i've been receiving messages lately from people around me, telling me i've lost touch for the past few days. emotions have run around the spectrum from near-rage to tearful compassion because of my failure to answer calls or urgent email. honestly, i don't really know what to say.
i want to say sorry, but it's more of feeling sorry for myself. the self-pity is agonizing and is close to becoming psychosomatic. i want to get away from it all and tell myself i don't deserve to be shoved into a world of responsibilities i'm too young for. i want to turn off my 3 phones and drive out of town incognito. i wanted a grand party for my birthday but nobody really thought 30 was a big deal. i'm almost about to eat some worms.
yet seeing my mom tonight, bringing my dad to the bathroom to help him go about his business, threw all the pathetic feelings away. here was a woman who is probably the least acknowledged for everything she has done for us. last year she lost the chance to continue a private consultancy when she took the role of nurse for daddy who was recovering from his heart bypass. mother's day and her birthday were spent at the hospital, with daddy not even noticing each occasion because he was too weak to remember anything. this was heartbreaking, since my dad had always doted on my mom prior to the operation. nowadays, she is only comforted by the hope that somewhere beneath the tantrums and the helplessness is the man who is madly in love with her, the daddy she fell in love with.
she is sick herself, not having had a decent night's sleep on an uncomfortable watcher's cot for the past week. yet she always sets it all aside for him, feeding him bland soup that the hospital requires him to eat, talking to the doctors and nurses, going to daddy's office to get his salary and work assignments, while giving us detailed orders daily on how to run the house in her absence. i remember a night many years ago when she was watching TV in their bedroom with us and i asked her,
"ma, sino nagluluto ng ulam ngayon?"
"ako," she replied.
"eh pano nangyari yon, andito ka nanonood ng TV tapos nagluluto ka pa rin?", i wondered aloud as a bewildered 6 year old.
"eh di parang si superman," she said, winking at my dad.
i believed her then, because our dinners always tasted better when she was around, even if i didn't see her cut vegetables or put raw meat in the pot to cook.
i still believe in her now. she's the quiet strength that has kept this family together. she inspires daddy to get well and is truly there to ease any pain he feels in a way no son or daughter could ever give. and she demonstrates with every unappreciated act of service to her family, what "unconditional love" really is.
while we pray for dad's recovery, i also whisper a special prayer for mom, that she may always remember that she is loved by all of us. if i could only be half the woman she is, i would be fulfilled.