I have been thinking a lot about you lately kung buhi pa unta ka siguro malipayon ka sa imong mga anak karon. As I think deeply through the night I have become more aware of how blessed I am to have you as my mother. I want you to know how very proud I am of you and how much you inspire me to emulate your strength and bravery when you were struggling with pain. I drew much of my strength from you. It was from you that I learned what ‘family’ meant. It was from you that I learned what patience, gentleness, consistency, compassion, generosity, acceptance, unconditional love and faith meant. And, of course, as you influenced me in these godly attributes, so you taught and influenced each of my siblings to trust God.
As I reflect back over my lifetime, I think of at least two major occasions where your inner strength has come to the fore. When I was just a young child, there was only you and I, you taught me to plant corn – I really can’t imagine what it was like for you, sweats beading down your face under the heat of the sun but your eyes approaching ever so friendly. You must have drawn your inner strength from the Lord (Psalm 18:1-2). You were a young and beautiful wife. All of the circumstances, no doubt, drove you to the feet of our Lord. For where else would you have found the strength and peace of mind? And I still think of you as a praying Mama, for I know you do so every evening for your children. But my most significant memory is your faithful and loving care for papa when he was ill, nga bisan sa iyang pagkabugoy you still loved him unconditionally –Your kindness, compassion and resolve during that time towards papa are exemplary of your gracious inner qualities that I have grown to admire and respect.
I saw you emerge from behind your non-assertive persona into a strong and determined woman, and whilst I had seen this in you before, I had forgotten about this aspect of your nature. It surprised me once again. Of course, we do not ever know what lies ahead of us. None of us is getting any younger or any healthier. So looking to future events as if they are certainties is something we can only leave to the young. Our future is in God’s hands, and I believe He wants us to put our trust in Him only. God will order our days. I would like to think that God has planned many more years for all of us, but the Apostle Paul had it right when proclaimed “to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).
Mama, I love you very much,I owe you a lot — I am indebted to you for who I am today.