Today I took my mom to go shop for something she needs to wear for a relative’s wedding. This is something we seldom do, because its either I’m always busy or she just prefer staying at home.
The entire process of looking for her dress is – painful. You see, my mom is a humble dressmaker. My childhood memories are filled with opening gifts of dresses and sweaters and pillowcases she made herself. So she absolutely denies buying things she know she can make on her own.
We were scouting the entire shopping mall for 2 solid hours, I am starting to get restless, and she started to wear that shy smile that says “Be patient.” Everything that she tries on are either too flashy, too short, too tight, inappropriate or just plainly not what she wants. I know myself too well that it will only take me another 30 minutes before my temper surges and probably ask her to just buy the next thing she tries on. For pete’s sake, I only had 3 hours of sleep and I still need to hurry up and go to work. I am slowly transforming into the impatient daughter she knew too well. But the next few words she uttered made me realize how stupid Iam for being such a monster.
” Anak, naalala mo ba nung Grade 4 ka, nung Christmas party mo, halos buong araw tayo nagiikot para makapili ka ng isusuot mo? Ayaw mo kasi ng hindi maganda kasi baka pagtawanan ka.” (Do you remember when you were in 4th Grade? We will look for your dress the entire day, and you were picky because you said you are afraid that they will laugh at you?)
Yes I remember that mom, you will rush back home from work to take me to the mall and look for my dress. I remember you holding my hand, wiping the sweat out of my forehead, carrying me when I’m tired, happily browsing every rack, every dress stand, cheering me to try them on. I remember you not being tired, nor impatient, because I know you only want to find what will make me happy.
I remember you cheerfully teasing me when I came back from school with a rose in my hand during 7th grade. I remember you asking me numerous times on what I want to wear for prom. I coldly told you Im not going, and you smile with that smile of yours that understands. I remember being heartbroken so many times while you silently look at me, not asking questions, not giving advice, but you will cook those food that I love and you somehow knew that’s all I need. I know you want me to find what will make me happy.
We both are growing old in-front of each other’s eyes. Mine is full of curiosity and hope, while yours is filled with wisdom and understanding. When I start to struggle with life, and feels like jumping head on, you remind me to be patient, and search for what makes me happy. It wont be easy, its tiring, I would need to try them on, surely I will be disappointed, but in time, I will find them.
Through the years, I still think about her as the most beautiful in the world, despite all her shortcomings, her wrinkles, the sag on her skin, the baggy way she dress, the old look on her eyes. I can never start writing anything about her without fighting the urge to cry, because above everything else, I know that there’s no greater love on this earth than what she have for me, for us. I hope you will take time to thank your mom today, or just even think about her, maybe whisper a prayer of thanks for all she has done and didn’t do, for you.