I called my mother international long distance on the eve of mother’s day to avoid the traffic jam on the phone system. As often happens, the phone lines get very busy on special occasions and sometimes it’s hard to get through. After I greeted Mama and asked her how she was doing, she told me she can hardly walk anymore due to osteoarthritis. She still manages to putter around and take care of herself albeit more much more slowly. She said she tries to exercise her joints during the cooler times of the day since there has been a rash of electrical brownouts and water rationing where she lives. Even though she has a cane, her pride keeps her from using it when she has to go out. In spite of that though, I’m glad she still manages to join her friends in their religious group meetings, birthday celebrations, and other occasions. She is no longer able to ride jeepneys to take her to places and has to rely on more expensive tricycles to transport her. Nevertheless, the important thing is that she still goes with her friends to gallivant once in a while without confining herself in her small apartment. In fact she had a planned outing with her friends on Mother’s Day.
This reminds me of what I’ve read about in the past. Although pain reminds you of how old you are getting, it also reminds you that you are still alive.
Last February, my classmate Leonard, the doctor who visited the U.S. in December and January, stopped my Mama’s place on his was back home. Other than the osteoarthritis, he said that Mama looked well. What a great gesture! My mom got a free house call and consultation from my friend J.
Mama and I talked briefly about their evacuation from Jolo in 1974 and how her crucifix saved the family as documented by my brother in his blog consisting of Part 1 and 2: http://larrydlp.blogspot.com/2009/08/last-days-in-jolo.html and http://larrydlp.blogspot.com/2009/08/last-days-in-jolo-2.html . With this reminiscence with Mama, she mentioned that despite everything she had gone through in life, she is thankful to still be around. So am I. Thanks for being around for us all these years Mama. This brief tribute falls far short of what you deserve, but you have always been loved and appreciated all these years. With much love, Happy Mother’s day.
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