10 May 2011

Mother by Default


Today, Joan is on her way to the airport.  She works as a nurse at King Abdul Ahsis Hospital at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  She gave her twin sons a big hug and left with a heavy heart.  She will wake up everyday wishing she was with Mizzi and Mhel.  Yet, she will sacrifice being with them so she can guarantee a better future for her sons.

My mom used to be on the other side of the equation.  My dad is a retired ship captain and mom would watch him hug us goodbye.  I remember the feeling of not having dad around all the time.  He was not there when Ate, Kuya and I were born, walked and talked for the first time, graduated from elementary and high school, learned how to ride the bike, drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes.  My mom was our father, too.

Jae is Joan’s younger sister.  She doesn’t own a restaurant or hotel or work for a large company.  She is 30 and she gave up her life’s potential.  She willingly chose to take care of Mizzi and Mhel. 
 
I am surrounded by women who are testaments of what motherhood is all about.  Their stories of sacrifice, selfless acts and unconditional love surpass any hero’s tale.  They are the true heroes. 

I am a mother of a 3-month old beautiful baby.  Though I giggled as friends and colleagues greeted me (it was my first-ever mother’s day celebration), I felt uncomfortable.  3 months is a short time to deserve the honor and gratitude given to mothers.  For now, I am a mother by default.  But, I look forward to my own stories with Julia. 

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms… and to women who gave their lives to take care of children who are not their own. 
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