The empty chair

Important occasions have a way of making all of us who’ve lost someone feel melancholic. I look at old photos and wish there was more time. Ah, time, the real treasure money cannot buy. It is something we all cannot afford to waste and we can never ever get back! But the sad reality is, we all still waste time thinking that there will be many tomorrows.

Mother’s Day, the mother of all holidays (pun intended). It has been a decade, Mom; and yet there are days when it feels as if losing you happened just yesterday. You leaving me abrupty 30 days after your own mother’s death is something that changed me forever. Grief indeed has a way of lingering; at times, it’s even fickle and treacherous. I may have moved on, but there are moments like today when that terrible sense of your loss and the raw pain just hits with full force.

Before I was even conceived, I was already a part of you. I was a silent whisper hoped for in your heart to complete our family. You carried me for 9months, and later on, as a crying infant. You carried me all through life’s stages; showing me how good life is, even with some road blocks. You defined the real meaning of love—that it is not just a feeling but action, intention, and sacrifice. Even when I grew taller than you, you still carried me through my hopes, my fears, and my insecurities. When I had kids, you were there, encouraging me that I could do it. I wish they got to make more memories with you. But, alas, we don’t always get what we wish for. Now, it’s my turn to carry you, mom. Always in my heart…forever…until we meet again (but please not too soon)!

And btw, you were right! The pain of childbirth is nothing compared to the bittersweet pains of raising children—the first stumble, the ER trips, the talking-back, the preference to friends over you, the giving of advice that fall on deaf ears, etc. I finally get it now, Mom. We love our kids with all our hearts, even with the humbling realization that we only have them on borrowed time. They will all eventually leave to live their lives. But then, the irony is that’s also the biggest measure of our succes as mothers because it means we have given them the confidence, courage, and wings to fly. [Thank you also my children for I will not be a mama without you. You are part of the journey that made me who I am now.] Happy Mother’s Day.

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