Wow! What a great school year!!!! Summer vacation has just started for some students here in the US. Most of the schools are still busy preparing for their culminating activities particularly for those graduating in middle and high schools. Students who have exerted more effort and performed excellently in class will definitely receive awards and recognition from their respective Alma Maters.
However, for students who are in lower grades/levels and have showed outstanding performance normally gets awards during recognition day. Have you ever seen the reaction of children receiving awards in school for their good performance or have you experienced yourself going to the auditorium stage or just even in front of the class room to receive school award certificates, medals or ribbons for academic excellence? Oh, you could just imagine how the faces of these kids light up and feeling so proud of themselves. Being recognized for an outstanding performance and receiving an award definitely bolster one’s confidence and provide a real sense of accomplishment that one put into his/her studies during the entire school year.
Whether you’re a teacher, coach, tutor, mentor, parent, catechist, scout troop leader, school administrator or a family member, the same policy for giving year-end awards applies– if you want to reward the kids for a job well done. Award certificates or anything of that sort are brilliant ways and means to do just that. Apart from awarding certificates, some teachers, or any of the aforesaid professionals may opt to give out so-called candy awards, pins, lapels, medals or any related giveaways which can be ordered from an expert or bought at a discount store or from a wholesaler.
Working with children is challenging, rewarding and sometimes can be so funny! In my little time of dealing with them, I could say that just like last year, I was so fortunate to have such a wonderful group of about 25 children with ages ranging 9 to 11 yrs. old. Oftentimes, these kids become part of my life, of my system! But just like in other classes, they too have to move on, to a higher level.
This year, I have decided to give out, on my own initiative, award certificates to all the kids. I believe each kid has his/her own strengths and talents. Regardless of the subject being taught or how large or small their achievements were, I thought the same should be recognized. The primary objective is to boost their confidence level and to make them continue to improve more on their craft or for them to even work harder.
Of course, the usual awards were given to the Top 5 in class, the Quizbuster of the year, and for the runner-up awards. For the rest of the class, they likewise received awards for other categories such as the best artist, most behaved, most helpful, most polite, most honest, most kind, most punctual, most cooperative, most participative and so on and so forth. However, there was one category which I’ve asked them to nominate one student and vote among themselves. This is the award for the “Most Friendly to All and to God”! It was really amazing because almost all of the students want to be nominated. They couldn’t just do it because the guidelines set indicated that a student can not nominate himself/herself and it is likewise due to the fact that they can vote only once. Of course, the winner was very much delighted and got the opportunity to thank everyone. especially her supporters.
I was very much surprised of the overwhelming interest from the students and have even asked me if there are still other certificates available for them to receive. Some of them got 2 certificates to take home to share with their parents. Here, take a look of just how they beamed with pride of their accomplishments!
During the last day of the class and before the giving out of the said awards, evaluation sheets have been distributed to get their feedback or their comments on the topics covered during the whole class year. The said evaluation sheet gave them the opportunity to review and reflect on the many things they’ve learned.
Likewise , in the said sheet, I asked them to comment on my performance. Just like in any organization whether be in private practice or in the public sector, a performance rating is imperative so one would know how he/she fares for the said period.
What can you say about your teacher, what about her teaching style?
THE KIDS COMMENTS (Note: Some were omitted because they are interrelated):
“My teacher is awesome, she has good teaching skills “ – Juan
“Ms. ____did a good job” – Ruby Anne
“My teacher is the best because she teaches us and she doesn’t yell and make all of our class laugh. Ms.____, GOOD LUCK!. The best teacher ever! – Amy
“ I like my teacher’s prayer corner more because you could pray in front of God. You could look at it at the same time it will protect you while you’re sleeping” –Rayner
“I love Miss _____because she is nice and never sends me to the office”.- Kiara
“My teacher knows how to teach. She also knows how to pray a lot. I liked it because I learned a lot” – Hairo
“I thought my teacher’s nice. She taught in a strict style. I liked the prayer corner” – Kelly
“Ms. ______ is a swift, fast teacher who is the best at teaching and her scolds are never half-hearted. I hope I have her again next year!” – Andres (By the way, he's the smartest in class- Top 1 )!
