Mothers can be anyone who loves and continues to do so without expecting for anything in return.
I would dare to equate mother with love for the love of a mother for her child is the kind of love that is unconditional, never-ending, constant and true. From our earliest hours on this planet, someone had been a mother to us; cared for our helpless beings; made sure we were fed; clothed; cleaned and more than that; loved. I believe human babies grow not just out of being well looked after, but more so out of being loved – the countless kisses, hugs and caresses we got in infancy – often many of us do not even remember. Yet mothers of all generation continue to cuddle, hug, kiss, caress their young, not allowing even a spec of dust to touch their baby’s skin or a moment that their eyes would stray from their young. It is indeed love at first sight and one that will last beyond our mortal beings.
I have been quite lucky to have felt the love of more than just one mother. Since birth, I have been cared-for and loved by four or five incredible women of three generations. My mother gave me life and fed me her milk from my early days. Luzviminda of the fair skin and the beautiful singing voice, she too would lull me to sleep. In the first few hours of my birth Lucia ran to the central market to buy me my very first clothes as “mamang”, a working mother with two other children, had not been quite prepared for my arrival. Mommy Lucy would also through the years provide a steady stream of love and encouragement that would keep me strong in my sometimes serious but much more often mundane trials. Not having a daughter of her own, she considered me hers. Felisa, my maternal great-grandmother also had a hand at bringing me up. The healer in the family, she would provide relief from the aches and pains of my childhood and being a woman of strength, she provided the stability and routine of my early years. Lola Peling in her patadjong and kimona would brew the most fragrant coffee each morning while spewing out words of wisdom to a queue of uncles and aunts who have come from the barrios in search of better fortune in the city. She is my role model for kindness and integrity.
Then there are the two Concepcions, the senior is my maternal grandmother and the junior is my Mommy Connie whom I call “magma”. Although my grandmother, I call her “nanay Conching” because she is the mother of my childhood. The woman who made sure I ate, took my bath, said my prayers; the one who stayed up at nights when I was sick and the one I ran to when I had any fears or pain in my body. Magma is the mother of my heart. She provided for me from when I was three; took me in as one of her own from that time and molded me into the person I am today. She is the voice in my head and my other role model for kindness and strength. She is also my spiritual teacher. She like Lola Peling taught me to share no matter what little I have to those who have none. She ingrained in me to help, just help and not expect for anything in return. She and my nanay Conching taught me to love, just love and not expect to be loved back. Because to deny help or love especially to those who need it is like denying sunshine or rain to mankind.
God has angels to do his work on earth. Many of them are called mothers.
To my mothers: mamang and lola Peling who are now with God and to nanay Conching, mommy Lucy and magma: I love you, happy mother’s day.