“Happy 72nd birthday, Nanay!”
It felt a little awkward for me to see those words written on the birthday cake my eldest brother bought for our late mother. (Even though she’s no longer around, we still continue to celebrate her birthday.) I wanted to see a candle too, and the celebrant blowing that lighted candle. But neither was present.
Sometimes I wonder if there will ever come a time when I would no longer miss my mother and forget her features, her mannerisms, the sound of her voice, and everything else that I know about her. Not that I hated my mother, but I am very curious how some people seem to live as if they never had a mother. In my case, there’s not a single day that I have not thought of my mama–be it voluntarily or not.
Lately, I have been musing about what I should have said when I was asked–impromptu–at her funeral about the things that I would miss about her. I said a lot of things then, but nothing seemed right to me. Now, if asked again that question in front of a huge crowd, these are the things that I would most likely say:
I miss talking to her.
I miss going out with her.
I miss doing things side by side with her.
I miss her cooking.
I miss having her take care of me when I am sick.
I miss seeing her and just having her around the house.
I miss hugging her.
I miss her baby-ing me.
Most of all, I miss having her meet me half-way in the street whenever I would visit her and papa. In fact, I always get teary eyed whenever I would visit my father’s house because I still imagine my mother coming out of the house just in time to see me coming, then would start walking toward me, and finally hugging me in the middle of the street for everyone to see, welcoming me home, as if I were a prodigal daughter.
I am 33 now and already a mom, too. But I never seem to need my mother’s presence in my life now more than ever. I always wish that I could still run to my mother’s arms any time, especially when things don’t seem to go well.