What most people don’t know is that two of those poems were very personal. Non-Filipinos didn’t even understand, for sure. The most personal was the third and this month, especially today, it holds a very special meaning in my heart. Every time March comes, I grieve twice.
It’s not the best poem out there, but it is my most heart-felt. I wasn’t just writing to win a contest (winning at that point seemed like wishful-thinking). I was trying to convey my grief and ask forgiveness, maybe even for understanding.
This is it below, with translations. I hope nothing is lost in translation (I tried my best, but don’t consider it the official English version).
Hindi ko alam.
(I do not know.)
Paano nga ba?
(Please tell me, how?)
(how to forgive?)
paano magpatawad sa sarili
(how to forgive oneself)
sa pagkabigo bilang isang ina?
(for failing as a mother?)
Paano mawawaglit ang sakit na narito
(How can I lose this pain)
kung sa bawa’t araw, ang bawa’t araw
(if each and every day)
ay naglalaman ng iyong alaala, mahal ko?
(has memories of you, my love?)
kung ang bawa’t tibok ng puso ko
(if every beat of my heart)
ay nagsasabing sa iyo’y tuluyang naglaho?
(reminds that yours beat no more?)
kung sa bawa’t “Kumusta?” ay “Mabuti” ang tugon ko
(if for each How-are-you, I say “I’m fine”)
gayong ang bawa’t tugon ay may halong kirot?
(yet each reply carries the pain with it?)
…Siguro, may mga bagay na sadyang di natin masasagot.
(…Perhaps, there really are questions that will remain unanswered.)
Hindi ko alam.
(I do not know.)
Hindi lamang sa ngayon.
(Not for now)
Darating din ang araw na masasagot ko kung paano.
(Time will come that I will finally learn “How?”)
Umaasa pa rin ako.
(Yet I keep hoping.)
Isang araw ay babalik ka sa piling ko.
(Someday, you’ll come back to me.)
Hindi man ngayon. Maghihintay ako.
(Perhaps not for now. But I patiently wait.)
Hanggang mayakap kita, mahalikan kita, at masabing
(Until I can hold you in my arms, give you kisses, and say)
Mother’s Day came and went. I know it’s a great time to show how much we appreciate our moms but, honestly, I did not want to dwell on it too much at the time.
While I am a mother by ‘chance’ (husband has two sons from his past relationship) and I do treat the kids as my own, my heart was secretly mad. I felt robbed of the chance to really feel what it’s like. Sure, I know, there are these two kids already and I do love them, no matter how strict I seem to them and to others. I know being a mother can mean a lot of things, that you don’t have to be the one to deliver a baby on this earth. It’s just I wish I did not have to experience my two heartaches.
Mother’s Day reminded me more of what I lost. It was like the occasion was rubbing my face in my “failures”. My heart was secretly mourning for my little ones that I only busied myself with cleaning up and fixing things inside the kids’ room. I did not even have the heart to try to go online and greet every mother on that special day. That’s because I did not want anyone greeting me as well – does that make sense?
I just wanted the day to be over so that I could greet them sometime later. Silly, I know, for I only wanted to wallow in my misery for a while, something I cannot fully, logically explain. I guess it’s inevitable. As a mother, you just never forget. Emotion is not something you can easily turn on-and-off.
Well, today is my own special day and this is my gift: a greeting-slash-letter-slash-reminder. It’s the simplest, wisest, most sincere gift I can give to myself, and maybe to any mother who doubts herself.
Happy Mother’s Day!
A bit belatedly, but I greet you just the same. After all, just like other special days, we believe it should be celebrated everyday. Showing appreciation should not only be an annual activity.
On Mother’s Day, most claim to have The Best Mother ever, which is partially wrong and partially right. There is no actual measurement or fool-proof way to determine who’s got the best among the rest. Still, a child does know in his heart how his mother has been the perfect one for him. It’s the real love story.
But let’s talk about you.
Of course, you may not be the prettiest, smartest, coolest, sweetest mother – hey, nobody’s really perfect – but I know you try your best for your kids. You know this, you just have to have more faith in yourself. Stop feeding your guilt and letting it eat you up. Quit always feeling inadequate and questioning your own capabilities as a mother… GET. OVER. IT.
It doesn’t matter whether you give birth, adopt or take care of your husband’s children. If you have decided to commit yourself to being a mother, then, by all means, commit! Don’t let your brain have time to make excuses for you. You’re tough, keep it that way.
Motherhood is not for sissies and the weak of heart. You don’t do it half-baked, not half-heartedly. It is not something you just happen to plunge into. Motherhood is a lifetime career that should be taken seriously. I know you do so I am proud of you. Just don’t let that get into your head, okay? There is no room for misplaced pride.
Your kids probably do not or may not appreciate you now, but it’s not never. They just might have a funny way of showing it. After all, admit it, sometimes you have a funny way of showing it as well. Which reminds me, loosen up. You’re loose enough with other people yet you can be quite stiff when it comes to them. Understandably, you just want to instill discipline. The thing is, kids don’t like stiff, that is a constant anywhere. You certainly didn’t like it when you were a kid.
You want to feel appreciated? Make extra effort. Hey, don’t complain. Nobody said it’s going to be easy. In fact, most adults have warned us before, “You’ll only understand where we’re coming from once you’ve got children yourself.” I mean, yeah, we all knew that already. Nevertheless, becoming parents ourselves is one big reality check that we—you—cannot undo.
Relax. The world wasn’t built in a day so don’t expect children to change into saintly angels overnight. Pray hard, though, that the teen years won’t be turbulent. That is one phase most parents often deal with however much they would rather avoid it.
