Our contributor, Mark Martinez, is a Speech Communications graduate of UP Baguio. On his free time he writes prose and poetry in three languages: English, Tagalog and Ilocano. He is a freelance journalist and currently dabbles in photography.
Last year, I spent Mother's Day with my best friend and we went to see his mom at their residence in Cavite. His mom asked me why didn't I go home to see my mom in Tarlac. I just said that I have a work schedule the following day. She told me that I should've visited and spent that special day with the woman who gave her everything to me. I never thought that that will be the last Mother's Day that I could be with my loving mother.
I really don't fancy such celebations before, but now it seems like Mother's Day is, indeed, one of the most meaningful occasions to celebrate with your first true love-- your mother.
The recent passing of my mom (January 6th) made me truly realize the philosophy behind the cliched fact that you'll only appreciate the ultimate worth of a person in your life once she's gone for good. This doesn't mean that I didn't care for my mom nor did I take her for granted while she was still within my reach. What I'm saying is that I should've spent more quality time with her on creating wonderful memories together. I should've been more vocal on telling her how much I love her. I should've been there by her side when she felt the most excruciating pain that took her life away. I should've been a better son for her, but whatever I say now, should-have-beens are just nothing but a cry filled with lessons from the past.
I'm missing her everyday, but all I can do now is to reminisce. I missed her on my 26th birthday, and I'll be missing her even more next year, then on the next until my last. Surely, Christmas will never be the same again without her at the dining table on its eve. And Mother's Day for me will no longer be celebrated, but commemorated instead. Even so, now that my mom's physical presence can no longer be a possibility at any affair, my collection of warm memories with her will always be there to clothe me on a now cold and woeful occasion like this.
I miss my mother -- the sound of her encouraging voice whenever I'm in doubt; those sweet and genuine smile on her lovely face that brought peace to my troubled heart; the wisdom coming from the deepest recollections of her life; those priceless, joyful moments that we shared together that will never happen again! These are the things that make me very thankful that she's my mother.
I know that she gave me the best of her and that she loved me the best way she could. This inevitable fact brings me a mixed feeling of happiness and pain. I'm happy because no matter how complicated my life was and would be, I know deep in my heart that she's proud of me because for her, I'm the world's number one. Her unconditional love made me a man of strong and great character. Yet despite all, a tinge of pain remain because I never had the chance to bid goodbye to my dear mother before she left me to eternity.
This Mother's Day, chocolates will just be chocolates, flowers will just be flowers, but my precious moments with her are things of the past that are good to remember all over again. If there's one thing that I learned from my loss, that is to treasure and seize every moment possible with the people closest to your heart because no one knows when is going to be your last time to be with them.
Be with your Mom on Mother's day. You'll never know if this is going to be the last Mother's Day that you can spend time with your first true love.
Mang, may you rest in eternal peace, and Happy Mother's Day!