Before I was born, you prayed for me and loved me, so much, during those seven long years of waiting.
When I was little, thank you for patting me on the belly until I’d fall asleep. Thank you for opening your door every time I’d cry from a nightmare, and for letting me snuggle next to you after praying it away. Thank you for (insert bathroom stories), and for your patience with this strange kid who’d hide under tables and not smile at cameras unless she liked her dress. -_-
Thank you for waking up early to drive me to school every single day for sooooo many years, and for picking me up from school. Thank you for knowing me well enough that you’d sometimes bring my favorite mini donuts (sprinkled with the strawberry sugar), dippin dots, or McDo chicken nuggets with sweet & sour sauce. I was never skinny growing up, but thankfully, I wasn’t obese like Pizza.
Thank you for all the books you read to me, and for stocking our library with the best illustrated, fiction, and science books. Thank you for teaching me how to think, for teaching me how to teach myself, and for teaching me how to be a person of integrity. Thank you for rushing home when I got my period, and that era after watching that horrible movie that scared the crap out of me. Thank you for all of your loving sacrifices, for considering my comfort and happiness before yours. Thank you for not spoiling me with everything I wanted, but for giving us smart and cool toys, and leaving room to be imaginative with what we had at home and around the neighborhood. Thank you for enrolling me in art classes back in Montessori, and for being so supportive of my interests in art, food, and travel. Thank you for watching my high school plays, and bringing flowers to show how happy/proud you were of something that meant a lot to me. So often you’ve made me feel like you’re my biggest fan. I’m so privileged to have you as my cheer leader, staunch supporter, and partner-in-crime. Thank you for being supportive of my college endeavors that even my batchmates, professors, and CHE security guards got to know you pretty well. Thank you for being so present in my life.
Thank you for crying with me whenever I felt broken hearted, for making yummy congee when I’d get sick, laughing with me while watching Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, or those Pinoy flicks with Eugene Domingo that Bea is too snobby to watch. Thank you for your cheesy messages with those stock photos overlaid with positive quotes, or for those (annoying) positive quotes that you’d text me in the mornings. You have the worst corny jokes in the universe next to dad. They are so cheesy, but that is so you, and I love it.
You are my food buddy, my adventure/lakwatsa buddy, my prayer buddy, my driving/road trip buddy, my home depot buddy, my design buddy––––my best friend with whom I can talk to about anything–whether it’s boys and dating, “B: Is this too revealing?” “M: No, are you kidding me? You dress like a nun” conversations, work, random things, frustrations with God, and anything else under and beyond the sun. I think of you with every photograph of a flower, or lovely tree. Thank you for giving me space to get to know God personally, and for those times you respected my not wanting to go to church. Thank you for making me go to high school camp against my will, because that’s where I met my bestest friends today. Thank you for forgiving me for all the times I’ve been hurtful, intentionally and unintentionally. Thank you for being patient with my immaturity and craziness during college, and even today. Thank you for all you’ve done for me, known and unknown. I am grateful.
Thank you for knowing me, mom. For getting to know me for who I am, for not just understanding the things that mean so much to me, but for guiding me to broader perspectives. Thank you for loving my silliness, for loving me in a way that I was unafraid to be myself.
I can’t believe that it’s almost a year since I’ve seen you, face-to-face. I know it’s been painful and hard to let go of your daughter, to live with a lighter dose of Barby comedy in your everyday life (hahaha) , and to trust that God will take care of her wherever she goes when as a mom, you instinctively want to protect her and be close. I’m so grateful for that, and for all the effort you’re putting into overcoming your fear of technology. Recently, your characteristic inspirational messages/verses are trickling in again through Viber. Hahaha. By the way, one Voxer clip of dad snoring is enough.
I miss seeing your face, because I can always count on seeing the warmest smile in the world in it. I miss hearing your voice, even the times you nag me to “ki kun lo, ki kun lo.” (go to sleep, in Fukien) It’s two in the morning here in New York, and I will ki kun lo, soon. But right now, I need to celebrate you being the best mom I could ever have while it’s Mother’s Day in Manila. There are so many miles between us, and all I have are words and pictures, prayers and thoughts, and loving you from here. So I will write the words, even though they can never fully express everything, cover you in prayers, and praise God in gratefulness for blessing me with you as my mom.
You give the snuggliest hugs in the universe. Most of all, you’ve given me a heritage that lasts forever: your being you, your steadfast joy and thankfulness, your love for God, and your love for the people around you. This gift of God through you, Mimaw, is the kind of beauty and heritage that will only continue to grow brighter, more beautiful, and glorious. I am exceedingly blessed to have you as my mom. I am so proud and thankful to be your daughter.
I love you, Mimaw.
_____ (that name you call me, which I’d rather keep among the four of us)
Below pictures of us. Clearly, dad and Bea have to take more initiative in taking photos so that you and I can have more pictures together. In any case, Pizza will be my proxy in a lot of these photos. :)
Momma, may your life always be filled with joy, and new life.
May you continue living by His Spirit, that you may finish the race strong.
May He bless our relationship as mimaw and daughters to spur one another towards the finish line, and to be His instruments of love, encouragement, and strength. Don’t forget to exercise! :D May your heart always be filled with His praises.
May you see the fruit of your love and hope in the lives of those around you.
May your soul always wait on the Lord, more than the watchman waits for the morning.
May He bless all your relationships, and hopefully a family trip this 2014 or 2015!May He enable you to make the most of every season of your life, and to live each season with grace.(Food buddies!)(Adventure buddies!)
May He bless you and dad with the most beautiful friendship, corniest jokes, and intimate companionship, all the days of your life.
(Here begins the Pizza series. THAT PINK BELLY)
Happy Mimaw’s Day from Ugly Haircut Pizza!
(Such a sight for sore eyes!)
We <3 you!
May you be filled with the joy of His presence in the valleys, the hills, and the mountaintops. May He bless you with the best of Himself.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31:25
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5: 3-10