Life Doesn't Come With A Manual. It Comes With A Mother (LoH101)
September 29, 2022
Over the years, women have always been downgraded and considered weak due to the patriarchy depicted in history. We are always defined as household workers and only know things about caring for the family and home. That is absurd to believe because, nowadays, resiliency and the number of challenges faced and overcome are used to define someone's capabilities rather than gender.
Let's talk about a resilient woman, it can be your friend, family member, co-worker, etc. What is her life challenge and what did she do to overcome the trial she faced?
Would you believe me if I say we are thirteen siblings in the family? Imagine how a mother can handle more than a dozen children. A weak one would definitely go crazy.
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Above all the inspiring women I know, there's only one whom I considered the toughest and most resilient of all, none other than, my mother.
Ignorant and weak she may consider herself when she was young, but motherhood turned her into a person she never thought she will become.
As a third of the thirteen and eldest daughter of the family, I witnessed how my mother faced a lot of challenges and how she was able to get through a lot of storms. I've been with her throughout her journey as I stood as the second mother of the family.
And having a husband who was always away to work to make ends meet, she stood as a mother and a father to us at the same time. She carried all the burdens and responsibilities of raising her children alone and went through restless days and sleepless nights for the sake of giving her children a comfortable life.
We aren't rich or poor. But there were times in my childhood when we suffered hunger due to our father's shortcomings. A lot of times, I've seen her eating less just to give us enough food on our plates. She'd rather starve than see us starving.
If during the day she was restless, each night she was sleepless. She would get up with just one cry from a baby and attend to the baby's needs. She would stay awake until everything was fine. And as her assistant, I stayed up late as well. In that way, she had a company.
A lot of storms came that she dealt with by herself, as our father was away on his duty. I was about 10 or 12 years old when a devastating typhoon caused havoc in our place. During those days, our father couldn't be reached out to. We even thought he had abandoned us. My mother, on the other hand, doesn't have enough to suffice our needs. She had stayed up all night worrying about what might happen. We were too young and no one could help us, but ourselves.
With God's guidance, we survived the typhoon. It receded the next day, and we were starving. One problem left was how to look for something to fill our growling stomachs. We went out to collect fruit from fallen trees with our mother. We got bananas and some vegetables. They saved our day. And a few days later, our father showed up, probably to check if we were still alive. But at the back of my head was hatred against him for being away during those days we needed him most. If not because of our mother, we probably would have given up our lives.
When our father betrayed our mother and opted to go with another woman, we saw how she cried bitterly and worried about what would happen to her family. She feared seeing a broken home with fatherless children. Yet, her love for him prevailed as she believed that someday, our father would change and go back home again. It seemed that her prayers were granted when one day, our father realized that we were her real family, and he found his way back home, for the betterment of everyone.
Losing is part of being a mother as well. I witnessed how she became devastated when she lost a child, not just once, but twice. She suffered a miscarriage during the first trimester of her pregnancy with her fifth child. She lost her 7th child a few weeks before his 1st birthday due to an unknown sickness that even doctors weren't able to revive. It was so sudden and unexpected. He got sick in the afternoon. He was sent to the hospital at night and went back home the next day, dead and cold. It wasn't just devastating to her as a mother but to the whole family.
A mother's greatest weakness is losing a child, and we never expected it to happen to our family. However, death is untimely and we don't own our life, so we need to move on. But that became her strength.
She seemed to have moved on easily when she lost her unborn child. But it took her a long time to recover from the loss of her baby. I've seen her wailing silently, shedding tears but soundless. The sense of pensive sadness, grief, and guilt were all painted on her face. As a daughter, it was too painful for me to see my mother in despair and sorrow. She has been our strength, but seeing her weak made us weak as well.
Only mothers who have lost a child know how painful it is. For the sake of her remaining children, she stood stronger and continued being a mother.
Her weaknesses became her strengths. And her past experiences, sufferings, and pains had even strengthened her resilience.
If there's one thing that I got from her, it's being resilient and hardworking. And I'm proud to be her daughter.