My Mom My Hero

These words are pieces to a puzzle I have collected over the years. This time, I picked out random pieces to create something for the Mother’s Day 2016 contest by Wooden Canvas.

Here it is:


The day after his mother’s death in October 1977, Roland Barthes began a diary of mourning. In one of his entries, he wrote:

“How maman is present in all I have written: in that there is everywhere a notion of the Sovereign God.”

He took notes on index cards, reflected on the ebb and flow of sadness; and the discourse of loss and recovery; on the slow pace of mourning, and modern society’s quick dismissal of it.

I only came upon this book last year when a good friend told me she found a book she thinks I would like to have. So, she had it reserved under my name and said that I should check it out and see if I liked it. I did, and I love it!

I started writing a few years ago, after my mom (Nanay) bloomed into heaven. I particularly became interested in the Jesuit concept of God in All Things and made a not so original choice of labelling my written entries as My God in All Things. It started with a collection of words from people of far away places, desperately giving significance to the events that filled each day. A need to fill something hollow, a need to see the light in the midst of darkness, a need to keep within grasp the thoughts spiralling out of control. As Stephen Colbert once said,

“The interesting thing about grief, I think, is that it is its own size. It is not the size of you. It is its own size. And grief comes to you. You know what I mean? I’ve always liked that phrase “He was visited by grief,” because that’s really what it is. Grief is its own thing. It’s not like it’s in me and I’m going to deal with it. It’s a thing, and you have to be okay with its presence. If you try to ignore it, it will be like a wolf at your door.”

I was always a stickler for privacy, but I also felt that I wanted to share these words I am writing for Nanay. My God in All Things is PRIMARILY A SERIES OF POSTCARDS SENT TO HEAVEN. I have come to realise that the words I have written down are words inspired by angels sent by Nanay, herself- to help me keep fighting the good fight (warrior of the light).

On what would have been her 49th birthday, I wrote these words as a message, I wanted her to tell me and/or I felt she would have said to me: “Keep writing, you have such lovely stories to tell. Time and again, in not so many words and in not so many ways, Nanay keeps telling me that.”

Simple words become prayers of faith, of perseverance, and of hope as snippets of My God in All Things are reduced into writing. It also becomes a medium of fulfilling the Daily Examen, in a continuing effort to live my own camino. But more than that, they are letters of love reminiscent of days filled with laughter and tears. So I hope to keep writing, because I know my mom will keep reading them. It brings to thought (now and then) of days filled with the melody of her laughter.

Mirroring the words of Roland Barthes, I could also say that Nanay is our inspiration as a family, she is our very own guardian angel. Inspiration being “In the Spirit of God,” as Sr. Mary Fidelis, r.a. would say. Guardian Angel, being our guiding light. With her, God in all things became all the more real to me. Through her, God’s presence became all the more real to me and I became all the more present in Him.

A few years ago I sent a postcard to heaven for one very special person, with these words at the back:

For the encompassing beauty of the bougainvillea mirrors your own;
And the stillness of the green that surrounds us resonates your continuing serenity. 
As the awakening of blue skies in the morning brings us hope for the new day, 
So is the thought of you in each and every day. 
And as the music of laughter floats through the night, 
I gladly hear yours bubble with delight. 
To hear Tatay laugh is to hear you laugh. 
To see my sisters smile is to see you smile. 
To hear my brothers talk is to hear you talk.
For when I see the beagles run around with glee, 
I feel your spirit dancing freely! 
Love always, Nanay!
Wooden Canvas
May 2016


I won!

Thank you, Wooden Canvas. Thanks for helping me make this Postcard to Heaven extra special this year. It helped keep the emotions in check. The heart grew a little bigger, this time filled with Goodness. Filling it with Goodness is a constant battle, especially when the mind overrides it with overwhelming thoughts and worry. Thank you, thank you.


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