I have been praying the wrong prayer the whole time. If there is one constant piece I say to God, it’s always safety and good health of my family.
5 days after her 70th birthday, my Mama passed away. According to Matthew 21:22 “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith”, unfortunately no matter how much overwhelming faith you have, neither of your loved ones nor you is immortal in this world.
What causes death? There are two that I can think of, through acts of man or nature (including murder, suicide, calamities and accidents) and the other one is simply due to illness. I realized that the things I’ve been asking God all the time is never bound to happen because in the end we will all die. I’ve been praying relentlessly for safety and good health of my family because at the back of my mind, I don’t want them to die.
At 8, I lost my father in a tragic way. My mother stood as both mother and father in one. In fact, she has done it with flying colors. My siblings and I grew up showered with my Mama’s unconditional love. So, just imagine the day we knew about her passing. Personally I felt like an orphan…helpless and distorted.
I remembered a few years ago, on our way home I told Rolex, “I still don’t want to die”. It’s not because of some personal goals I still want to achieve but because I don’t want my Mama to be sad. Then Rolex jolted, “What about me? Do you think I won’t be devastated?” Well, he has a point. However, just like any other individual we can always move on (might take a long time) and find a new inspiration or love in the form of another person in the opposite sex but daughters & sons, mothers & fathers are irreplaceable.
Last year 2014, I spent almost four consecutive months with my Mama. It was one of the most unforgettable moments of my life, a tick off my bucket list because for the first time I was able to travel abroad with her. We went to the United Kingdom to visit my sister and her children. It lasted with only good memories to recollect not knowing that it will be last I am going to spend time with her.
There is still no day that I don’t cry, silently in the kitchen or in the bathroom or before I go to sleep. This too shall pass they say but this is not a problem. This will never pass. There are days that I feel so normal again, I wake up and go to work instinctively thinking that my Mama is just at home. Then when I checked Facebook there’s no one who would message me with “I love you. I miss you.” No one sends me my ugly #throwback photos anymore. I can’t even Skype or Facetime her. She will not answer me back. Never.
Then it dawned on me how can I be so selfish? I want my Mama to be alive and yet I am not physically there to be with her, just another downside of working overseas. However my Mama never let us, her children feel that way. She was always proud of our achievements. She nurtured and equipped us with what we needed to experience what this world has to offer. She gave us wings so we can fly high. My Mama never imposed that it is our responsibility to take care of her. She was always an independent woman from the very beginning. With her unconditional love, she always gives and never expects something in return. Her love overflows that we her children always take it upon ourselves to look after her and support her though she never asked for it. We are always eager to give back and pamper her because she deserves it.
I know it is ungodly to wish death to someone else but if I have to, I wish we will all die like my Mama. Her eternal rest was a perfect example of the true meaning of RIP. She was always in good shape most of her 70 years. Philhealth must have been rich because she never gets to abuse it to her benefit. Then suddenly, she took her last breath with no enduring physical pain or suffering. She died actually because she was overjoyed. Her heart can’t contain the happiness and fulfillment that she has blissfully embraced specially at that very moment. She departed in the same place where she was born in the presence of the people she longed to see and be with.
Now, I have altered my prayers. I still ask for safety and good health of my family but I have added one more twist. Death is one thing constant in this superficial world we dwell in. We will all die eventually. It’s just a matter of timing. So when the time comes, I pray that we have lived a very meaningful and fulfilled life. I pray that during those times we have touched other people’s lives, that we have done our purpose the best way we know how and I pray that we have learned, felt and expressed unconditional love, just like my Mama.
27th September 2014 around 9 AM at Davao International Airport, she was sobbing because I have to leave and go back again to the corner of the world where I am now. I wiped the tears rolling down her wrinkled cheeks and said, “Ma, don’t cry. Anyways we spent a long time together, right?” Then I kissed her and bid goodbye. That was our last conversation face to face, in the flesh.
Now when I think of her, I smile and can’t help but get teary eyes. If only I can hear her, she must have said, “Don’t cry, we spent 35 years together, that’s a long time right?”
I am not sad anymore, I just miss my Mama so much.
PS. Today 9th February 2015 is my 35th birthday. My Mama gave birth to me when she was 35.
PPS. On behalf of my family, I would like to express my sincere thanks to all our relatives and friends. Your thoughtfulness, support and generosity during this most difficult time will always be remembered.