“She is nice. She writes and explains” – Calden
“My teacher is very nice, kind and caring and I thank her for teaching about all things and also God” – Nasthasia
“She is a nice kind teacher. I love her and she is not a dull person” – Brianna
“I think my teachers are excellent. They worked hard all year to teach us.” –Axl
See! That’s what I was referring to……that working with children is indeed so funny, rewarding and fulfilling! They’re awesomely honest guys!
Hello, folks, I’m here again to blog about the subject. Please bear with me, if I may sound like so excited to give you updates on how our choir is doing. It is just so amazing how God answers prayers – indeed, sometimes in really strange unexpected ways, right?
As in some choir groups, our newly formed choir is made up of busy volunteers from our parish who view their membership as a stewardship of their 3T’s, time, treasure and talent? Rather than being with their respective families during weekends, the members find time to be with the group for rehearsals despite their hectic lifestyles, even to the extent of shelling out green bucks from their own pockets for the good of the choir. Oh yes, I would say this is the kind of choir members who are readily available and reliable in so many ways. Such good souls! Someone up there may just be so proud of them.
Thus, in exchange for their goodness and generosity, I would like to share this to my colleagues and to you guys out there whose passion is to be of service to the community thru singing.
Did you know that there are plenty of benefits that choir members get from joining choir groups? You will just be thrilled of the surprising gains from joining a choir and these include the following, among others:
1. It promotes positive attitude – Attending choir rehearsals regularly and praising the Almighty thru singing bring the brighter side of life and eliminate the negative things that dwell in you. When you go inside the choir practice room and see the warm smiles and happy faces of the people around welcoming you, the positive energy is just palpable and the effect makes you feel better. The song itself, especially the spiritual songs can inspire the choir member and can lift up her/his mood.
2. It creates camaraderie and fellowship among the members – It is not only the pleasure of singing that you get from being a member of a choir, but also the bonding experience. I have noticed that our choir members have become friends and there seems to have a genuine involvement with each other’s lives, real concern, interest and support.
3. It reduces stress, tension and depression – Some of the choir members may neither be actively involved in church activities nor are very religious, but they just love to sing. When they mingle with the more spiritually inclined people, they yearn to be more spiritual – be more closer to God and may become immune to stress and tension.
Likewise, it has been proven by scientific studies that when you sing, you give yourselves doses of “natural medicine”, specifically when you sing with passion. Learning and singing new songs helps one to keep the brain young and alert, thus providing significant benefits to a person’s body and mind.
Perhaps, you may have heard this before from your music teachers or from medical practitioners that singing or playing certain musical instruments (e.g. trumpet, horn, flute, or any related instrument) is in fact good for your respiratory system. A friend once told me that her doctor has encouraged her to continue joining the choir, both as a therapy and an interest, and also as a form of exercise for her lungs and diaphragm.
4. Choir rehearsals enhance the choir members’ vocal skills. As the old adage say, “practice makes perfect”.
Additionally, a choir member tends to be more expressive and her artistic ability is even more enhanced. Joining a choir gives also the member the opportunity to gain new insights and experience musical enjoyment in a supportive atmosphere.
5. Joining church choir gives choir members’ a sense of belonging in the church and the parish community as well.
Last but not the least and on a lighter note, when you join a church choir, you’re in a wonderful spot to see the full gothic inside view of the church, to observe the regular and the new parishioners, and most especially the opportunity to receive the Body of Christ ahead of everyone. Such a great privilege!
Hey, if you have the talent and the genuine willingness to share said talent, go and approach your parish music ministry head and I wish you a Happy Singing!
I just realized that the other side of me is an artist. From music , photography, drawing , designing to crafting , you name it – I am doing it now! Doing useful things in your spare time is quite nice and gratifying, especially if you love what you’re doing and that you’re doing it for the good of the community.
Last month, I wrote something about the significance of Earth Day. But it didn’t stop there, I went out of my way to check if the kids in our community understand the impact and importance of the said event. As I mentioned in the said blog, keeping our environment safe and healthy is not just for one day but throughout the year!
The outcome was amazing! Here, take a peek at the fun things the kids did to take care of our planet and its environment.
