To My Mother, On Her Birthday

To be honest, I know that no present could equal the gift that my mother gave to me—life.

My life, in all its essence and glory, came from her. She suffered unbearable pain in the delivery room just to give birth to me alive.

Yes, alive. Because I had a twin brother who did not make it.

Even though the situation went down to that, she did not give up. She brought me into this world with all the strength she has. It did not matter that her womb was sliced in half and stitched afterward. She was able to bear it all, the pain of caesarean section and losing a child while giving birth to another. Everything did not matter as long as I’m alive.

And you know what the best part is? I am her first born.

Yes, those things happened during her first pregnancy. Can you imagine how hard that must have been for her? She has suffered enough for her first pregnancy. And that was followed by three others, my younger siblings whom she also delivered through c-section.
Although it is hard to determine how many c-section is too many for a woman, I still feel blessed that my mother was able to recover from all four of it—with no complications.

For that, I’d like to tell my mom: 

Thank you for bearing the pain of pregnancy for us.
Thank you for not discarding our chance of experiencing the world you so proudly live in.
Thank you for letting us become part of your life.

Giving birth to us is just the beginning of it.

All the sacrifices that my mother did are worthy of a novel. It’s not something I can encapsulate in a 500-word essay. And to say that words are not enough to express how much I value my mom is an understatement.

But I’d rather write an essay than fail to acknowledge the woman who brought me into this world and raised me without hesitations. After all, as writers, we tend to write about certain people. So why not write about someone not just certain, but all the more important, my mother.

I remember when I was six years old. She has to work overseas. My life was torn apart, not just my heart. As a child, my only concern was that I’d be separated from my mom. I won’t see her on Christmas…or even on my birthday. I didn’t think about how I’d grow up without her by my side.

That didn’t last, though. Because one summer, I broke my right arm. It was a closed fracture. I cried, so much. And the first thing I said that moment was mom.

I just realized that every child does that when they cry. It’s a living proof that we all came from our mother. I am her DNA. Her blood runs through me, and at that moment, her own flesh was in pain.

After the operation, she went home to see me. And never came back to her previous job. That day wasn’t so special; it was neither Christmas Eve, nor my graduation, and my birthday. But she came to see me.

I guess one couldn’t really understand the longing of a mother to see her child unless she is already a parent.

Honestly, we grew apart from each other as I grow up. Those nights when I can still cuddle with her when I’m scared of God-knows-what children are most afraid of, is now spent hugging myself alone in the dark. I miss those days when I spend the after-school hours listening to her as she teaches me how to write. Those were the days I admire her so much for being so smart. I would even believe her than my teacher in class. I owe her big time.

My admiration for her will never stop. Especially that she has a heart of gold. Her kindness radiates off her like sunbeams. She does not only single-handedly excel in motherhood; her devotion goes beyond to serving God and giving back to the community. She is so full of life. Her positive energy moves all of us in ways words couldn’t describe.

Reflecting upon these just makes me hate myself even more. At times I feel like I failed at being a good daughter to such a wonderful woman like her. I hate myself for arguing with her whenever she tries to change my mind or convince me to do what is right. There are times when I refuse to believe her anymore and think that I am better off alone…because I am a grown woman now.

But then, slowly, I realize that nobody could really equal your mother’s pieces of advice and lessons in life. Because she cares about you more than any person you’ll ever meet. She would give up every single thing just to talk to you on the phone, just to see you happy, or to prepare your breakfast before you go to work. Even if that single thing was her health, her time with you, and her life.

She’d rather be alone sometimes just so you can live the life that you wanted. She’d rather wait for you to come home late at night than sleep without knowing your whereabouts. She’d give up that promotion and take a couple days off work, just to make sure that you are well taken care of when you are sick. She makes sure that everything in school is settled even when you can handle it by yourself. She’d be late for work just so she could spare you sweating the small stuff of preparing your food and clothes to school.

She would tell you how proud she is of you even if some Cruella De Vil told her that her daughter has no talent. She would stand up for you, whatever it takes.

Even though how annoying she sometimes gets when she’s trying to preach about how I should live my life. I’d still love her anyway. I have to admit, mothers and daughters go through that phase. There is no such thing as a perfect mother-daughter relationship. There’s only being real in the eyes of your family. But she would go through all that phase, from seeing you as a cute toddler and looking at you with admiration as a grown up. She would go all through those changes in her body, from back pains to wrinkles as she gets old, just so she could see her child live a good life…

Today is my Mom’s birthday. I don’t say it that much, so I’ll say it now for her to keep forever:

Mom, I love you, and I feel so lucky to be your daughter. I am so proud of you and will continue to be. Thanks for loving me unconditionally.

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