thoughts about Moms.

The Unsung Hero
by Axel Tolentino

She begins life like any ordinary person. She goes through childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. At times, life can be hard, but she perseveres, her faith never wavering, believing that she is destined for something greater. She trudges on uncertain but determined, searching for that one thing that can complete her. She goes through life, makes friends, forms relationships, has a career, achieves recognition, but still she searches. And then... Life begins unnoticed, followed by morning sickness, a growing belly, some weight gain, stretch marks, picky eating, hormone imbalance and finally the pain, the kind that one remembers through the numbing effects of anesthesia. Relief immediately follows, but only momentarily. She heard you cry for the first time, saw you in a haze, and as she fell unconscious from fatigue, she knew. Next will be years of sacrifices, often unappreciated, but nevertheless given.

Finally, she holds you in her hands, her own child. She is now a mother. Gone was the uncertainty as to why she exists, in its place a new uncertainty: Will I be a good mom to my child? Suddenlt, everything else paled in comparison. All that she has achieved was nothing compared to what she now holds in her hands. She feels blessed.

Who can deny the hardship of changing diapers late at night when all she wanted was sleep? And even while sleeping, half her mind is alert to the tiniest cry coming from the crib. She might be tired, but she still sang a lullaby to offer comfort. Wake up early to prepare for another day, never mind that she hasn't really slept the night before. All these she did, never complaining.

As the years go by, she watched with mixed pride and a touch of fear as her bundle of joy grows up. She works hard to make sure you have everything-good food, good education, clothes to wear, and toys to play with. She was there to kiss your tears away, comfort you when you're sad, guide you when you're lost, offer a helping hand, and just be there when you need her the most. Time came when you needed her even less. You grew up, she had to let you go. You wanted to try it on your own, be the one responsible. Her advice fell on deaf ears. This is your life; you can do as you please. She watched and prayed that you would be okay. She kept quiet. She cried when you cried, felt all your hurt, but never said a word and waited. For you to remember her, maybe hear her voice telling you, "It's okay, I'm here for you. I will carry your burden if you will let me. I can be your shield, just like when you were little." You never really forgot, but neither did you remember. She was your unsung hero. She is always there for you no matter what. Waiting patiently for you to be her son once again, for you to need her, and for you to call her "Mother."

Ode to Tita Beth
by Kyla Tolentino

Mother's Day is fast approaching and I'd like to take this opportunity to write about a mother who has been very loving and caring to her family and friends, but is now inflicted with great pain. No, she's not my mother, she's my aunt.

I was a few months old when my aunt left the Philippines to work in the United States. My two cousins left the Philippines to live with their mother when I was two years old. I'm already 16 and I have only seen her for more than six months now since my brother and I came to America to live with our mom. My aunt may have been a strabger to me for the past 16 years, I having no means of seeing her i8n person. Still, I know things about her; most, for which I admire.

She's Elizabeth Magaru, "Tita Beth," as I call her. She's 12 years older than my mom and she's a mommy's girl. She attended grade school and high school in the same place as I did. and my grandmother used to boast tha Tita Beth was a consistent honor student. Mom, too, told me things about her sister. Though both my mother and I manage to get accepted at the University of the Philippines (UP), the fact that my aunt made it to UP with nursing as her first course of choice always leaves me with great respect for her whenever I think of it. She's also a very great mother, evident in the fact that my cousins grew up to be good persons.

She's a very caring daughter to my grandparents. She would call two to three times a month just to say hi and catch up with what's been happening at home. She'd send money to my grandparents whether they need it or not, always sending something extra on special occassions. She'd send balikbayan boxes for Christmas, always filled with tons of goodies for everyone. She never forgets to ask about celebrity gossip in the Philippines.

She's been an great aunt, albeit an absent one for most of my life. She never forgets a birthday or any special occassion. She always asks how we're doing in school and reminds us to study well. She'll send money to our grandma so she can get us something we want as a reward for doing well in class or in some competition. There's always something under the tree at Christmas time.

I remember answering sone of her calls for my grandparents, which were the only times I get to hear her voice. Though I can't remember the kast time I saw her in person since I was too young, I was familiar of her face; pictures were akk around our living room. A particular photo stuck to my mind like a caller ID photo in a cellphone. Every time I hear her name or thought about her, I saw her as that image. I never thought I'd be so surprised when I saw her after all those years. Last October 12, 2006, in my grandfather's funeral, my aunt went home for the first time in 16 years. I came home from UP that particular Thursday, aware that mom went home with Tita Beth. When I arrived, Mom hugged me, then returned to her seat, and i quickly looked around to find my aunt. Of course, the particular picture in my mind was the one I expected to see. Mom then pointed to the woman beside her and told me she is Tita Beth. She looked so different.

My aunt is sick. She's had kidney failure for more than five years. The sickness made her look older than her age; she's so bony now. She still works; sometimes, she even works o vertime. She's a very determined. She needs her body to be stronger to be able to undergo her operation. She needs to be operated as soon as possible before the time comes that she can't be operated on anymore.

To help her feel good despite her condition, my grandmother, mother, brother and I take her to places whenever my aunt's day off is the same as ours. Our family, together with hers, has gone out to dinner a few times. She enjoys going to het favorite places here in Los Angeles. On eimprovement that I see is her appetite. Whenever she eats her favorite dishes, she eats like a bear. It's good that she's gaining weight.

I hope the time comes when she'll be free of her sickness and she'll look healthier and happier. I hope for the day when I'll see her looking as beautiful as she was in that photo taken before the sickness struck her.

Happy Mother's Day Tita Beth! Get well soon.

1 comment:

SugarMama said...

Such a wonderful tribute to your Aunt. I hope your Tita Beth will get better soon.