I didn’t have the slightest hint in my life that I will be given the chance to observe fashion in a large metropolis like the Big Apple. With a year of experience in the city’s fashion industry and a daily late afternoon stroll before going home, along the busy street of 7th Avenue, NY’s fashion district, it was a sight to behold watching people from all walks of life strutting their fashion stuffs. I saw people wearing all sorts of style, from formal coat and tie/ladies power suits to rugged denim jeans and shirts, along the sidewalks of the street. It was as if I were in the front seat of a major project runway where all the people in the sidewalk were real life models, showcasing their best for the show.
As I am a “fashionista” by heart (though not in its strictest sense), I cherished those moments because the said experience gave me some pointers on how fashion can affect the overall outside physical appearance of a person. But as time goes along, I was no longer appreciating everything I see, I started to look a little closer, stopped , took count and I was surprised to pinpoint based on my standards lots of fashion faux pas. I am neither a fashion expert nor a fashion model/celebrity, but I know I have this innate fashion flair to distinguish which of these styles are appropriate or not.
For those not so familiar about the term “faux pas”, it is a French word which literally means “false step”. Mr. Webster and the online dictionary defined it as a social blunder or indiscretion, a violation of accepted social norms. It is pronounced as “ fo pɑ”. In fashion, it is like wearing things that shouldn’t be put on together, or wearing something which doesn’t suit to a particular built or wearing something with stripes and polka dots with a leather jacket and fur feathered hat as an extreme example!
Committing mistakes in fashion is but natural since not all of us are gifted with fashion sense. As I said before, fashion is more of an art than a science. It is what we make of ourselves, how we fashion ourselves and how we show off our own sense of style. It encompasses various things, from a powerful high avant garde to a fashion mistake such as a mere run in a panty hose or a piece of tissue paper stuck at the back of your skirt or dress or even at the bottom of your shoe! Oh yes, everyone makes mistakes! Some of you may have fallen victim to said fashion blunder at some point in your life! It happens and really funny, right? As a matter of fact, even highly fashionable people like ramp models and famous celebrities do likewise display occasional fashion blunders. We have noticed that in gala and awards shows, some of them experiment certain goofy styles which turn out to be bizarre, awfully bad and messy. And it is even more embarrassing on their part. So guys, there’s no need to worry if sometimes you commit said mistakes! It is okay as long as the lessons learned from these slip-ups shall eventually serve as your guide and reminders next time around. The rule of thumb is, if you feel uncomfortable with yourself, with your outfit, then something must be wrong and needs to be rectified.
Having said all these, the observations I’ve gathered during the one-year stint commute to and from the fashion district of the Big Apple presented various fashion blunders. Notice that the following list of fashion hard and fast no-no’s are the ones common, still true and haven’t quite changed at all despite the constant transformations in the fashion world.
Helpful Tips to Avoid Fashion Faux Pas
1. Dress to the nines according to your built – Take an inventory of your closet and make a list of things you need. If you’ve gained extra pounds and developed sort of a “muffin top” or a “beer belly” around your waist from the nocturnal doldrums last winter time, spare the skinny jeans and the small size pencil skirt you’ve used to adore as for sure it would be too tight in you. You might just end up turning like a stuffed turkey! I have observed this before and even now, wherein some working girls would have the guts to show off their dangerous curves and unwanted bulging bellies, making them look ludicrous!
On the other hand, I have seen people, both men and women, wearing loose or oversized garments so as to hide figure flaws probably not knowing or ignoring the fact that doing so would only highlight their imperfection and worse would even make them look bigger. Sure, it is comfy to sport loose fitting shirts and blouses but there are other options available to explore, such as wearing an inner blouse/shirt with a blazer or a jacket on it that has curvature down to the waist or a blouse with seam which could make you feel sexy and perfectly fit your body form to a T!
Similarly, I have also seen ladies as skinny as fashion models sporting super too-tight jeans or undersized clothes. Actually, it was funny to see it because there were as if a wigwam or a pyramid in between their pencil-thin shaped long legs. It just doesn’t look good at all and definitely not stylish!
As mentioned in my earlier blog (How To Power Dress in the Work Place), power dressing has evolved and is currently more relaxed. There are some trendy clothes that are just fine for a workplace and there are some too which are fashion faux pas. Don’t ever wear cocktail-look a like dresses to the workplace. This would include too short figure hugging dresses or low-cut tops or dresses with frills and laces.
