October 16, 2007

Remembering

She was a very beautiful barrio lass from San Cornelio, Caba, La Union, very simple in her ways. She excelled in school, elementary years in San Cornelio, high school at San Gregorio. Her teachers to this day, say it all the time. At a young age, her family went through quite a few storms - marital, financial. At one time her mom and siblings had to go to Pangasinan and she studied there for a while.

You’d say she was an ordinary teenager, who regularly went to dances around town. She says a lot of guys courted her, both in La Union and in Pangasinan. She was once crowned Miss San Cornelio even. She was very sexy. You can look at her black and white studio pictures and conclude that she was indeed a looker.

She entered government service as a casual employee at the municipal hall in Caba at such a young age, 18 years. Some of you might know about the running anecdote on the question regarding her adolescence when the Mayor thought she had no business working there and asked if she already had pubic hair. At work, she found a man eight years her senior. She fell in love, and got married at 23 in the year 1977. She gave birth in the same year and had another daughter in 1980. Not contented with her secretarial course because her father believed that women will marry anyway, she worked her way towards a college degree, juggling both an 8 to 5 job at the La Union provincial capitol and her studies at the Union Christian College, while standing with her husband in raising their two girls.

She was a very loving daughter. She supported her mother, Marcelina and father, Rico up to her last breath. She never forgot to see to their needs, providing and wanting them to be in their best health at all times. She helped her siblings when she could, sent several of his nephews to school. She wanted everyone close to her to succeed, sending some relatives to school or offering her house to stay in and giving everything that she can for free. She worked hard so that she can provide things that she is able to give. She was generous to a fault.

She was a very cheerful person. She’d go around the municipal hall, drinking coffee with her friends. They'd have sessions of 'viewing' in the balcony. She initiated jamming sessions with them. They’d go bowling and yes, ballroom dancing. She loved dancing so much. It was her therapy. She claims her bones ache whenever she misses the ballroom.

She loved eating too. She’d be hungry right after she arrives in the office. Will crave for food every couple of hours and go around looking for people to eat or drink with. When ordering in a restaurant, she’d order a feast even if she had just said that she had no money a few seconds ago. She was not good in the kitchen but was very choosy in terms of food. As for her family, they’d eat out a lot. She frequented the Chinese restaurants in San Fernando.

She loved clothes and shoes and bags with numerous compartments. Amongst her and her two daughters, she’d have the most number of bags, most number of shoes and clothes, even accessories. She’d have the most activities – dancing, sports, organizations. But for those who knew her, she really loved to sleep too. She could sleep anywhere even while sitting down. When she took masteral studies, her classmates just see her lying down sleeping, yes, right ON the table while they were busy studying.

She was a very good wife to her husband, Alfonso. She understood him and stood with him in both good and bad times. Her colleagues at work would know the lengths she took in being the most supportive wife a husband could ever wish for. She cared about his health, cared about his needs, fought for him and loved him for who he was.
She was very very strong.

Her husband passed away in 1998 and she managed so well to be both mother and father to her children. She was such a good provider. She never showed depression nor helplessness after her loss. For her, it seemed like there were no problems at all even if everyone knew she was facing a lot.

In the office, she had weird working hours. She claimed to not function properly during office hours, with people going in and out of her office each time. She made up for it anyway, by staying very late in her office usually until 9 in the evening to as late as 11. She went to her office almost always daily, including Saturdays and Sundays.

She was a woman of integrity, she worked hard, made loans to send her children to school, to pay for the hospital bills of relatives, to help her loved ones in need. She never took opportunities to enrich herself because she knew it would backfire in the future. She was very forgiving, always telling her daughters – ‘Ni Apo Diyos latta ti makaammon, nakkong. Adu ti kasukat na dagita. Babaamon.’ And her daughters always told her, ‘ma, agreact ka met a. apay baybay am gamin nga aramiden da diyay.’

She didn’t know how to fight. For instance, once in Mister Donut, she ordered a sandwich and when she took a bite, it was already spoiled. So she took it back, gave it to the cashier, and told her ‘Ni, isublikon datoy. Nadadael met.’ And her daughters asked her later if she took her money back, and she said ‘Haan, insublikon a, marurodak’.

She was never ever vindictive. Her daughters always wanted to volunteer to fight for her if someone becomes abusive or goes out of the line and she always refuses.

Why did she have to go? Why did the world have to lose her?

This woman was a very compassionate, very understanding, very good natured person so why would a man take her life with a single bullet?

It is very hard to understand. This respectable person is my mom and in the casket, her face can't even be recognized. She didn't deserve a violent death. Her likes merited a death that happens with deep sigh in her sleep. That was how papa left us. I would have wanted her life to end that way too.

As her child, my finite mind cant comprehend why this had to happen. But mama always told me to leave everything to God. And so i'm leaving everything to God.

Her name anyway is Felicidad. Felicidad means Happiness.

I wish i had her strength. Right now, I cant even imagine being half the person that mama was.

I know she is already in that beautiful mountain called Zion, the beautiful city of God. I know that the cause of her death is her righteousness in doing what is right before God’s eyes.

Psalms 116:15 says… Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

Mama will not be there with us, to see me graduate, nor see me get married and have my own children. She may not be there to help me move on but i know that a major part of who i am was because of her.

I cannot explain the longing i feel. I feel a gaping hole in my chest or that there's a vacuum inside. I miss her so much.

It sears. The pain just won't go away.

How do you cope with grief? What's the easiest way to deal with pain? Maybe it is to think that her death has relieved her from all these worldly shit and pain. Anyway, she's in the best place any person would want to be in.

But the easiest way still seems so unreachable.

When i am alone, i always see her face. I can almost feel her hand with mine. I can play her voice calling my name over and over and all i can do is cry and wish that I meet her soon too. But that ain't right.

When will this end? Maybe never.

Until i meet her again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Rian, so sorry to know how much you suffering right now and missing your Mama emmensely. Just hang in there darling, be strong just like your Mama.
I wish you all the very best and luck on your graduation day.
Take care,

Mmxoxo