I like taking the extra mile. It doesn't matter what I'm doing or what it's for, I just like adding that little extra effort to make things more special as much as possible.
Just like now. It's a special occasion for all moms out there because it is Mother's Day, and most people are taking to social media their greetings for their mothers or other people's moms. Now, I personally don't like posting intimate greetings or messages for my loved ones on Facebook. But just this once I want to do it for my mom, and I want to take it further. I won't just write a short, cliche message on Facebook; I'm writing an entire article and publishing it here for hundreds of people to see and read.
I know for a fact that my mom is not perfect ... whose is anyway? But despite the imperfections of the woman who carried me inside her womb for nine months and cared for me up to this day, she is the BEST mother I can ever ask the Lord for.
And to show her -- and all of you -- why I believe she's the strongest, bravest, most loving, most generous, and most forgiving woman in my life, I've made a list of 5 things that showcases her golden heart, steel-like determination, and seemingly bionic body.
Let's get this ball rolling.
1. She provides for everyone.
My mother does not have a selfish bone inside her body. I'd like to believe that my brother and I both inherited this trait from her, but only people around us can say for sure. Anyway, ever since I could remember, my mom has been the go-to person for all our relatives' financial woes. Even now, at 54 years old, cousins; aunts; uncles; brother; sister; children; and grandchildren; still receive help from her one way or another.
Her selflessness can sometimes be misconstrued as naivete, and a number of people do take advantage of my mother's giving nature. But because she is who she is, she is unable to say the N-word -- "NO". At times I remind her that some people are just pushing and aren't really worthy of financial help, she always tells me this, "It doesn't matter what their intentions are. What matters is I intend to help them with a pure heart and because it's my mission to care for my loved ones. I just entrust everything to God."
2. She works the hardest.
My mother is what Filipinos call an "Overseas Filipino Worker". She's worked in Japan ever since I was a baby, and I honestly didn't see much of her when I was growing up. When I was young, I of course had a hard time grasping why my mom wasn't around. But then at an early age, with the help of my brother, I understood why she had to leave and that her life isn't all rainbows and butterflies.
She works 10-14 hours a day and cares for herself in Japan just so she can give us a good life here in the Philippines. She endures being alone and being apart from her family for years at a time. She celebrates holidays alone and suffers through physical pain and sickness by herself. But she doesn't give those things the time of day; to her, as long as she can save up and give us what we need and want, she's good and happy.
3. She's friendly and nice to all.
My mother is a social butterfly. She's always pleasant, treats everyone equally, and talks to everyone as though she's known them since they were little. It's easy to feel welcome in her presence and be comforted by her warm and jovial demeanor.
I got this trait from her, I believe. You know how most people would only like you once you've proven yourself to them? Well my mom, my brother, and myself (also known as the Prado Triad) believe in liking you from the get-go and would only feel otherwise once you've done something to hurt us. So we already care for you from the moment we've been introduced.
4. She forgave and accepted me time and time again.
I think I've lost count of the number of times I've hurt or disappointed my mom. For sure there were a few small instances that I probably didn't even realize, and then there were the big whammies. An example of that was when I attempted to take my life.
This is an issue I don't shy away from or try to hide, though I know it's still a sore subject for her. But seriously, having to deal with your only daughter attempting to commit suicide is a huge slap in the face for sure. I'm sure my mom asked herself where she'd gone wrong or where she lacked or maybe even what she could've done differently. I'm sure I broke her heart the day she received that call. But still, she checked on me, paid for all my medical expenses, and made sure I was safe and healthy.
And then there was the time I ran away and just cut off all our communication. Now that I think about it, I couldn't bear to think of the pain and worry she felt during those times. Not knowing where I am, who I'm with, what I'm doing, or if I'm even alive still. I honestly can't imagine what I would do if my daughter did that.
Speaking of my daughter, then there was that. When I rang her up and told her the big news -- "I'm pregnant, Mom." At the age of 20 and a rising star at my office, I got pregnant. But this isn't all bad though and my mom knew that. Because at the age of 17, I was already told my doctors that I wouldn't conceive anymore; I underwent surgery to get rid of my left ovary and my right one was polycystic. So we all knew that the fact that I was with child was a blessing and a miracle.
Through all these, she accepted me back with open arms and no judgement whatsoever. In fact, our relationship is at its strongest now.
5. She kicks major a**.
My mom will probably call me out for using the A-word for butt even if it's "censored", but I'll take that risk because it's true. No other word to describe it. My mom is a major a**kicker.
Underneath all of her amazing traits and loving heart is a woman who will not take crap from anyone -- a woman who would die and kill (though it's bad) for her family and close friends.
She's the kind of person you would NOT want to cross because she is S-C-A-R-Y. My mom does not make idle threats, she does not have to threaten your existence for you to fear for you life, and she does not need to raise her hand or voice for you to quiver in fear. She's kind of like Cersei Lannister in this respect. All she has to do is look at you with her big, brown, sharp eyes and say your full name. That's when you know it's game over. I saw her do this to other people, and it was a work of art in my opinion. I was so entertained (I'm sorry Ma, but I was) to see other people just wilting in my mother's angry presence.
I don't even remember an incidence in my life when she punished me with her hands! I was just afraid of her and wanted to avoid those laser beams pointing at me with anger!
So yeah, my mother is a rose with the thorns still attached. She's a mom and a dad, a friend and a confidante, a judge and a guard. She's everything me and my brother could ever ask God for in a mother.
And because you are perfectly imperfect ma, WE LOVE YOU MORE THAN VERY MUCH. We would all put our lives on the line to save yours, and we will do anything to make you happy.
HAPPY HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY MERLE ARIMOTO, our very own Wonder Woman.