My daughter Joy called me this morning and asked if I had opened my front door. Strange question, I thought. I had no clue, but I opened the door anyway. Surprise! If inanimate objects could speak, this one would. A very lovely vase with a stunning mix of flowers was staring me square in the face right in front of the door – like begging to come in, cajoling, “Let me in, let me in!”. This clueless Mom all of a sudden realized it’s Mother’s Day tomorrow! All along, I thought it was the weekend after. Of course, I let the flowers in. Very carefully, I lifted the intricate and heavily laden glass vase and took it to my dining table, while a voice on the phone cheerfully chimed, “Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!”
Funny, I responded, “Thanks! Happy Mother’s Day, Sweetheart.” Immediately popped the rationale that yes, to me and to her, because I remembered her reminding me a few years back that she’s a mother, too, a Mom to two delightful German Shepherd dogs. And of course, the best greeting of all – “I love you” to each other.
And to all the Moms in my family, my daughter-in-law Natasha, my sisters, aunts, nieces and friends, Happy, Happy Mother’s Day!
Flowers from my daughter Joy and son-in-law Matt happily remind me it’s Mother’s Day tomorrow! (Photo by lpj)
Strange coincidence that my youngest sister Chichi and I should be talking about our Mama’s aparador (large closet). Mama, before she passed three years ago, instructed my sister that I should have it. Lots of fond memories revolve around that rare antique piece of furniture made of authentic and rare hard narra wood, with Mama’s nickname artistically carved on top of the opening. Sentiments and nostalgia stirred deep, but practicality surged as well. I couldn’t possibly have that heavy piece shipped to California. So, I decided to bequeath it to my youngest sister, who was overwhelmed with joy that I should give it to her. Important sidebar to our conversation was Mama. So fitting, it’s Mother’s Day.
I’ve written several tributes for Mother’s Day for Mama, my Lola (Grandma) and other mothers in my family. But I will never tire of praise for my Mom. A genuinely sweet woman who loved tirelessly and patiently, humble and kind, smart and intelligent, a scientist by profession (chemistry professor), an orchids afficionado who successfully grew orchids for a hobby, a voracious reader — I could go on and on with a myriad more. But I just want to add that in other ways, stubbornly persistent for what she believed in. And boldly I say – stubborn in love.
Shouldn’t we all be that way, stubborn in love – be it love for spouse, parents, children, grandchildren, grandparents, siblings, friends, etc. As we commemorate Mother’s Day, we celebrate love.
Allow me to go back to the aparador. Interesting stories came out of my conversation with my sister. She mentioned how that piece of furniture meant to her – memories of her youth. One recollection was the many times she and my younger brother Tzetzu played hide and seek when they were small children and used that huge closet as a hiding place, yes, amidst all of Mama’s clothes hanging on the tall vertical side. She also mentioned times when hiding there seemed like a comfortable private retreat from the world, perhaps, immersed in a child’s own imagined world of exciting adventure – hmmm … reminds me of C.F. Lewis’ story about a magic closet in his Aslan series. And how at times, she and my brother would find small denominations of coins from the drawer to buy cheap dilimon (tiny hard candies).
I’m sure there are many more darling stories revolving around Mama’s aparador, and I so look forward to hearing more. And revel on memories about Mama.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mama in heaven!