Spend time with your mother and not just on mother’s day

I was the child who got to spend the most time with mom. When my four siblings got married I was the one left to live with her.

And during the last few years before my mom died, I took my family to go live with her too. I got a job offer I wanted to try out and so I needed her help with the kids, plus I wanted for my children to spend time with my mom. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever done as a mom. Two years after moving in with her, we lost her. But I feel happy that my children got to spend two wonderful years with their grand mother.

Even with so much time and memories we’ve created with mom, at times I still feel it wasn’t enough. I could’ve spent more uninterrupted moments with her. Ones that involved me fully paying attention to her and not being distracted with the stress of work.

The times I spent working overtime should’ve been spent with my mom. Talking to her telling her how much I love her.

When she died I realized that parents are angels we just borrow from heaven. We cannot have them forever. When their mission is done, they will be called back and we have to let them go. We will never be ready to lose a parent, their death is something we cannot negotiate.

When it’s their time to go they will have to go whether or not you’ve said your final goodbyes or spent enough time with them.

I would like to think that mothers go back to heaven and get reassigned some place else. To another place with another family.

And so while you still have them you have to spend time with them. Savor the sound of their voice, the feel of their skin against yours. Save a mental record of the warmth of her hugs and the sound of her laugh.

Because someday these will all be gone. She will be gone. Someday she will be just be a memory you will be forced to hold on to forever.

No plane ticket can take you to where she is. You will never see her again. There’s no telephone line that will let you talk to her. She won’t be there on the other end of the line to pick up the phone. You will have to live in a world that doesn’t include her anymore, which for me was the most difficult to accept.

While I do recognize that yes there are still toxic mothers who torment their children, these are few and far in between. A majority of mothers are driven by instincts to care for, love, and protect their young.

Mothers are not perfect but most are driven by an intense need to love their children.

Call her. Call her while she’s still on the other end of the line. Listen to her voice and the sound of her breathing.

Visit her. Visit her often and not just on mother’s day. Memorize the wrinkles on her face, the feel of her skin against yours. Hold her hand and tell her you love her.

Because someday you may never get to hear her say it back. You will tell her you love her but she won’t be there to hear it anymore.

The last time I got to hold my momma’s hand was before they lowered her to the ground. I opened the casket hugged her cold body tight and held her hand. Throughout my life I held her hand, and that moment I knew it was the last time I will get to hold her.

She will be gone forever.

So hug your mother. Hug her tight while she can still hug you back. Give her flowers while you can still see her smile while she can still respond with that enamored look on her face.

No one else will love you the way your momma does. No one else will be willing to give up everything even her life itself for you.

You will know and experience other forms and types of love, you will receive them from your spouse, and your children. But the love of a mother can never be replaced.

Only her can love you the way a momma can. And when she’s gone from this world you will realize that no matter where you search, no matter how long, you will never find love quite like your mother’s. You will miss her every day.

You will learn to just live with that gaping hole in your heart, with a huge piece of your soul missing.

So call her while you still can. Tell her you love her while she can still hear you. Buy her flowers and spend time with her. Not just on mother’s day but everyday when ever you can. Because someday you will never be able too.

Author: Loraine Balita-Centeno

I'm a Manila based journalist who's been working in the industry for 12 years. I've written pieces for newspapers and magazines based in Manila and some abroad. I'm a work-at-home-mom of two so I spend my days writing or editing with a toddler clamped around one leg and a pre-schooler asking me questions every 10 minutes.

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