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HONORING MY MOTHER | Messages from the heart

When my son was four years old, part of their project in preschool class was to make heart necklaces to give to their parents on Valentine’s Day. So, exactly on the day, we received ours and we displayed it prominently in a special space on the refrigerator door along with other artworks and knickknacks done by him.

Many years later, I happened to read from among old newspapers in the house a Valentine’s Day article written by my late mother (she was also a regular columnist and editor-in-chief for the papers back then). It was only then that we discovered that our son had likewise given her, her very own heart necklace (which was more exquisite than ours but that’s alright) and she was writing about it in her column that day! She wrote that the already dilapidated piece she had carefully kept, along with whatever Valentine’s Day mementos we, her children and other apos had given her through all the years.

I promptly cut out that particular article, carefully sealed it in zip lock and secured it with colorful magnets on our ref door as a silent token. Even though there were times when I still wondered where her little treasured souvenirs from all of us had gone, my late mom’s short article nesting on the ref door always reminds us how she always loved our little gestures.

Flash forward and out of hyperspace. Approaching Valentine’s Day and seemingly up to here with greats and great-great grandchildren, I am again wondering, do all these moms and dads in the clan have their own treasure trove of their kids’ simple gestures? They should.

An old friend and a granny whom I talked to once told me she’s like a compulsive hoarder when it comes to little gifts and cards for all occasions from her children and grandchildren. Simple pleasures, she says. Nothing else matters anymore.

Every so often, while scrounging through what my wife considers an assortment of junk from my shed of a dresser, searching for whatever, I still come across a bottle of my first-born’s first teeth, an old infant hair brush or even worn tiny shoes with missing laces. As though carefully handling museum pieces, I leave them there like little milestones on the highway. Amused, I used to believe I take after my mum with this seemingly senti hoarding of stuff. Then I discover like her, no one is ever alone. Not when there’s still the sound of tiny feet running about in the old house your parents built for them.



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