Thursday, September 23, 2010

Missing Part 2

Dear Son,
I have one favor. For my birthday, Christmas, or Mother’s day, I don’t want another bag. Or fancy earrings. Or a new perfume. Take a good look at me. My face has more wrinkles now. I’m getting old and these things don’t give me the joy that they used to. Do you want to make me happy, son? Stop giving things. Instead I need your presence. Now I know you’re a busy man. In fact, you have a good job and a girl you want to marry someday soon. You’ve got a million things to do. I understand, son. I really do. But once in awhile, can we just talk? I want to hear you say you miss me. Bring me out for lunch. Or bring me out of the city-just the two of us. I still get jealous, you see? Let’s talk about everything and anything. I’d like to laugh with you again. The same way we did when I used to bring you out in the park; when you were tiny enough that I could carry you in my arms when you slept on our way home; and when your favorite topic of conversation is Transformers and Spiderman. Oh my Son, I miss you so much.

I want you to know that every so often, I still open an old box I keep all these years. In it are your pencilled drawings of robots, monsters, and superheroes. And in case you didn’t know, I still like looking at my old photo albums. In these old photos, I see you as a shy child hiding behind your mother’s skirt, I see you singing a song in a Christmas party, I see you blowing candles on your birthday cake. I let my finger touch your face on those photos. I wipe the tears flowing down my cheeks. Memories rush over me like a river. My heart swells with pride as I think of you. Oh, how proud I am that you’re my son.

But you know what, son? Looking at these pictures makes me feel old. Very old. I’m struck at how unforgiving time is. Yes, it flies. And time will continue to fly ever so swiftly, and one day, I will be gone.

But mark my words, son. Each day, in Heaven, I shall watch over you. My love will continue beyond the grave, beyond the boundaries of heaven and earth. My love for you will remain forever.

Son, I’m still here. With you. While I’m on planet earth, once in awhile, give me your presence.
When you were 7 years old, you used to shout, “Mommy , I love you,” and instantly, I’d get a lump in my throat, my eyes would moisten, and my chest would be filled with warmth.

Son, after all these years, you’re a grown up man now. But nothing has changed between us. Tell me those words again, “Mommy, I love you,” and instantly, I’d still get a lump in my throat, my eyes would still moisten, and my chest will still be filled with warmth. Son, let’s make an agreement: No matter how corny it gets, let’s not stop hugging each other. The older I am, the more I need those hugs. I don’t want a shirt. I want you, Son, even if it’s just a few minutes of your time.


- Article posted at I changed some words to fit characters I have in mind. I thought they were the exact words and wishes of one mother I know. I know her son too. I hope that one day; they will talk about things, eye to eye, heart to heart.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Senior Moment

My mother, at 69, still wants to be in control of everything. She has her own way of making somebody believe, either through passing hint or strong, sharp criticism. Her hands may be shaky and legs aching, but her heart did not grow any older. She still handles arguments, confrontations the way she did some half a decade ago. I am pretty sure there are times that she still wants to spank me. And then there are grandchildren. Other days, she is doting, gentle loving grandmother. But in the extreme heat, she would curse them with words not even us, their parents, would use. She said she just want them to realize things and head in the right direction.

Let me preface this little story by telling you a bit about my childhood. My mother did most of the child-rearing since father left early. And through it all, she was always there. This also meant that not only did we associate with her serious, pointed views; but also got the early taste of life’s inanities. As a child, a lot of times I fell, scraped, bruised, bumped, scarred, and burnt, physically and metaphorically. At 6 years old, I was already contemplating about life. Seriously.

Now that we have come full circle, my turn has come to parent her, in a way. I keep her money, buy her medicines (with her money). She hates long walks, so I oblige myself to do some errands for her like buying the red blouse she wore to a wedding. Now that she can still walk without hobbling on cane, not still crooked or bent over, I could only pray to see her with profound peace, to laugh until her belly hurts, to see her take deep breaths, enjoys the sunset and takes pleasure of what is left of her remaining years.

“If wrinkles must be written upon our brows,
let them not be written upon the heart.
For the spirit should never grow old. “