1. (written on Jan. 17, 2015)

Ma, thank you bringing me up into this world. How I wish I could remember when I was in your womb so I can feel how much you took care of me… How I wish I could remember the moment I was born so I can feel your first loving touch on my skin…

Now that I’m grown up, I look back on you and look at your face. Sometimes, I feel guilty on the things I’ve said and done which may have hurt you. I’m sorry, Ma. Know that I never intended to hurt you for hurting you would cause more pain on me.

What matters now and always have been is, I love you. I may not say it but deep in my heart, I’ve always loved you.

From the first day when I was aware that you never let go of my fragile hands and to this day which I know that all you wish for me everyday is for my wellness and success…

I love you, Ma and how I wish I can match your great love for me.

2. (written on Jan. 17, 2016)

When I was in elementary, you never failed to show up during the distribution of our cards. Although, I wasn’t the number one in class, you always held my hand while your head was up high. I felt you were proud of me and that was all I needed.

When I was in high school, every time I felt sad and lonely, you used to tell me, “Bong, it’s just your feelings. Don’t think about it too much.” So I followed your advise and indeed, I was just fine.

When I got to college, whatever I told you, you trusted my word. Sometimes I lied in order to conceal my mistakes yet still you believed in me.

When I first got employed and was sent out of town, you told me to always pray and call on my guardian Angel. And so I did and all along I went unharmed.

When I ran away from home, you never stopped to look for me until I was found. I felt like I had to go back because there was you who needed me the most. And so there’s a reason to go on with my life.

When I got married, you were with me, holding tight my hand in the chapel. Your touch seemed to feel like the same when I was in elementary. You never changed. Your love for me is still the same as if I’m still your little child.

For so many times, I fell into sin yet you saw the goodness deep within me in spite of.

Unlike sons of other families, I got no money to buy you things you want. Instead, you reached out your hand to fill up my pocket. That hand again…

All I could offer is to take your hand and place it to my forehead and say, “Ma!”

Sorry if that’s not enough but behind the word, Ma, is my love and respect for you. Hopefully, you will fully appreciate it in the right order of time.

I love you, Ma. You’re a person of smile like telling us, “Everything’s gonna be ok.”

You’re a being of youth, somehow reminding us, “Take it easy. Have fun!”

You’re a woman of endurance as you silently send a message, “I can bear the pain as long as you’re alright.”

Mabuhay ka, Ma! More years to come for you as I can’t get enough holding your hand.

3. (written on Sept. 22, 2018)

Ma, I’m missing you now more than ever before… It’s strange because as I’m writing this on Sept. 22 at 317pm, it feels like you’re sitting right across me. I don’t see you physically but I feel your invisible spirit, observing me. I’m in a room with Maritess where your body is on the other room, temporarily stored inside, waiting to be transported to a funeral house.

I still remember you kept saying two days ago that you’re hungry and thirsty. And I replied close to your ear, “Don’t worry, Ma, you will never be hungry nor thirsty there. There will be no more struggle nor pain.” When you heard those words from my mouth, you nodded twice still with your closed teary eyes.

Ma. I’m missing you more than ever before… It was just yesterday at almost midnight when I just kept caressing your forehead, face and neck. Your body temperature was normal yet warm enough to feel how much you cared for me, for so many years. I wanted to say something but I realized all you needed at that moment was my touch and my massaging palm. Minutes after, Reggie and I saw you opening wide your eyes, looking up above as if you had seen some marvelous sight. I’m sure it was a bright white light you had witnessed like telling you, “Don’t be afraid, Brenda. Come and embrace the light. It’s alright here.”

Ma, I’m missing you more than ever before… Please know I wanted to stay longer but Dad said he wanted to go home already. Please know I wanted to be with you, face to face, holding hands until your last breath. But I know very well even in your days of pain, all you kept thinking was Dad’s welfare. Indeed, you showed how much you loved Dad even in your last days here in this world. And so I had to go home, making sure I was besides him in his sleep because I know that’s what you wanted me to do at that moment, taking care of him, making sure he won’t fall again on the floor.

It was 230am of the 22nd of September when I slept. All of a sudden, I was awakened by an extremely cold wind, enveloping my body. Then few minutes after, Jinky called our landline phone saying, “Yan, Mom already passed away at 5am.” I whispered, “Oh, my God!” I was restless. I kept looking at the surrounding of your house where I used to see you, embracing me when I was small.

Ma, I’m missing you more than ever before… Now that you’re finally gone, now that your smile can no longer be seen and now that your warm loving hand can no longer be grasped, I still imagine you’re still alive when I saw your deceased body lying in that hospital bed. I still imagine you’re just sleeping deeply in spite the nurses were covering you with a black plastic body bag.

I hope you heard my words when I said, “Ma, thank you for your great love for me, Jinky, Reggie, Peaches and Cherrys. Don’t worry, we’ll take care of Dad. God is giving you rest and peace now. You’re with His bright white peaceful light. We love you, Ma.”

Ma, I’m missing you more than ever before but it’s strange I didn’t shed a tear. I ask myself, “Do I have to cry to show how much I’m missing you?” I don’t know. All I know I’ve loved you to the best I can. I know I had shortcomings of my love for you but deep in my heart and mind, I’ve tried very much in showing how much I care and love you.

Ma, I’m missing you now and how I wish I was there besides Tita Yolly, witnessing your last breath, your last seconds of your physical existence in this world. Is it possible we’ll see each other again? Will you be making an appearance before me after three days? Or will you just enter into my dreams where you and I would have some meaningful conversation surrounded by plants and flowers in your garden? I think that’s better, Ma. So I guess I won’t be missing you anymore. I love you, Ma.