May 28, 2024

(Editors’ note: The Courier is reprinting the columns of the late Atty. Benedicto T. Carantes as a tribute to one of its long-time columnists. This piece was published on May 13, 2018).

Today is Mother’s Day, and I have no mom, no Minda to bring flowers and chocolates to and take out to dinner.
I wrote once before that moms are God’s greatest gift to mankind.
What would a dad know about bringing up and raising kids? Does he even know his “rithmetic” or take time out to sit you on his lap for lessons? Sure, he will bounce you on his knee, making you giggle and laugh, but mom knows better – as early as then. She is preparing you for life – school, discipline, and prayers.
Oh sure, dad will do that too, but more on the gruesome part – first lay, first drink, even your first smoke. Your baptism of fire, he tells you, and true enough it is. Pretty soon you are spending more time in bars, bawdy houses, and playing cards, or just hanging around with friends or barkada.
Thank God for moms who are there to straighten us out.
There are obligations to be done, rules to be followed, and the fun time will come later.
Life is a matter of choices but it is mom who puts us on the right track.
At night, while dad is watching TV, or reading the papers while you are about to go to bed after finishing homework, mom whispers in your ears. Go to your dad and say goodnight, tell your old man you love him, and how proud you are to be his son.
That will surely make his day.

I remember one particular Mother’s Day when I took my Minda out to lunch at the Manor. The place was full, but luckily, I made earlier reservations.
My Minda invited her friends, Gloria and Prose, to join us, one recently widowed, the other happily single. The three girls feasted on New Zealand oysters, downing nearly half a sack of the stuff in between the gossip and laughter.
Next Saturday will mark the first death anniversary of my Minda, and I really, really miss her. My beloved spouse of 44 years, best friend and companion of 50 years; mentor, guidance counselor, guardian angel.
I am in Manila as I write this, and each time I see a couple of family eating out together, or living up to take in a movie, or just plain munching popcorn, I am reminded of all the good times we have had together.
But it is our two boys who miss her more.
Friends say life goes on. It doesn’t you only exist and wait for your time.
Our Melpether will be getting married in January, and she would have wanted to be there. Happily, we know she will be in spirit.
Always, happy Mom’s Day!