Dear Mama

Dear Mama,

Thank you for taking care of us.
Thank you for your unconditional love.
Thank you for being strong.
Thank you for everything.

I know, I am not the best daughter.
But you understand.
I know, I am not the ideal daughter a mother could dream of.
But you are proud of me.
I know that I hurt you.
But you still love me.

Growing up, I never understood the role of a mother.
Why you were always angry.
You shouted at us if we wake up late.
You pinched us when we were not listening.
You scolded us if we were not doing any household chores.

Every time you get angry, you always tell your childhood story.
How you grew up poor.
How you help grandma selling different types of food in the Mercado.
That you always wake up early morning to clean the house.
How grandma gets angry when you were lazy.
How strict grandma can be.
How grandma spanked you when she’s angry.
How you understand that grandma loves you even if she’s strict and tough.
Grandma raised you in the best way she can.
For you to survive different hardships of life.
And Happy Mother’s Day to grandma in heaven.
And I know how grandma can be mean sometimes.
But she loves you.
And she loves us so much.
And papa will always be her favorite son in law.

You and I are different.
You are more of an outdoor person.
You know how to talk to people.
You know how to communicate.
You have the skills to teach.
Your voice raised us so well despite sometimes it’s annoying.
I remember if papa or any of my siblings asked where you are.
We don’t need to look for you.
Because we know you’re in the neighbor’s yard.
Your voice led us to where you are.
Talking and updating yourself with what’s going on around you.
In short, gossiping is what other mothers normally do.

When I was a kid, I was spoon-fed.
You and papa raised us differently.
Different from your childhood life.
You gave us all the things you never had growing up.
You work so hard to give us a better life.
And at that time, I never understand why you and papa keep on working.
And never had the time to spent holiday with us.

You always work.
But never gave us money to buy what we want.
It’s always what we needed.
You are always thrifty.
You always like simple and cheap things.
You never spend so much on things that will not last long.
I never knew how to earn money on my own at a young age.
Because it’s always you and papa who work for us.
All I have to do is to open the fridge to find food to eat.
I had never sweat to have money in my pocket.
Because it’s always your hands that get dirty for us to have food on the table.

Now, that I am working, I understand the value of money.
On how you and papa worked so much to earn a living.
On how hard it is to live and raise us when you’re earning too little.
I understand why you keep on working.
I now understand the hardship you went through.
I understand why we don’t normally spend a vacation as a family.
On why you always work in summer even if your students are on break.

Thank you for being my mother.
Every day, I look more like you than when I was a kid.
Thank you for everything.
Everything I have now is because I learned it from you and papa.
Thank you for the love and care.
I am always proud of you mama.
Even though, I don’t usually say it loudly or show you.
Because you know how introverted I am.
A totally different from an extroverted you.
But you understand.
And you love me and my siblings.

Happy Mother’s Day Ma.

Happy Birthday Day Ma.

Your daughter,
Irene Kris.

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