IT SEEMS really very strange how anyone can become ambivalent in the eyes of others close to you as old age sets in. For one, this might perhaps be half-explained by our unending acquisition of inputs on a day to day. Though hard to believe, we are actually more or less like processing units, humming since day one when we were but mere babies and then logging out only after our final moment. While this continued- raking in of stimuli influences how we choose and what direction or decision to take, almost often, they could likewise be interpreted as in conflict with our other actions.
All these may sound gibberish maybe, but spending a weekend in the company of my 93-year old father along with his two great grandchildren/babies and the rest of the brood will definitely do that to you. Once again, it is my mom’s birthday and we’re all gathered at the main house to celebrate it. Throughout the fourteen years since she passed away, our numbers may have fluctuated from almost-complete to ‘round ten-maybe family mainstays and friends. Regardless, all these are full-pledged Mamapin diehards mind you, like our presently-popular fam joke about K-pop and their army in our midst.
Indeed, today would have made mom beam so brightly. I can even imagine her like a monarch butterfly flitting from flower to flower, baby to bay as she baby talks each one. In life, she had constantly marveled at how our family compound churned out one baby after another, their bubbly coos filling the air like wind chimes around her house. As I have written about so many times, she had always gushed at the happy aura of the house because of it being filled with the sound of tiny feet on a yearly basis, as if our seasons counted on it. For the house and compound, she was never wrong even to this day, the happy house context had never been more alive in our two new additions to the clan.
Meanwhile on this her birthday, one wonders how well had everyone coped with her demise? For sure, the void she left will never be filled, especially for those who knew mom. I could also say the same goes for others who have lost love ones along the way. Whenever I think of her, I am reminded that as with all of us, the ache remains. The more important thing however is, like all those who have gone ahead, they live on as that inner voice in one’s head that’s always on when you need it.
At the moment, in the company of our remaining head of the clan and the family and punctuated by the cherubic presence of our two new infants, while in the middle of celebrating our mother’s special day and her memory, the rest of the world turning on its own outside the fam gate, is momentarily held off for a few hours. Along with others who warmly celebrate memories of love ones they have lost, the one thing that will always define us is the fact that we never forget.
From all of us in the compound, happiest of birthdays, mom.
HONORING MY MOTHER
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