Friday, January 21, 2005

Role reversal

Dear Mouse,

Today is my mom's birthday.Yesterday was my sister's.

If she were alive, we would be talking over the phone for hours again especially during weekends.

As I have commented in titorolly's article about his mom, I was my mother's maton, a clown and a prodigal daughter.

I had silently admired my mother's strength,especially during the time when my father was in a coma for months in the hospital due to cerebral hemmorrhage.

I had asked myself how she was able to withhold the emotions during my father's burial just to show us that she can handle the pain and the challenge ahead of us.

She did not ask us not to cry but seeing her as an image of fortitude, we did not shed tears. Instead, we promised to be good and make his dreams for us come true.

I rebelled in my mom's autocratic house rules but cherished her stage mother's all out support in our pursuit of academic excellence.

I saw her stayed awake, when my sisters and brothers were preparing for scholarship tests.

I saw her face glowed when my siblings broke the good news of making it.

I saw the pain in her face when I came back as a young prodigal daughter.

I sensed that even if she punished me for it, she was proud that I learned how to live independently.

She was relatively young when she died so I did not expect the trading of roles between a mother and daughter would begin soon.

I knew she did not need to relinquish her life to us her children. She was still active in her parish in Boston.

She just got back from her trip from Europe with a lady friend.

Although not excited, she braced herself for the six-month wedding preparation of my sister.

I just thought that she was making us feel that she needed us. A stage in life after the empty nest.

Mom: This is my gown that your sister asked me to wear on her wedding. What do you think?

Me: Mom, you look like you just stepped out of Jenny Craig losing 20 lbs.

Me:Let me fix it for you.



Mom:This is the costume you are going to wear as an angel. Slip it on so I can make alterations.

Me: But mom...

Mom: No buts, not another word from you, young lady...


Jeweler: This necklace will look nice on you.

Mom: Asking me. "What's your say?"

Me: Too ostentatious. I like something simple and classy. Remember you are the mother of the bride and not a reyna elena. Save it for the party after the wedding.

Mom: To the jeweler. You heard her.

Jeweler: Hmm ...a daughter telling a mother, interesting.

Mom: She is my fashion consultant. (snickers)


Mom: Your ruby ring is not for swimming. Take it off.

Me: But mom,how will my friend know that you gave me this ring for my birthday.

Mom: Basta

Me: Okay. (rolleyes)

Fast forward, in a hospital

Me: To the nurses. My mom has bedsores.She needs to be turned as regularly as possible. If you need my help, just say so. just don't let her suffer by not doing it.

Mom: hahaha, so you met my taray daughter(She was in semi-coma).

Me: Helping the nurse moved her up the bed."Mom,you're heavy.You need to go to the gym."

Mom:Hahahaha(laughing with her eyes closed).


Mom:Eat this porridge before taking the pill. Don't nurse the fever,it will not go away... blah blah blah....

Me: Blech...

Happy Birthday, mom.

The Ca t


At 11:14 AM, Blogger BatJay said...

galing ng post na ito Ca T. one of the best that you've produced lately. nakakatawa pero naiyak ako.

At 4:01 PM, Blogger Luchie said...

mothers are the best. let me greet your mom a happy birthday too. though she is in another world now, i can feel that she is so ever proud of you.

At 4:20 PM, Blogger celia kusinera said...

That is really touching CaT. Kita mo pati si Batjay naiyak ako pa kaya? Mother really knows best and sometimes it's only in hindsight that we fully appreciate what they've done and sacrificed for us. Happy Birthday to you (CaT's) Mom! ... wherever you are ...

At 11:05 PM, Blogger Daryl said...

Definitely one of the most heart-wrenching posts I've read. Funny and sad. :i

At 12:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

from this person who cares....

WE all have times when difficulties
arise in our lives. What is most important
is dealing with the hard times, coping with
the changes, and getting through to the
other side where the sun is still shining just for you.

It takes a strong person to deal with tough
times and difficult choices. But you are a
strong person. It takes courage. But you possess the inner courage to see you through.
It takes doing everything you need to do,
time and time again. You are in the driver's
seat, and you can determine the direction
you want tomorrow to go in.

Take care to see that you don't lose
sight of the one thing that is constant,
beautiful, and true: Everything will be
fine -- and it will turn out that way
because of the special kind of person
you are.

Beginning today and lasting a lifetime
through -- hang in there, and don't be
afraid to feel like the morning sun is
shining ... just for YOU.

(abstracted from "100 Things to Always Remember....
and One Thing to Never Forget)

From: In Fraternam Meam....'Amaverunt'

At 2:37 AM, Blogger rolly said...

Cat, i don't know what to say. This is very hard. Mothers will always be the most loving and understanding person there can ever be. Who would ever forget those hugs, kisses and wonderful baon you brought to school. Who would ever forget that loving face who would watch you from a distance as your teacher leads you away from her clutches so that you can study and be somebody else.

Happy birthday to your mom. I know she's very proud of what you have become.

At 6:37 AM, Blogger cathcath said...

the reason i have only one post yesterday was I was so
much affected by what i wrote. i cried too and kept on crying.

At 6:44 AM, Blogger cathcath said...

luchie and cel,
my mom used to say, i hope you'll never grow up. i hope you will remain kids forever.looking back to those words, i can sum it up to " i hope you'll never leave me."

At 6:48 AM, Blogger cathcath said...

my mom is my greatest audience. She laughed even with my corny jokes.

At 7:05 AM, Blogger cathcath said...

thank you for this piece.
very inspiring.

the saddest point in my life was when i saw my mom in the hospital. inside me, i was telling myself, this is not my mom.

i kept all her letters for me. yesterday, as i was
looking for a envelope fell from the book name was on it....the handwriting was my mom's...inside was a small ref name.


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