“I WAS asked what unconditional love is. I looked at my mother.”
Among the gazillion posts that I have read throught the years on Facebook, this one posted by my daughter Grace has carved its way forever into my heart. It has served as a silver bullet, an amulet against the evil ways of the world.
Whenever I am overwhelmed by humans acting not like humans, I just remember this post and all becomes well.
To my dearest Grace, I never knew you appreciated even the smallest things I had done and will do for you and your brother, RJ. As a mother, no deed is considered a big deal when it comes to her children.
I remember you looking at me from the corner of your eye when you were a child. I seemed to hold on forever to a Reader’s Digest magazine, then with a sigh returned it to the rack before treating you to a grand lunch in the same mall.
At a young age, you were already aware of the impossible lengths I would go to for you and your brother, RJ.
You already knew I couldn’t afford the pricey meal then, yet magically, I did. You knew I so wanted to buy the mag, yet decided to exchange my happiness for yours.
For the nth time.
When you were a child, you would often see me slumped seemingly nearly dead in bed, exhausted from work, the endless household chores and the parenting job.
I didn’t know that you were already aware I did not take days off and vacations all for you and RJ. And that you were keeping tab.
When you were in college, you scrimped and saved your allowance just to buy me a copy of Reader’s Digest. All those years, from childhood to adulthood, you had made that firm goal of filling up the sadness I experienced inside that bookstore.
When you got married and I found myself in an empty nest, you would call and comfort me specially when there was a big storm and deafening thunders which you knew I was terrified of. You would coach me on what to do, distract me and tell me jokes until I fell asleep.
Slowly, as I turned older, I became the child and you my carer, my pseudo mother.
You were always there not to wipe away my tears, but to let me cry until I was drained of them. You stood by me despite the beast modes. And we were always together during the laughter. You never abandoned the team.
I wouldn’t have blossomed without you, nor hurdled the challenges and come out a better being without you. And of course, RJ and your dad, Franky.
On your birthday, let me greet with you two words: Thank you.
Thank you for being the strength behind my strength. Thank you for being the source of my wellspring of happiness. Thank you for being my daughter.
Now if I were to be asked what unconditional love is, it’s my turn to look at you.
Happy blessed birthday.
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