A Mother Named Paz: A Mother’s Day Tale
Updated: Sep 7
I still couldn’t forget that dreadful call from my father who was crying when he told me, “Flo, your mother is gone.” The events that day had been a blur. All I could remember was that I was trying to suppress the emotions inside me. My colleagues were telling me how strong I was for not crying at all. If they only knew. My heart was about to burst with grief.
She was the most prominent figure in our household since my father was not around most of the time because he was always away at work. We grew up with her always nagging at us trying to let us do household chores. She was taking care most of our needs from school projects to assignments to test reviews. I never used to understand why she always got angry when we asked her to buy materials for our school projects. She would always say, “Again? How come it’s so expensive…blah…blah…blah!” Then I realized when I was growing up that it was quite challenging for her to budget my dad’s income every month since he was the only provider in the family at that time.
Although she didn’t deprive us, we had witnessed how very thrifty she was. She knew how to account every cost no matter how tight the budget was. For her, no matter how small or big your paycheck is, if you don’t know how to save, you can’t save at all. She taught us not to waste food and to consume toothpaste, shampoo and other consumable items in the house until the last drop or squeeze. Until now, I still practice this.
As we grew older, she was always there, guiding us and of course, still nagging at us. And my siblings and I always found it funny when she would nag and scold any one of us. We would go to the room and laugh our hearts out while the one being scolded was left outside in her wrath…hahaha!
But my relationship with her was quite complicated. Though I truly adored her, I couldn’t control myself when she nagged and I had to answer back. And she hated it every time I did. I always believed that I was not really a favorite of hers. I always reminded her that and she hated it even more.
But I loved talking to her. We often talked a lot. She was full of wisdom. What she predicted would come true. Once in my first year in college, I became out of focus with my studies and spent more time with friends. She warned me that it could lead to lower grades but I ignored her warning. By the end of the year, I got an incomplete grade in Chemistry and Physics. It was not my failure in school which made it disheartening. It was the fact that I let her down that made it more disappointing.
But even if we had this “always arguing” relationship, I would always go to her for advice. She was my greatest comforter when I had my first broken heart and she always nagged about when I would get married. I remember when I was 30 years old, she was so worried that I was not married yet that she told me to get hitched as soon as possible. I told her, “What do you want me to do? Do you want me to just snatch some random guy on the streets?”
With a woman of wisdom like her, I learned a lot of lessons which I took with me as I continued to live my life. When I was a teenager, I was so angry with someone that I stopped talking to that person for quite some time. She eventually told me not to hold a grudge against someone because maybe one day, that someone may be the person who’s going to rescue me from my distress. And that’s why I don’t get consumed by anger. I always forgive. I always let go.
And she loved having us around all the time. I remember the happiness on her face whenever we came home for the holidays. And it would always be one of the best moments for her. Until now, I can still remember the look on her face while waiting for my sister and me at the airport. How I wish I can turn back time just to see that face again.
As much as we loved her, we all had our shares of disappointing her. But despite of it all, she was there by our side, never leaving us, supporting us all the way. She always saw to it that our lives are in place. She always made it a point to check on us. Though we never understood her most of the time, we always felt her love and concern for all of us.
There are times that I wish to rewind life to that time when she was still alive and undo all the mistakes we made before. But we learn the hard way that whatever has been done is already done. There’s no turning back.
I couldn’t forget that dreadful call from my dad 17 years ago. Until now, it’s still painful to think about losing her. You think all along that it’s going to heal but the truth is, the pain doesn’t go away. It comes back from time to time. The feeling of emptiness has always been there. But it gives me a warm feeling knowing that once in my life she was there and she gave us the best that she could ever give.
She was not a prominent figure anywhere actually. She was just a mother to us but a superwoman at that. And her name was Paz.