As for the shoes, it was previously suggested in my blog that for office use, shoes with “chunkier heels, maybe an inch or two can add chic and confidence to oneself. Wearing flat shoes, sandals or even flip-flops to office is considered a fashion faux pas. Likewise, do not wear strappy sandals which are more appropriate for night out escapades.
2. Dress to the nines with appropriate underclothes – Especially during late spring and summertime, I have often seen people along the streets of NY not only showing some of their bare skins but also their underclothes or “undies”. Clean, new or ultra chic undies, if exposed to the public, become a fashion blunder. The more it becomes disgusting if the undies are worn out, stained, and untidy to look at (eewww!). Probably you have heard this reminder from you grannies or moms to be cautious in wearing underclothing, that as much as possible there’s a need to wear clean and proper undies to avoid embarrassment because you just don’t know when to encounter mishaps along the way.
Another blunder which I have seen around involves some people wearing clear bra straps in a strapless top or dress. Likewise, wearing dark colored undies, e.g brassieres, with a see through white or light colored dresses or blouses on it, revealing a silhouette of their private properties, shouldn’t be an option. Take note that undies, as the term implies, are meant to be kept inside and not for public eyes consumption. Oooops, sorry for the conservative views! But, don’t get me wrong, I super love undies with cute frills and laces but you may agree with me that it would be awkward for men and women parading around with visible lines and their undies like briefs, thongs, etc. peeking out of their jeans or from the edges of their skirts! To me, they’re totally inappropriate and nothing more!
Likewise, sports bras shouldn’t be worn under a dress or for any everyday attire, they’re designed for working out!
3. Dress to the nines with proper accessories – In particular, women have a fetish when it comes to fashion accessories, Said accessories include, among others, hand bags, shoes, hosiery, headbands, ribbons, jewelries, gloves, watches, bracelets, bangles, belts, shades, and the like. Said accessories could either enhance or complement one’s clothes or it could ruin one’s persona.
A classic example is the use of pantyhose. I for one use them for protection from my shoes and I’m comfortable with them either psychologically or emotionally. I also think that wearing panty hose makes my legs look better, shapelier and sexier. The real faux pas is the manner of wearing it. I have seen some people wearing either too small or too big of hosiery whether it be stockings, leggings or tights. If it’s too small, you will run the risk of highlighting the obvious or if it’s too big , you may appear like a bag lady with the hosiery sagging down your thighs and legs. Note that the seam of the stockings should be discretely tucked away from the opening especially if you’re wearing an open-toed shoes. Ensure that that the color of the pantyhose should match the hem of your skirt at least. Lastly, please put away your stocking with holes and don’t dare to use it to make a difference! It’s just tacky, tacky and tacky!
On the other hand, some people think that showing bare legs is cool and trendy. But actually another blunder is baring your legs itself. In fact fashion experts encouraged to use pantyhose and in fact even displayed these accessories in their runway shows.
The use of “bling” or jewelries, I am not sure about this. Personally, I am not really into gold or silver pleated jewelries. I believe in the saying, simplicity is beauty. However, if you have a nice designer gold watch (probably Gucci), go and flaunt it, that would be great to match with your office or night out attire. It’s definitely a no-no to wear so many gold or bright colored accessories, if you want not to look like a clown! A pair of cultured pearl earrings or necklace would be perfect for a formal occasion or office use.
It should be noted that having same colored accessories is not at all necessary. Coordination is the right term. As long as you have the art of coordinating as well as contrasting colors and designs with your outfit and the accessories, you won’t go wrong. A correct choice and manner of wearing accessories with the desired outfit will surely give you a presentable stylish look.
Now that you have these things in mind, another point to keep in mind is regarding body care. While you may have the fabulous fashionable clothes and accessories in town but have forgotten to physically clean up yourself, then that’s a baloney! That’s like cleaning the front yard of your house and not properly fixing up the mess inside. A mere stain on your dress can give a lasting impression. Proper and good hygiene is definitely a requirement: clean well trimmed finger and toe nails, a well-combed hair, fresh breath and a clean washed flawless face with a slight make-up , will surely make you go a long long way!
Therefore, to avoid fashion faux pas, we should be able to accept who we are, our imperfections but on the other hand learn to use the said imperfection to an opportunity to change and look better by wearing what fits us properly so we can be stylish and be able to exude the needed confidence. Once we have been able to acquire the habit of dressing well for fashion, this could stay and be our style for 2010 and beyond!
