I'm always longing for a conversation with my mom. She can talk all day and night about her past. The past that holds her darkest time, my mom and dad's struggles, and how they mapped it to success.
My mom never got a chance to be in college. She really wants to finish studies and be an employee but she needs to assist my grandmother in everything they are in to. She told me that she even walked a mile selling fish to their neighbourhood.
She went on to many hardships. She and her friends sold cooked food at employees in Philippines' Central Business District. She envied the staffs at first, the uniforms and well-groomed hair, high heels and the scents of their perfumes but when she befriend them and know how much they earn, a spark of hope lighted on her head. She earns more than the employees and inculcated in her mind that business will get you successful, financially, and not being an employee.
Business after business until she settled for a second-hand lumber firm. When I was born all was okay. Mom and dad have spare money for all our the needs and wants. Mom provided insurances with mutual fund to dad and my two brothers. I had educational plan. When Ate reached her 18th birthday, a 4-storey building was built to be our new home. She bought parcels of land in different places for us to build our future houses when we got married. Would you imagine she even got a land for our final resting place or if we want to be cremated she got also lockers for our urns?
My mom have an Alzheimer and that disease is faster than it seems. Every time I call home, I always ask her, if she still knows me, if she still knew her past, if she knew what's happening around, if she knew my pains and my husband's success. And before hanging up the phone, I never forget to ask her if she is proud of me and my siblings. She always answers me back "Oo naman!" and one by one she will enumerate the reasons why.
After reciting her reasons she will next remind me of her golden rule. "Di baleng ikaw ang masaktan kesa ikaw ang makapanakit, di baleng ikaw ang niloko kesa ikaw manloko, di baleng ikaw ang nakawan wag lng ikaw ang magnakaw." When I was a child I always answered back "oo na, paulit-ulit naman" but now I really appreciate her rule. That made me and my siblings better persons.
That's how our talk goes every time I call. I love how satisfied she is when she remembers all her experiences and saw the fruit of her labour.
Thanks Nanay for all the sacrifices, we are reaping the benefits today.