On that big production (called Mother’s Day), we laid gifts of love and honor at the treasured feet of our mothers. They do not crave attention, but they glory in it.

For some, it involved but a short journey, perhaps just around the corner, or merely into another room.

For others, it was a telephone call or a cable or a letter.  If it was a more poignant matter — looking beyond the journey’s end, it is a wonderful part we play.

A mother’s love has no end.  It is not earned.  It doesn’t even have to be deserved.  It has nothing to do with right or wrong. It can be taken for granted, abused, neglected — even scorned.

When finally we realize our need for it and call on it, it is there. The pearls of motherhood will be there for always, no matter what.

She walked into her flight gate — clothed with elan, strength and dignity. She turned around, waved and smiled at us blithely, cheering us with her mirth.

She was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. It was the last time I saw my mother alive.

There never was a woman like her. She was gentle as a dove but brave as a lioness.  Her memory and her teachings were, after all, the only capital I have made my way.

Thinking of her gives me an unsettling feeling, which never dissipates because it forms questions that have no easy or apparent answers.

The world was never the same when she died.

I missed her until I ached.  I missed her complete love for the family anchored on the dictum: “Love one another” — by giving all, asking little and accepting less.

She was a  rich and treasured gift from God, who taught us what real love means: sharing hurts, hopes, joys and homecomings. When the five of us (all girls) grew older and went on our separate ways, she said love stays when it’s easier to leave; it defends when you’re ready to let go; and most importantly, it lets go when you desperately hold on.

She was an accomplished gardener that can make orchids bloom in the moonlight – her roses grew, even in winter.

Her daughters’ hearts were the perfect field — she had tenderly planted seeds of love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness and self-control. She courageously protected that precious field from destruction and uninvited strangers, despite my propensity for weak men and perennial Ménage à trois.

In the soul of the human heart, she was perfect. When physical tribulations threatened her brood, she worked with a bleeding hand, to free the roots of life from violent storms, as she struggled through seasons of growth, as she weeded, watered, plowed and prayed!

Through the smile and tears of my own motherhood, I’d think of her. I can always feel an almost celestial rightness and an indescribable calmness, as I dwell memories of her and how she taught me what mothering was all about.

The child that had to be held constantly (because she whimpered and wailed constantly) cried incessantly, and deprived me of sleep and sanity.

When you become responsible for another human life, changing priorities are filled with unfounded anxiety.

These fascinating creatures — changing remarkably from week to week, month to month; from squirming little bundles to walking, talking little women. Each had a distinct personality that took me to a roller coaster ride of joys and worries. But I survived it all, trusting maternal instincts — especially when expectations did not match reality.

I remember my mother when our hearts get broken or when our dreams fall apart.  She would remind us that God holds the key to real happiness — that He is the rebuilder of dashed hopes and shattered dreams.  Her cheerful heart and encouragement felt like a transfusion of courage.

Her weekend mornings were meant for special things, and anybody who messed with the divine plan placed her health and eternal happiness in great danger.

Yet, when the grandchildren and great grandchildren came, she found joy in Saturday and Sunday mornings, filled with scampering feet, raucous laughter and squeals of “Apong!”

She relished toys and coloring books strewn in her home, even she always kept it neat and tidy. She was always a tender nurse beside the bed of a sick child; she was a diplomatic disciplinarian, a mighty warrior — when the unwanted threatened her domain.

She taught us that laughter would lengthen your life span, improve your marriage and increase your humility.  These were her precious legacies — the pearls of motherhood.

This Mother’s Day, it was the girls turn to give memories and not take them away. I have tried to do the same for them. I hope they are good and meaningful memories.

I have watched all my daughters grow up. Now they are watching their mother grow old. Why am I crying?

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E-mail Mylah at moonlightingmdl@aol.com

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