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Joined: 07 Jul 2005
Posts: 671
Location: Fred Cagayat

PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 11:05 pm    Post subject: HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO ALL THE MOTHERS Reply with quote

In memory of my mother, LUCIANA MENDOZA CAGAYAT, I would like to share with you my article "MY MOTHER'S LAST WISH" I wrote in 2005 to honor my mother's 104th birthday. She died in 1993 at the age of 92.

LUCIANA MENDOZA CAGAYAT (May 6, 1901-June 26,1993)


May 6, is my mother’s birthday. She would have been 104 years old if she were alive today.

Going Home

It was a long journey. She must be very tired. Most of her friends were gone long ago. But there she was, 92 years old, and still going. She spent 11 years in Metro Manila, three of which were totally spent in bed. She felt that something was missing. “I want to go home”, she would plead again and again to my sister and nieces. Like a restless child, she kept getting her emaciated legs out of the bed. “I want to go back to Paete to see my friends. I want to die there.”

That was my mother, Dada to her loving grandchildren, Sianang to others. My mother was one of those who had been away too long from Paete, Laguna and desperately craving to go home before it was too late. It was unthinkable at first. She had all the comforts of life in Las Pinas. She had all the loving affection of her grandchildren: Shirley, her main caregiver, Sylvia, Cely and Susan and lively company of her great grandchildren who were equally affectionate with their Lola. Her daughter, Sr. Margherita (Anding) visited her occasionally from the Daughters of St. Paul in Pasay City, just an hour away.

In the past, Ina had expressed her desire to go home. Each time, the idea was turned down because of the problem of a regular caregiver, lack of water and other conveniences not readily found in Paete. This time was different, however. She looked determined. She felt that my father who died 14 years earlier was calling her. So, the decision was made. She would be going home to Paete, as she wished. But first, our house in Ibaba had to be fixed – the old, rotting and termite infested walls must be repaired. This promise appeased her, she was glad that after all those years, she would finally be going home.

February 1993 came. She had a big smile on her face when we transported her on what would be a sentimental trip back to Paete. Riding with me in a rented ambulance arranged by my kabarkada Dr, Emil Cadayona, Ina silently relaxed on the bed as the ambulance took her from Las Pinas to her destination: Paete. She could not believe that she was finally going back home.

When we reached home, my nephew Crispin carried her in his arms like a little baby. They toured the renovated house she had not seen in years. Soon flock of relatives and friends visited her upon hearing the news. She was ecstatic. As she tried to get used to the new environment, the burden mounted on her caregivers, Shirley from Las Pinas, and Sr. Margherita who was granted a leave by the Daughters of St. Paul. On May 6th, 1993, her 92nd birthday, there was a happy reunion again. Her grandchildren gathered around her one more time to celebrate the special occasion. It was to be her last birthday.

Final homecoming

On June 26th, she finally closed her eyes. Indeed, she came home just in time for her final journey to the final home in the great beyond. Although we were prepared for this sad day, it was still a heartbreaking news. We felt the loss of a loving, caring mother and grandmother. She was laid to rest on July 4th. I could not go home to pay the last respect. I felt real bad. My only consolation was that I saw her alive and in good spirits few months earlier. I remember our precious moments together in Metro Manila, talking and reminiscing even during unholy hours. I could still hear her chuckles while she repeatedly sang her favorite song Tinikling while I tried to dance to the tune. Now that she’s gone, I can’t help but recall the legacy that Ina left us.

The legacy of my mother

A housewife all her life, she was always faithful and caring to my father. She was always there waiting for my father to come home from a hard day’s work in the fields or from a long night of fishing. She was a dressmaker, a knitter, and an avid houseplant gardener. Ina was always generous. She shared with her relatives whatever food or little things she got. She was a sympathetic listener, a constant comforter to our less fortunate relatives who confided their miseries and problems, as if she had no problems of her own. She was always neat and orderly, meticulous and overly sentimental.

While rummaging through some old things, I saw my sister’s grade school notebooks, my baptismal robe, all faded and tattered. Mother kept all those over the years for sentimental keepsake. She cherished and kept the handcarved picture frame done by my brother Etong, my school carving projects of miniature person, ear, and hand. She secretly kept my Christmas gift of Japanese doll which my father hated because of his bitter memories of war.

But the most precious legacy she left us was the Christian values and faith in prayers. She was a long time member of the Catholic Women’s League (CWL). I remember having to rush home at six o’clock in the evening for our family Angelus. She was a firm believer of novenas. When Cora and I were childless for two years, it was she who initiated the novena to St. Gerard Majella, patron saint of childless mothers. And true enough, our little Gerard came shortly thereafter. She kept all sorts of novenas, and her final wish was to bring with her to the grave all her prayer books.

Loved and cherished

When Ina was on her last years, she served as the magnetic force which kept her grandchildren and children happily together. She took care of her grandchildren when they were young, and they reciprocated the affection when she was old. On her every birthday, her apos would get together to watch their Dada blow the candles.

Now there will be no more candles to blow and no tears to shed. Our tears have dried up, but her memories will live forever. We were glad that she got her last wish and died peacefully in her beloved town. She was lucky because she was prepared and was able to choose her final resting place. My mother went back to her house in Paete to whisper the melancholic parting words. GOODBYE… goodby…goodbye. ***

In memory of Luciana Mendoza Cagayat – May 6, 1901-June 26, 1993.
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Salamat Amang Fred,

Napapanahong akda para sa pagdiriwang ng "Araw ng mga Ina".

Hindi man eksakto ay pareho tayong hindi nasilayan ang paghahatid sa huling hantungan ng ating ina.

Hindi perfecto ang naging buhay pamilya ni ina, subalit nakita ko sa aking paglaki, kung papaanong isinakripisyo niya ang lahat upang kaming mga anak niya ay bigyang buhay.

Upasala at panghuhusga ang kanyang inabot, tiniis niya iyon, kalakip ang mga luha at pagdaramdam.

Sumuko din ang kanyang pagal na katawan sa edad na 90, at hindi na rin ako naka-uwi noong Thanksgiving day of 2010 nang siya ay mamatay.

Ang tanging konsolasyon ko na lang ay nakita ko pa rin siya at nakausap isang taon bago ang pangyayari.

Tunay nga na hindi matutumbasan ang pagmamahal ng isang ina, na handang gawin ang lahat para sa kanyang pamilya.

At sa araw na ito, isang pagbibigay pugay para sa lahat ng mga ina.
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