I was told on numerous occasions that everybody eventually turns into their parents when they grow old. I believe that now to be true as I see so much of my “Nanay” (as I fondly call her) in me – now more than ever. Things like her gestures, or when giving advice, I just can’t help but notice myself talking the way my mother would talk to me. I talk to my friends the way she would usually talk to me when I ask her for advice. All I can say is that my friends are just as lucky as I am that I learned so much from my dear mother.
This coming Mother’s month, I want to dedicate this piece to her. She tried her best to instill in me precious nuggets of wisdom (that I hope I’ve retained all these years). The woman I owe everything to; the most important woman in my life – My Nanay: Mrs. Catalina Francisco Lu.
It has been years since my mother joined the Lord yet her memory stays forever. The pain of losing my mom still remains. I guess the heartache will never be completely gone but I learned to accept the fact that she won’t be around anymore. And that I’ll always keep her memories with me. That way, she lives on in my heart and in my dreams.
My Nanay is your typical “charismatic and caring” mother. But don’t let her composed demeanor fool you. She could be feisty and quite the disciplinarian if she wanted to. But no matter how she carried herself, she never failed to express her love and concern for her children.
“Eat your vegetables, they’re good for you.”
“Don’t talk with your mouth full.”
“Pray before you eat.”
“Don’t waste food, finish it all. Think of the hungry children in the world.”
“If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way.”
“Call me when you get there so I’ll know you’re okay.”
– These are my mother’s widely used reminders. I say them back to myself whenever I’m reminded of them and with gratitude in my heart, I tell myself how lucky I am to have a mother like my Nanay.
She was fond of reciting quotations when she can. Of course at that time, I really didn’t fully understand what they meant. She’d talk mostly about gratitude and work ethics. “Ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan.” (He who doesn’t know how to look back from where he came from, will never reach his destiny), she would often say to me. I think it was her favorite. Most of the time she would talk more about “remaining humble and never forgetting the people who helped you along the way.”
When I opened my very first salon, she was there to remind me that I should always thank those who made my dream possible, especially my sisters who paid for my tuition so I can study styling and design. She also challenged me to be more mindful and conscientious about work and money. She would always tell me: “Para kang kalabasa, gapang ng gapang naiiwan naman ang bunga.” Which meant that I often worked myself to the ground but I never saw the fruits of my labor.
Nanay’s constant prodding urged me to be more responsible in my fiscal affairs. Thanks to her, I’m still learning.
Looking back, I learned from her a basic truth about life: that there are some lessons we won’t fully understand until we are ready to accept what it requires – so we can really do what truly matters.
Years after her death, Nanay still continue to teach me these lessons. I’m just glad that I am still here to pass them on to my nieces, nephews and grandchildren, or anyone who needs a motherly advice.
My mother is my hero. I believe she deserves a medal even if she never would have asked for one. I miss her more than words can ever express.
All of us were born because there was that one person who decided we deserve a chance to be in this world. They may be our biological moms or those who raised us as their own. Motherhood is a 24-7 duty with no days off or sick days. A thankless job that we sadly take for granted or often overlook. I hope that this Mother’s Day, we will take the time to honor and appreciate our mothers.
To the most important woman in my life, I love you always. Happy Mother’s Day, Nanay.
Monet Lu is a Marikina-born, award-winning celebrity beauty stylist with his own chain of Monet Salon salons across Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Ultimately, Monet is known as an all-around artiste who produces sold-out fashion and awards shows as well as unforgettable marketing campaigns. Monet is also the founder of the revolutionary all-natural beauty products such as Enlighten, your solution to discoloration. To contact Monet, please visit www.monetsalon.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org