The Joy and Pain of being a Mother

Women especially mothers say unless a woman became a mother, she will not feel and experience the joy and happiness, loneliness and the pain of becoming one. Anybody (ladies and women) can relate to me in situations like when having arguments with our moms, they would always say, “ You will understand everything once you become a mother” for which I did and for sure a lot of you will agree with me.

I became a mom for the first time when I was 27 and the second time 10 years after. I was blessed with a son and a daughter. Before the birth of my daughter, my mother supported me a lot taking care of my first born, Justin Raphael.

She was present in my son’s life, she was like the second mother to him back then, I wasn’t around him most of the time because I needed to work and went abroad twice.

I had and still having my shares of joy and pain being a mom but for now I will talk about the person who gave me life and who have loved me until the last breath of her life - my dearest mother.

Who she was....  

She has a beautiful name - Leonila and was fondly called Lila or Lilay, She was not different from any mother whose priorities were her family and the good of her children. She was not perfect but who is anyway. What I know is that she had loved her man and us, her children.

Her memoir.... 

Remembering her always brings tears in my eyes, and every now and then sobbing.  If I can just turn back the hands of time I will but she is long gone more than 9 years ago.  But if that can be possible I am still hoping one day to wake up seeing her so that I can make up for everything I have done to her that brought her pain and sorrow.

I've  learned long enough that we should always make the most of what we do with our life whether aspiring for success or just caring and loving, doing and giving our best because we don't want to regret anything at the end. It's never a good situation to be in.

I wasn’t  the best daughter she had. I was the 2nd child. Just like many of the mother and daughter relationships, ours was not perfect. There were a lot of arguments, which sometimes led to yelling and not talking for a few days which I guess was a normal part of a mother and daughter relationship  but there were also moments of happiness and joy.

Two of which were when I graduated from college and became a registered nurse. We were six children and I was the only one who completed school. They were proud of me, my mom especially. You can see how she held her head up high with a smile every time I was given honors and awards and she has to do that on stage. 

Almost all of us would say our mom is the best. That holds true for me too,  Lilay is the best mother in the world. She was very kind, generous and so industrious. She loved to cook, she gave us the most delicious food ever. That was what mattered to her. We were a middle family but she didn’t mind putting a lot of food on the table. Her children were her first priority.

She didn’t have the best life, the best husband and marriage, the best children but she was happy. She probably wished a happier life but she was contented. And that was why when she stopped working, I thought she stopped living. She was a secretary and a good typist in a government office.  Back then there was no IBM or computer yet, but I was amazed how she used it with ease and fast with the fingers of her hands typing the right letters with the good old typewriter. It was her best friend. 

My mother had to stop working because of her age, I can’t remember anymore but it was I guess  before her retirement age when that happened.  I knew she wasn’t ready with that, she loved her job so much, she was used to have her own money.  It made her very unhappy.

There was no doubt she was worried of her children although most of us were having our own family, but I guess mostly for her favorite son,  my eldest brother who had a difficult life and my mom always came to his rescue. She was also very concerned about us even if we have our own life but she was just that, like most of the moms I know, never stops loving and caring.

Paralyzing condition....

Then all of a sudden, she had to stay at home which she was not used to. She wanted  to dress up for work, making herself presentable. I remembered using her make up and trying her high heels when I was young. My mom was beautiful and had maintained her charm and sexiness. Did I tell you too that she was a good dancer? My father and her were a beautiful dancing couple back in their younger days.

I was sure then she missed what she did almost half of her life. She felt she was useless, she lost interest in almost everything. She will just sit on her chair and watch television the whole day. I wasn’t very sure what she thought back then, probably thinking she deserved not doing anything because she worked almost all her life.  

We would tell her it will not be good for her health, sitting all day doing nothing. But she refused to believe that. She stood in her belief that it will do no harm to her. Again I wasn’t sure what was on her mind but she seemed happy because whenever I went there to visit her, she always wore a smile on her face or was she just pretending? I should have known better.

But she never complained. She never said a lot during those days. She was contented the way she was or I thought so. Every now and then, I would give her a whole body massage, it was good for blood circulation and she would always tell me she felt much better. She always had that beautiful smile and a caring look in her eyes..oh how I missed her so much. 

Eventually, she barely could stand alone or walk anymore without holding on to things like walls and chairs. Every now and then we would be angry with her because she was so stubborn, she just did what she did. Then finally, it got to her, the no activity affected her whole being.

The doctor’s diagnosis at first was Parkinson’s Disease and she was given medications, but then she appeared to be having some paralysis in her body, particularly the hands and feet because they were stiff, so we took her again to a different doctor and was diagnosed to have TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack or mini stroke) she undergone several examinations and  this time was given the right medications.

But it didn’t help her that long. The damage was so severe already and one evening, she had the last attack. My father went to where my children and I live, but before that I heard a voice calling my name  from outside, I was sure it was my mother’s voice but that can’t be and then it hit me when my father knocked at the door and told me and my children the devastating news saying while crying "your mother was taken to the hospital".....

The Last Breath.....

I was shocked, crying while on our way to the hospital and at the same time praying deeply to God,  to allow her to live still so I can make up for the lost time that I was supposed to be her private nurse. I stayed by her side, whispered to her ears that I was so sorry for all the pain I caused her in the past, asking for forgiveness, regretting the times I was not with her.

She looked me in the eye and I was sure she wanted to say something but instead she just put a smile in her face and I felt her never ending love and I knew then she forgave me.  I decided to go to our church to pray to GOD with all my heart to give her another chance to live but saying too “Let your will be done” and I just lifted up everything to HIM.

But in my heart I was hoping and somehow expecting a miracle. I returned to the hospital and my sister was crying, uttering “ "Inay has left us already”. I went to her, hugged her lifeless body tightly and sobbed.  

My realization....

During those difficult times, I realized I should have been around her. But I was having some difficult issues too about my personal life so I wasn’t there so much to care for her which I’ve regretted so much but the realization was too late.

There were even times when I would blame myself partly because of that and tears will just run down my face,  but I need these moments to ease the pain lingering in times when we reflect on what had happened to us in the past.  I know the past should be left behind but I guess it will be like that every now and then because people we love dearly will always be an important part of ourselves. 

Our Inay,(Tagalog term for mom) as we fondly called her, will always be remembered and loved and she will forever  remain in our hearts. She was just like all mothers, (except maybe for some) whose love for her children is  incomparable to anything in this world.  

"Just like the love and pain and the sufferings felt by Mary the mother of Jesus Christ when her son was born and later crucified and died". 

Mothers do not mind about the hardships of raising a family and children, she’s always able to carry the burden, enduring the pain but appreciates joy and happiness even with little things, contented with just loving her children and doing everything to give them the best life she could ever give.

Why am I sharing this story?   

In the hope that whoever reads this will come to the realization that our mothers, "these amazing women" shouldn’t be taken for granted, they should be given deep respect, genuine love and care because their sacrifices as a mother are exceptional and their devotion and love for their children surpasses any difficulties and pain they experienced while loving their children unconditionally.

Grab every opportunity to say the words " I love you very much Mom or however you call her, and tell her "you are the best mother in the world" while hugging her tightly, a smile will be planted in her lips and her heart will be filled with joy and happiness.

I will leave you (for now) with these parting words, which is stated in the fifth of the Ten Commandments: 

“Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. — Exodus 20:12 (NIV)

By remembering this with all our hearts coupled with action, I firmly believe and without a doubt,  we will all be blessed by our loving ALMIGHTY GOD.

What have you done today? Did you tell your mom "I love you". Please do, she will be very happy and you too. 


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