“Ma, andito na ko.” (“Ma, I’m home.)
I used to visit my parents in the province every week when I was single. Each visit was memorable and enjoyable. I usually reached home at 9PM; I would see my mother lazily lying in bed. I would greet her and tell her how tired I am. I would ask the latest updates about her friends’ life (who are now my friends, too) I would ask about Chang’s activities for the past week. Just when I got too busy chatting with her, she would interrupt me and say, “Oy, kumain ka muna. Gabi na.” (“Hey, eat your supper first before chatting. It’s getting late.”)
Then, I would proceed to the kitchen and get myself some food. Mama’s cooking never failed to amuse me. She was a great cook and admittedly, I didn’t got that talent. It was my second brother who got that magic hands from her. After eating, I would make a cup of coffee for the two of us. Coffee plus chatting was our weekend night activity (except when I had to go out with friends).
Mama and I became the best of buddies in 2007. It is true that misery loves company. I was at my lowest in 2007 and it was my family who helped me coped up with it. The break up with my boyfriend was a blessing in disguise because I got to become closer to my mother. We had a lot of mother-daughter disagreements in the past but we remained to be respectful of each other. It was in 2007 that we both realized that we could have this kind of buddy-buddy relationship.
Foods, going to the local mall and chatting became our weekly routine. My Sunday lunch with my family was just superb. It was like hitting two birds in one stone; I got to eat delicious foods and I got to socialize with my own family.
Mama’s demise in May 2009 made me stronger yet sentimental. I had to be strong for my father and brothers even if I was missing my mother so much. Nobody knew how much tears I shed because of her death; I kept it all from my family because they needed someone strong enough to depend to.
The first time that I visited my father months after my mother died, I secretly hoped that God would give me even five minutes to see my mother again preparing lunch for us. When I stepped in the house, I controlled myself not to cry.
The house that I occassionally visit now will never be the same again–not without my mother. She was the bond that ties each and everyone of us. She was our strength. She was our best cook. She was my best buddy.
I hope that people will be more appreciative of their parents. Losing a parent is like losing half of my life. I have moved on after her death but not as whole as I used to be.