Remember, no mother is perfect, ergo, no motherhood is, too. Even robots are not perfect and they don’t become mothers (unless we go all-sci-fi here). Other people will always have opinions on how you are supposed to raise your kids – you know how their own kids turned out and/or are turning out, so really,…??? Take the good and leave the bad, be guided by the right moral compass. Nevermind the haters and know-it-alls who, in reality, hate their own failures and know much less than you do.
So what to do? Just try to enjoy being a mother and take it easy on yourself, that’s what. Believe in yourself, stay calm, be cool and…have lots of HAPPY MOTHER’S DAYS!!!!!!
The Kids and I
This is my mother with me in probably the last photo taken of us together
My sister and her daughter a few years back…Happy Mother’s Day, Ate
It’s the love month yet! What better way to celebrate love than to pay tribute to the reason why we are all here alive, living and loving? This is a story of a young mother’s love. We’re months ahead of Mother’s Day, but it’s nice to celebrate the bond between mother and child. Of course, we do not belittle fathers, but real men understand this.
I am not a mother so I asked someone to guest blog. Actually, I asked permission to reblog something she wrote. Technically, it’s not exactly a reblog as I read it on her Facebook page, but we’re not strict here *wink!* I was supposed to post this next Sunday, but seeing a recently shared post in FB that is eliciting a lot of comments, I decided there’s no better time than today.
Folks, let’s meet Lorie and her cute baby…ENJOY!!! 🙂
I just had my APE taken. The doctor who administered my physical exam was a “he.” That was probably the reason why the nurse handled the breast and anal examinations. I would have not minded, after all, I had been naked in front of strangers of both genders twice. And the last vivid memory I have of my recent childbirth is that of a male-nurse (or a doctor) holding my left breast as another nurse put my newborn on my chest so that the baby could have its taste of the first milk.
Because I have been actively breastfeeding my newborn, I have become shameless. I can probably claim that I have mastered the art of breastfeeding in public. With a brave front, I have demanded for special privileges in public places, asked to be provided a decent breastfeeding station. It has allowed my baby to peacefully latch on before I put a scarf around her and dare face the public again.
Inside the house, I became less conscious about the privacy of my own body as I am more concerned about pacifying my baby whenever she howls (yes, howl) out of hunger anywhere in the house. I am unmindful of the fact that our new home has glass windows, and no, we have not installed curtains yet, nor blinds, and that my sister winces every time she sees the exposed breast. Only when there are relatives of the opposite sex do I put a scarf around us or secure a private area to breastfeed. This is not out of shame, but out of courtesy, for they would probably be unwilling to witness such an intimate scene.
No, my dears, that is NOT the father 😉 As for Baby…feeding time!!!
This is also the first pregnancy that I have no immediate interest to regain my size, or to whiten the darkened areas of my skin. I am actually anxious that anything I take may affect the lactation of my child. I have probably lost interest or perhaps I am more interested in the welfare of my baby rather than in being pleasant-looking. And since I am breastfeeding, gone are the days that my husband would help me take care of the child during the night or in the wee hours of the morning as I am the only one she probably needs when she wakes up.
I have been more tired than ever, barely remembering how I survived post-pregnancy after my first child. I sometimes wonder if I have made the right decision to breastfeed my second child, then I remember that it was not my choice. The baby chose it. She wants me. As opposed to my first-born who refused and hated being breastfed, my newborn hates the bottled counterpart. She loves to be cuddled warmly and safely onto my chest as she sucks out all the weight I gained during pregnancy. Yes, if there is one positive outcome in relation to my physical appearance, it is that thanks to breastfeeding, I am losing weight. And losing weight fast.
A few more days and I will formally return to work (formally, as I have been using my leaves, working and checking the output of my colleagues). That will mean that I cannot be disturbed for a full eight hours. I do not know how my baby will adapt to this, but we have introduced bottle feeding to her in the last two weeks (my child has no choice but to be bottlefed during those hours).
This is one of her latest pics, taken a few days ago. What a cutie patootie!
During the two months that I have been breastfeeding my child, I have learned a lot of misconceptions regarding breastfeeding and have affirmed a lot of positive results from it as well. Most of all, I am happy that my baby is as healthy as I want her to be, with all her limbs and cheeks full and bright.
With aching breasts, I am moving on to probably more tiresome days ahead. But this, I can say: I have embraced motherhood, wholeheartedly, finally.
Mommy is a crafts-freak, and that’s a good thing. This is a token for Baby’s Christening this coming Sunday, February 23…Welcome to the world, Baby!!!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:LORELIE DAZO is now a mother of two. She is a colleague but don’t ask me what she does, it’s complicated 😉 She says in her blog, “I love doing crafts. I love painting. I am happy with what I have.” You can find her at lcdazo.wordpress.com. It still doesn’t have much but hopefully I can make her write more jewels like this 🙂
Meanwhile, may I emphasize, Miss Dazo owns ALL copyrights to the article and photos, with the exception of the last image (cartoon). None of what she owns may be copied from here. Contact her first, if you want to use her piece, especially the photos.
Thank you for reading! We both hope you enjoyed it.
As you can see, somebody’s sharing of a Facebook post regarding breastfeeding in public prompted me to bump the schedule of this blog post a few days earlier. I personally do not mind mothers feeding their kids in public. It is a bit awkward as, like most people here, I grew up in a conservative society, but I’ve realized long ago that breastfeeding is a natural and important process. As I told the author, I am actually often really concerned about others who may be ogling. Fortunately, most breastfeeding moms know how to properly position their babies so, you know, sorry, folks, nothing to see here. Go on, turn and walk away, that’s right… 🙂
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know by answering the poll and posting comments. BTW, opinions are allowed, but it is never a reason to disrespect so please mind your manners.