In the U.S. and in certain parts of the globe, Mother’s day is normally celebrated every 2nd Sunday of May each year. Thus, Mother’s day in 2010 falls on the 9th of May. However, in other countries, Mother’s day is commemorated at different times of the year. Some observe it as early as February, others in March and October, and would you believe others in December! While there may be reasons for celebrating various dates for Mother’s day, I could only surmise that this is probably because Mothers should be loved and appreciated not only for one day but each day of the year. Besides, motherhood is a 24/7 pro bono thankless job, it’s a lifetime responsibility!
Last March, I wrote an article on International Women’s Day wherein I mentioned in passing about my mother as an epitome of an ideal homemaker and an empowered woman in her own right. In fact, in some related write ups, I also noted certain factual events referring to my mother. That is how I would want to show to the whole wide world how our parents, especially my mother have molded us in our younger years to become better persons despite their absence when their children had to move out and stay in another place for higher studies and greener pastures. The shadow of our mother was always there to remind us of the do’s and don’ts even if she's not physically present to guide us in our daily chores.
Supposedly, I should be giving you some useful tips on how to celebrate Mother’s day, or I should have been providing you some practical tips to make Mothers happy on the said day or which awesome cool gifts Mothers would really love. Unfortunately, I won't do it this time. Rather, I would allot this space in recalling my Mom since childhood days whom I’ve truly loved and missed a lot. This is in honor of her relentless performance and wonderful achievements, being a wife and a mother. I have always been so sentimental when it comes to my Mom. As a matter of fact, while I was composing this blog, I couldn't help but cry, with tears kept flowing down my cheeks.
So, let me share with you my reminiscence of my mother, my siblings’ mother, how she fared as far as motherhood is concerned.
Basically, our mother was a beautiful woman with simple wants and needs. Coming from the countryside and far from the hustle and bustle of city life, she devoted most of her time rearing her 9 children, making us, her family, a priority even if she had other things to do on her own – her means of living and the like. She had served as the disciplinarian in the family in contrast to my father who was busy earning a living.. But mind you, my father was equally a loving and caring father –he played with us, joked with us, he was more of an extrovert type of person, so to speak. He was loved by people, by his comrades, by his lawn tennis mates, and oh yes, by his social drinking buddies! The truth is, I can write so many anecdotes and amazing experiences about my Dad. Sorry, Dad I had to mention this….I know you’ve loved us, even up to now, I can feel it in my heart.
Here are some of my recollections of my mother’s persona:
1.Our mother was selfless, very kind hearted generous woman yet tough and strict.
I remember when we're still kids, my mother would have to gather us to pray the Angelus every 6 pm each day and wouldn’t start the prayer if one is missing in the group. If someone is not around and is still playing outside with friends, she would go out of the door and had this amazing way of calling us. It sounded like a twit of a bird or a whistling sound which we knew that it was her, that it was time for us to be home. I’m not sure if my siblings would still remember these things. It’s sort of a bit funny or could be the sweetest sound but it was also of a concern because I knew there was an accompanying responsibility and at times a price we had to pay for not being at home on time! And believe me when we prayed, we couldn't just sit anywhere and participate in the praying, we had to be with the group and kneel down just what she did. Otherwise, we would get a word of caution or warning from her!
As a very kind hearted woman, she was so accommodating to anyone, especially the lowly and oppressed, knocking on our door begging for food and clothes. She would invite them inside, fed them and gave them out slightly used old clothes, sometimes with an extra small sum of money, making people leave our house with happy faces. She couldn’t bear the sight and the thought that poor people leave her house in sorrow. I remember another instance where we would welcome some people in our home on an honor-system basis, to the extent of allowing them to stay with us for years and treat them just like a member of a family. In fact, these people were sent to school and in exchange, they would do certain household chores, just like what we did at home – running household and/or personal errands.
2. Our mother was a self-reliant, independent and a hands on person.
She was very hard working woman, an all around, do-it yourself person- a very good cook wherein some of my favorites include the very tasteful home made cakes (torta) baked in an old style fire furnace, sweet and salted rice cakes (suman), cassava cakes, fish escabeche (originally a Spanish recipe), beef stew with tomato sauce and other ingredients, tapas, her own “adobo” recipe, green seaweed/sweet potato leaf salad added with vinegar and onions, steamed tarot and yams and so many more. She was our chef and we would be her assistants, preparing the ingredients but we’re more interested on the taste test side of it!
