Nanay Writes A Note For My Birthday

Before I post her note here (without her permission), I want to give the readers an overview of my relationship with my mother.

When I was a lot younger, I misunderstood the life she and my father took. They married and parented us at such a young age. They were both teenagers when they married. All 4 kids were 4 years apart. I always questioned their decision, and sometimes, the lack thereof.

I wondered why I had to be raised by my grandmother after my brother Jami was born. I had a lot of questions.

Questions that I found the answers to as I grew much older, and more mature.

I came to love my mother when I went away from home. I was 18 when I left Davao and living with relatives, and non-relatives, made me realize what I am missing. Life is very complicated for me as I grew up, even now when I tell Joy my childhood stories, I can’t help my tears from welling up. Even as I tell the stories jokingly. Imagine me joking while crying. Story of my life.

The challenges that we hurdled as a family, which is a very long list, made our relationship stronger and my love for my family, deeper (in a somehow out of the ordinary way).

So, I went away when I was 18. A year before my sister was brutally murdered. My brother dropped off school. My parents and my youngest sister had to move to my maternal grandmother’s hometown. My family eventually gave Davao up, and I lovingly asked them to move in with me in Cavite. Business ventures failed. Money slipped away. A few quarrels on the side. And here we are now.

30 years after being married, my parents broke up, and this time, it’s for good. My siblings are growing older (and so am I), and we are all going to different directions.

When I read my mother’s email, I cried. It’s probably the first time she gave me a note, an equivalent of which is a birthday card. And the content of the note, meant so much to me that I wanted to hug her right away (something I did not grow up doing and something I wish I did more often).

With no further adieu, here’s the note she emailed me, the unedited version. And for the record, my birthday won’t be until Sunday which also happens to be Paddy’s Day (St. Patrick’s Day).

(Thank you so much Mama for letting me know these thoughts. I love you)

Thank you for such a great daughter, as we  all know you are all great children to us.
Thank you for your undying support and cares for your family no matter how hard our lives went through,
The great and small ups and downs, you are always there for us…
Thanks for the countless victories  that we won everyday that you were there, even the time of losing…….
Thank you for being with us in our normal abnormal life……
You  were there helping us build our strength, perception,beliefs, even in changing life came closer to reality.
Your open mind grasped ideas and philosophies that jives nor  contradicts yours.
I thanked you also for being  stubborn for a time.
It turns me realized to choose between losing you and to possess the virtue of acceptance of being you…..
It breaks through my eyes of understanding, leading me to explore world’s versatility and modern outlook on life.
But stick on today’s highlights,
It’s no less than your birthday today,
And to past forward……
Have a happier birthday, birthday after birthday.
May you have many things to fulfill, 
Though we all know you are more than a conqueror, and nothing more to prove.
It’s a big  YES! you have it all.
We wished you a better health,
More joys and joys in travel,
With JOY enjoying the world…………
Loved you for what you are yesterday, today, and undoubtedly tomorrow.

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