Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” John 19:27b
In the movie “A Very Special Love”, starring John Lloyd Cruz and Sarah Geronimo, there was a part where Layda, played by Sarah, forgets her mother’s birthday because of her work. Work was up to her neck, that she forgot the day of the woman who bore her, who nursed her and who loves her.
Who would forget such a special day? Not my family. Not me.
Today is my mother’s birthday. She has been dead for some years yet she is still alive in our hearts and life. For many reasons, our mother is unforgettable.
- She spoke when she wanted to speak notwithstanding what others would say about her. At one PTA meeting, she brought her mind to the gathering and she got voted as the Vice-President.
- She would fight for what is best for her children. She sold vinegar and charcoal for her to support our studies. She never mind to smell like the liquid and have black dirt in her hands.
- She brought us close to God. She bugged us to come with her to church and afterward would treat us at the kanto for barbecue or sliced pakwan.
- She never taught about the Bible. But we know she read it, because we read it in the way she lived.
- She reached high school education yet she wanted us to reach for more. Now, we are living our dreams, her dreams were fulfilled.
- She will take the pain so the family won’t. When she was at her deathbed, she did not want us to bring her to further medical attention. She knew we were running out of money, but we were not running out of her love.
- She lived with her sister in law, in all her married life. They had differences and we saw how she loved in spite of.
- She encouraged us that there’s no time to be wasted, that there is something somebody can do for someone. And that somebody is her.
I can go on and on but let’s take that next year.
I join my brothers and sisters in remembering our mother. As my siblings in the Philippines visit her grave and as I visit her in my heart, we behold her. We behold her for she loved with a very special love.
Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Isaiah 49:15a
It was one of the biggest boo-boos in my life. I purposely left her as I march into my high school graduation. She was supposedly walking beside me as I walked that aisle as an honor student. As a teenager who does not know who is valuable and not, I ignored her. Her is my mother. Imagine what she must have felt upon seeing other parents and other students stride towards their rightful places. Imagine what she must have felt upon realizing her son put her aside instead of being on her side. She was mad, really mad. She reprimanded with tears and questions. Asking why a son has done so. Asking what a mother did that a son has done so. I have no answer. I have no justification. But, after this moment, she still cared for me as if nothing happened. She still made sure I have food in front of me. She still turned my dirty clothes into clean. She still gave funds for my advancement. She still shared her joys in my victories and allowed herself to be involved in my failures. She was set aside by her son yet she is still a mother.
She just lost her mother. She cried and she cried a river. Her world was broken apart. She turned side by side yet her vision is blurred by the pain. She looked up and she looked down yet her face issued the same image of devastation. No words can console her. No embrace can calm her. At the time she divulged the sad news to her daughters, she amassed renewed strength. As her daughters shed their tears, she was there to console. She was there to embrace. Her mind was pulling her in different directions yet she gave the way to peace to her children. She was weak and she gave strength. She was in pain and she was healing others. She was startled and she was assuring. Her world shuttered yet she was building others’ confidence. I saw all these in my wife. A daughter who lost her mother however a mother not at lost to her daughters. She is still a mother.
She received rejection. She experienced pain. She won’t forget her children. She won’t forget her call. She will never forget. In moments her identity is challenged, she is still a mother.
Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him. She came and fell at his feet. Mark 7:25
She has the guts. She was a Kapampangan in an Ilokano home. She was a Filipino in an American gathering. A Canaanite woman in a Jewish community, well, this is the real case. In spite of this, she came and fell at Jesus’ feet not for herself but for her daughter. She begs for healing and cleansing for her daughter. Maybe she feels what her daughter feels. Maybe she came for she has no one to turn to. Maybe her child’s condition is above her love and care. Jesus told her it was not right for her to receive that blessing, yet she persevered. Upon her persistence, Jesus healed her daughter. Jesus was amazed with her faith, she was amazed with Jesus’ power.
I was in belief when we go to the church every Sunday with our mother, she was praying for her kids. She was kneeling and whispers prayers to God enumerating her eight children. She would take a peek on one child after another as she would recite her petitions. When we pray the rosary as a family in our home, she would keep in her heart her dreams for each child and lift them up to God. Whenever she would take her time, before going to bed, she would come to God and ask for blessings for her eight kids. Whenever she makes rounds to do the last look at night on her children, she would say a short prayer for them to Him. She prodded us to be close to God as she was. She taught us the way to the church same as she taught the way to God.
Imagine what a mother would do for her children. Going to unfamiliar places to seek God’s blessings and guidance on her children. Imagine what a mother would pray for her children. She would wrestle with God and justify her requests until God grants her intercessions. Imagine what a mother would do before God. She would bow and bend her being to declare God is her Lord and King.
Selfless is a mother. Selfless is a mother’s prayer.