June 14, 2024

In homes, the seat of power is occupied by a mader. In Trancoville, it was mama Mely and as we remember today all mothers, I know we are one in thanking them from the bottom of our hearts for all the sacrifices, sufferings, pain and joy of course in rearing all of us children and giving them the directions on the roads they should take to achieve their life goals.
My mader Consuelo was a public school “maestra” at Lucban Elementary School. I and my brother Eric started learning there. Everytime there was a school program, she would put us in the program where we would duet to the tune of the Beatles “Let it be”.
Now, I realize it is indeed a tribute song to mothers: “When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me.”
At Lucban, there was a cross-eyed teacher who lost her job. Why? Because she couldn’t control her pupils? Joke po. Unlike today’s teachers who enjoy a high pay with an entry level salary of P18,000 daw, the maestras of my mother’s time were poor as a church mice.
She would buy her own chalk, Manila paper, and colored pencils which she shared with her pupils. Mama was well loved by her students and fellow teachers, who flocked to her wake when she succumbed after dialysis and spending all her retirement benefits for medical care.
Like my mother-in-law, Norma, and the mommies of countless friends and family, the memory of a mother gone so soon remains forever in our hearts, minds, and soul until we exhale our last breath.
The mortals left on Earth can never claim readiness to let go. There comes a time though that one has to let go from the earth, not because we want to but because we have to.
Mine was in dialysis and ill for almost 10 years of her life that forced her to retire from public school teaching. In and out of hospitals until the last time where one feels that the end is near.
Taking a poignant look at her, freed from physical hurt, stress and pain, all we could do was to lift her up to the Lord and let His will be done. The fact was, she was ready to go even if we were not. There really is no saying goodbye here.
The natural reaction when the dreaded time came was sorrow and sadness. As a family, we had fought a long, hard struggle only to find her giving up so quickly and easily. We said there was hope that this was just a bump in the lonely road, and the end-result was a miracle recovery.
We were clearly not prepared, willing, or ready to say goodbye but knew deep in our hearts that saying goodbye was the only medical-logical choice. The time had come and it was important to do so with respect, care, and dignity in following her wishes.
I remember plagiarizing Khalil Gibran, the immortal prophet of Lebanon when on mader’s birthday, I gifted her a book with the quote, “Mother is everything – she is our consolation in sorrow, our hope in misery, and our strength in weakness. She is the source of love, mercy, sympathy, and forgiveness. He who loses his mother loses a pure soul who blesses and guards him constantly.”
Not my words of course, mea culpa, but it sure does come from my heart.
Butterflies are free and the spirit remains hovering over us, doing what she best does, guarding, protecting, and guiding her children in the after earth this time.
So, those whose mothers are still around, enjoy them, make the most of it and this time do them a favor by giving them the tender loving care they deserve.
Happy Mader’s Day to all super mothers out there!