I rarely write about my family. It is such a sensitive or let me say a sacred topic for me to write about. However since today is a Mothers’ Day here in Thailand I’d like to go back and recollect the beautiful times I’ve spent with my moms.
My birth mom went through a lot of difficulties when my siblings and I were growing up. For a couple of years she had to be tough yet gentle at the same time. She had to be both our mom and our dad. My dad used to work outside the country since he was in his early twenties until his forties. He was always away that we barely see him, we barely spent time with him. He was too busy working that somehow I missed or we missed having a father figure while growing up. Every time he’d come home, I think he comes home once in two years, my mom would make it a point that we’d all lavish him with love and affection. Those were precious rare moments. Oh, I can vividly recall how he’d visit us in the province where my grandparents live and during black outs we’d gather around in the sofa, lying on the floor, listening to his stories. He loved to tell fairy tales. That must be why I love fairy tales, too! Anyway, this blog is for my moms and not for my dad.:-) We’ll talk about him later.
Being married to someone of different faith is definitely a big challenge. It would take two serious individuals of different beliefs to stay married for the rest of their lives surviving every single trial and temptation that will go their ways. I think our beliefs define us. My mom is a Seventh-day Adventist believer while my dad was an Iglesia Ni Cristo. My mom goes to church on Sabbath, does not party, drink, eat unclean foods, wear jewelries, etc. while my dad was the exact opposite. They just had too many issues to work on. Now, I am wondering if they ever sat down and discussed the values that they wanted to impart to us. But I guess it was not a big issue for them since dad was always away. The rearing of the kids was my mom’s responsibility. It was like there was a distribution of labor–one earns for the family while the other raises the children. So, my mom or our mom became both our mom and dad. But she’s not the type of one who likes to stay home and do household chores forever. She likes to have a career, too. When the time came that she couldn’t juggle two things at once she decided to invite our aunt to come and help her out. That’s when I or we had our second mom.
Mama Myrna as what we all call her was single for a very long time. She didn’t accept her bf’s proposal to get married many years ago because she wanted to help out her sister. She was in-charge of the house while my mom work. Oh, she was super strict then. She is a big fan of King Solomon’s proverb, “A good spanking won’t kill a child”. She wasn’t slow to reprimand us whenever we’d do foolish things. She taught us how to read, write, and develop good study habits, if I am not mistaken. She’d immediately check our quiz or test results even before we’d put our bags down. She had high expectations of us especially of me. She wanted me to excel in all things that I didn’t have much time to play with my friends or classmates. I was always reading or studying. We were only allowed to play in our own backyard. We were not allowed to go out of the house unless one of the four adults in the house accompanies us. I couldn’t actually blame my younger brother for escaping out of the house just so he could ride a bike or watch movies with his friends. I was the “more-afraid-to-be-spanked” type. Whenever, I’d want to play dolls with my classmates I’d just ask my moms to invite them in our house. Thus, I had quite a lot of sleepovers when I was in elementary. Mama made and played dolls with us, too. She is really a gifted artist. She can draw, sketch, do other creative things, etc. Haha! I cannot count how many times she helped me out with my art projects from elementary to high school!^^; She sings alto. She can play the guitar, too. She was our primary teacher at church. She’s very active with the kids at church but she doesn’t like to speak in front of adults. She’s the quiet, timid type of person. She’d rather sing than preach.:)
While my mom was the opposite. She prefers to speak than sing. Haha! I think that’s where my loved for talking came from. But wait, my dad loved to talk too. My dad is the noisy type. He likes to tell stories and joke around with friends. In the house, my mom was the quiet one. She is also sweet. She likes to brush our hair when going to bed and kiss our foreheads while waking up. She also likes to sing us lullabies. She likes to pamper us so much when we are sick. She’d give us anything we want. Hmm, how come I didn’t abuse her kindness and generosity? I could’ve. No, I should’ve. When we are sick it’s like we are different people, we are out of our “senses” so we are allowed to ask for anything we want. LOL. But no, I didn’t. She’d already give me what I want even before I ask–chicken soup. I loved eating chicken meat–fried chicken, chicken adobo, chicken menudo, chicken afritada, chicken soup, anything with chicken! Then she’d go shopping and get me/us some toys and clothes. Oh, how I loved being sick! So much love! LOL. But life is not all about pampering. She taught me independence at an early age. I was responsible for washing and ironing my clothes, cleaning my closet, cleaning the house and the yard. I was only in the kitchen when it was my turn to wash the dishes. My siblings and I would take turns in doing the dishes. My mom, aunt, and grandma were in-charge of preparing meals. My grandpa made sure that there was enough water in the house. My mom has a passion for books and languages. She likes to read books and learn languages. Well, everyone in the house reads. There were even times when we’d read at the same time. My grandpa would be reading his huge Bible on his study Bible by the sofa, my grandma would be reading her Bible or the Sabbath School lesson quarterly or a storybook by the window few steps away from my grandpa, my mom would be reading a Spanish book, my aunt a religious book while us kids would be reading our textbooks! This reading time would take place usually after dinner.
My third mom is my grandmother. Ha! She’s the most strict of all! I still couldn’t believe how she’d figure out that I’m just “wishwashing” my clothes at the washing area when she’s reading her Bible. Probably, she would look at me while I was busy rubbing some soap on the edges of my clothes, I don’t know. She just knew if I missed to rub or brush those delicate areas of my clothes then she’d remind me with her “irritating” voice, “Shiela, make sure that the so and so are clean”. Her voice is not actually irritating it’s actually soft and gentle as the bird singing in the air but because she has her ways to make me admit my mistakes or wear a pink dress, I’d always avoid her presence. I try my best to hide when we’re alone in the house. She doesn’t like me wearing big and dark shirts. I’ve always loved dark colors. My favorite colors back then were dark blue, brown, and black. I had a Fido Dido black and red shirt. It was my favorite! Maybe it was my mom’s. I liked wearing it so bad that every time my mom and I would go shopping that I ask her to buy me large shirts. I disliked wearing girly clothes. 🙂 I was in to large t-shirts! There were so big that I’d have to roll the sleeves more than five times and keeping pulling the shirt up to make sure that it won’t be longer than my skirt and try to imagine that skirts before should be five inches below the knee. But on Sabbaths, I had to be a girly-girl. I had to wear fluffy dresses with lace stockings or lace socks and pink with ribbons shoes. 🙂