For several times in the past, i had always wanted to pay tribute to the person who brought me into this world. But almost always, i could not finish what i started. Or that i find whatever i had finished so inadequate or poorly done. I wanted the post to be special; after all, it was going to be for my beloved mother. Seated on a wooden bench similar to that found in the hospital room where my mother was last treated, i attempted to write once again… hence, this post.
For the past ten years since my best friend went into hiatus after his marriage, we lost track of each other. Two months ago, he sought me on facebook and we made up for lost time. Sonny got back to the Philippines last week and he invited me to their place in Tondo last Friday. Gladly, i obliged.
Just as we were on our way, i learned that his father passed away last March. I felt sorry that i did not know and i gave him my condolences. When we arrived, Sonny’s mother, who is also our high school Music teacher, greeted us while holding her two-month old grandchild. I made my mano and hugged her tightly, careful not to squeeze the baby between us. I whispered my condolences to her while she patted me on the back.
After we had our dinner, Sonny’s mother bid us goodbye as she had to go back to the province. She just came down to Manila from Baguio to see Sonny, and the family as well.
We had just started drinking the wine that Sonny bought when he inquired how my mother was doing. I told him my usual answer to all others who asked: that my mother is already well; that she has been cured of her illness and she does not have any more pains. He replied, that’s good to know and he always wanted to visit my mother everytime he passed by our house in the province. I then told him, sadly he could not find her there anymore. That’s when he realized my mother has already passed away.
He apologized for not having known about it. He said his condolences as tears welled up in his eyes and he had to wipe them off with his bare fingers. His voice cracked as he spoke. He stopped and even texted his mother to ask why he was not informed of my mother’s passing.
I could barely look at him because the moment might just make me cry. But then again, there was no tear on my eyes. Maybe because i was somehow amused how Sonny was not ashamed to show how he felt, especially because we were at their porch and every passersby could see him. But moreso because i was happy for my mother. That Sonny loved my mother, too.
He was holding back his tears and for several times, he patted my right knee as if to condole with me once again. His consolation was that his mother attended my mother’s wake and funeral. He recalled how cool my mother was and relayed the incident where my mother wanted me to butcher the turkey for my friends but i insisted on having the duck prepared instead.
I then admitted to him that the reason i hugged his mother so tightly when we arrived and when she left was because i miss my mother. I miss her embrace whenever i went home.
From this we moved on to other topics for one long night of conversation of 3 liters of wine and ten bottles of beer until the wee hours of the morning.
To Sonny, my long-time friend and closest buddy, thank you very much.
I truly, deeply, really miss my mother. This post is dedicated to her.