She was our hairstylist and continued to be when ever we’re home. In fact, she was the one who first cut our hairs and did our first curls. There were times that we would try to beat each other and fall in line for the hair cut during weekends. Trust me, she was very good at it, and she could truly style the hair the way we wanted it to be. Probably she was forced to learn it by herself because almost of her children are girls except for one boy. And oh yes, even our only brother got his first taste of a haircut from her!
3.Our mother was a businesswoman in her own right.
I recall when my older siblings had to go to college. She established a small variety store so as to augment the family’s earnings. I also learned and acquired from her my business acumen, the wholesale/retail consignment method and the pricing strategies. She may not be an MBA degree holder but it was great that my first informal business know-how emanated from her. She was intelligent and I’ve discovered that she was among the top of their class during her school days.
I have also first learned from her about the barter system. She may not be aware of the technical parlance, but yes she knew how to trade our things in exchange for commodities. An instance is when poor farmers would go to the city center to trade their crops in exchange for clothes, blankets and other things they needed in their respective homes, my mother would engage in said activities. In fact, even without the traded goods, she would end up giving the needed things to these poor men and women.
I mentioned in my previous blog that my mother knew how to fashion dresses for her young children, especially when she had her first sewing machine. If she finds time, instead of buying ready made clothes, she would do the measurements, sketched the dress and made a pattern on a piece of large paper before sewing it. She didn’t go to a formal fashion school, it was more of a self-taught learning skill. She did not only sew some of our dresses but also for some small projects like curtains, for small windows and pillow cases, for home use.
4. Our mother was a very patient, relentless and pious woman.
Ever since I was a child, I observed my mother would wake up in the wee hours (3 or 4 am) of the morning, kneel beside her bed and pray the Holy Rosary and other devotional prayers. This habit of hers continued up to her heydays. During her mid younger days , I would hear her murmurs, silently saying her intentions pleading to God for mercy and forgiveness. Except when she’s indisposed, she would hear mass every day and brought us bread or any food which she bought on her way home. To her, the day would not be complete without attending the Holy Mass and receiving the Holy Communion.
Married to a man who was fond of being with friends- with peers who were like a family to him, having drinking spree with them, and getting drunk at the end of the day, was an agony to my mother. Lifting up everything to God, served as an outlet to her worries, and oh yes, her prayers were granted – it worked after so many years! Our father’s drinking spree has diminished and they both have a very good time together.
She was so patient and persevering, especially in dealing with my father’s whims like food to prepare, office clothes to wear and so on and so forth. She would gladly do these things sans complaints even though she was already exhausted just so to avoid further arguments.
My mother was my first teacher and catechist. I first learned from her about God and everything about spiritual beliefs. She first taught us the basic prayers and the Angelus and later the Holy Rosary with the Litany. Even without deliberate memorization of the said prayers but because of the constant praying of the Holy Rosary, I was able to memorize the mysteries and would you believe the litany as well which up to now I recite it by heart! For us young kids and teens then, we didn’t grasp the full significance of the said prayers – it appeared said things were repetitious and were imposed on us! It was only when we were growing up that we’re able to recognize the beauty and the importance of praying, especially the Holy Rosary. Truth is, I am now applying the lessons learned from my mother in my class telling them how prayers are important in our lives. I almost forgot another very good trait which I’ve learned from our parents – that after praying, we approached them, kissed them and placed their hands on our foreheads for blessings and as a sign of respect. Thereafter, the younger siblings would then go to the older ones and do the same thing.
Our mother was involved in church related organizations. As a matter of fact, she became one of the sponsors or “hermanas” during feast day celebrations. This is the reason why majority of her children are now actively involved in civic and socio-related activities.
She was my first music teacher too. She loved to sing and had a sweet voice. Hmmm, my good voice must have come from her, kidding aside! Oh yes, she had this skill of doing second voice thru the so-called “owido” (playing it by ear) which I realized just now that I have also acquired it from her. And more oh yessessss, she danced gracefully too!
5. Our mother was our first faithful doctor/nurse, mentor, critic, and our best friend ever.
I recall when we were sick during our younger days, our mother was the one who was there awake all night by our side, caring for us, cooking and feeding us our favorite food, giving us the needed medicines to make us well and healthy. She was there to provide moral support whenever it was time for her children to give birth and taught them how to bathe and care their first babies. It was just so frustrating that I wasn’t there by her side when she needed me most. I know from the deepest of her heart, she would understand me, just what she had been – a very considerate person.
She was our critic even during her golden years. Whenever she saw us not in proper attire, if we're showing a little some of our skins, she would jokingly call our attention to change our dress. And if she liked it, she would just sit there in the corner quietly looking at us with a smile dancing upon her lips. I knew she was keeping her praises for us to herself. She was not really outspoken as far as flattering and pleasing people are concerned. As I said, she was more on the “critiquing” side!
She was our best friend ever. When our Dad first left to join Our Creator, our mother was wandering from one of her children’s place to another. Even in her older years, she tried as much as possible to travel and visit her children and be with them for a month or so. She would initiate the planning of a reunion for all of us and I can still vividly recall how she looked very happy, anxiously waiting for us at the gate whenever it was time for our flight arrivals. She had plans in mind with one of my sisters as her partner. We would go to a beach for a swim, visit tourist places, or just simply stay at home discussing various issues or even ending up in arguments! Oh yes, we’re normal creatures, especially in a female dominated place – we had misunderstandings- the so called siblings rivalry – and she would be the arbiter! But overall, it was a great feast for all of us with the delicious food served on the table just like the parable about the rich father who prepared nice things for his prodigal son to return to his home!
Our mother’s last birthday and final days of her life
On her birthday, we planned for a grand celebration for her. We offered gifts, flowers, and delivered our extemporaneous personal messages which she gladly accepted with a modest smile. We designed a program and had the presentations recorded on video, and oh yes there was even a banner greeting with her photo on it mounted on the wall of the hotel’s ball room. She was very excited about it, as if she was celebrating her 18th birthday. I recall we sang the song “Through the Years” with a twist and had it re-worded so as to suit the occasion. How I wish I could have written this before and delivered a well thought meaningful birthday message during that time. I am sure she would only smirk at it but would be proud of me silently at the same time! Actually, my mother was happy and contented just by seeing her children completed their studies, and have turned into successful adults.
When I last saw her, my mother was still feeling great. When I bade farewell to her, she kissed and hugged me tightly as if she wanted me not to go but I simply ignored it and set aside the emotions brewing at that time. Our communications then were limited and undertaken thru telephone calls and internet conveyed messages. There were always the friendly reminders from her – the love and care of a mother to her child, until the gloomy sad news that she followed and be with Dad and her Creator in Heaven, after a decade. I would have wanted to say my deepest sincere apologies to her for my shortcomings, for my limitations and weaknesses. I would have wanted to say a quadrillion thanks for all the love and sacrifices. I would have wanted to share with her more of my time and tell her how much her child deeply loved her, but she could no longer hear it, feel it! That time was the most difficult, unhappiest and terrible moment of my life, in fact till now. But when I think of my mother when she was alive, it gave me emotional and spiritual healing, because I know she will always be there to offer prayers for her children, to offer birthday masses for her children and to comfort them when in trouble and in despair, no matter what, against all odds!
To my Mom, my heartfelt Happy Mother’s day greeting to you!
I could have written a novel about my mother. But I have to end it here with the following quotes by E.Cook:
I miss thee my Mother! Thy image is still
The deepest impressed on my heart.
As the saying goes, life must go on. But having said all of the foregoing, I trust you have learned something from it. So to all of you out there, awesome cool mothers all over the world, I wish you all a happy and wonderful Mother’s day!
The Brief Useful Tips
Here are some helpful tips for you children and husbands out there:
1. Shower your mother/wife with lots and lots of love and affection – that’s what she’s waiting for!
2. Put together a bouquet of amazing surprises that you can deliver to your mother, including small things like being with her the whole day, offering to cook her favorite food, taking her out for shopping and simply re-assuring her of your unwavering love and support throughout the rest of her life, among others.
3. Arrange a surprise party for her , with the husband and the children participating and a lot more.
Incidentally, today is the birthday of my Dad. Happy , Happy Birthday Dad!
Please offer prayers for the repose of his soul, and my mom's too. Thank you