Why I'd Like to Think I Did Not Lose My Mom to Cancer

Photo-of-me-mom-and-siblings
I begged her to let me watch the show in the plaza, I promised not to fall asleep. But I fail, Mom's right! :D
(On her right were my other two siblings) 

My Dad died when I was only five years old, so losing my Mom at the age of nine was quiet pathetic. Well, that’s how some people like to think of it.


I have seen them react in bewilderment as soon as they've heard my story. Then came pity; no, not empathy. But pity. I saw it in their eyes, in their face, and in the words they use.


It kinda makes me feel bad, and how I wish people don’t do that. Please don’t pity us especially if you haven’t saw us crumble, beg, or scavenge. Please don’t make us feel inferior, because by all means, we are not.


Thus, there goes my reason why I’m not enthusiastic particularly in telling people about what I've been through. Its one story I’m not comfortable writing.


But God is good, I truly do believe, He is so wise and has this thing about using people who had faced tremendous challenges in life. Indeed, He gives His biggest battles to His strongest soldiers. They say that everything happens for a reason, hence, I've always marveled about the purpose behind every heartache and tears.



Mother-and-child-photo
Our version of Mother-and-child photo, I guess. This is one of my favorite photo with her.

God uses trials to polish us. Each life story is unique, isn't that astonishing? And those painful, agonizing stories as time goes by become a source of encouragement and inspiration to others, to those who are hurting too.


So today, I dare let go of my comfort zone and hopefully become a source of strength and light to those who are in dim.


I’d like to think I did not lose my Mom to cancer but for all the good reasons. This event has taught me well in dealing with life. In this post, I’ll write about the lessons I've learned from this experience, how I accepted what was and live to what is.



amazing-story-quote

It made me closer to God.

I think when we’re confused, angry, feeling hopeless or in sorrow, our natural instinct is to talk to the One Greater than ourselves. It’s during these times that we’re vulnerable, yet open and genuine to express our emotions, unrestrained. To question the One Higher than us.

To me, this was the time when I learned to cling to the Almighty. I don’t know how to survive such loss so I resolved to myself to draw strength from Him. He was and is my lifeblood. That's how I've overcome. Only by His Grace, His Sovereignty helped me made it through.


I realized the importance of saying “Thank you. I love you. I’m sorry.”

You know that day when she left, t’was really really unforgettable. I saw her die before my eyes, I saw her struggle, I saw her breathe her last; it was so painful I’d wished I did close my eyes. Immediately though, I realized my very first regret in life – words left unsaid. I forgot to thank her when she’s still alive. Thank her for being the best Mom I could ever hope for; thank her for being strong for us even though we know that deep inside she feels so lost especially when her husband died and left her with seven children to take care of. God knows how much pain she had to endure, how many sacrifices she had to make.


Mom-teaching-me-to-read
Look who taught me to read. I have learned to appreciate books since then.

I also forgot to tell her how much I love her. A couple of minutes before she was no more, she were telling us to take care of each other, to always be there for each other. Amidst what she’s going through, still she’s more concerned about our welfare. That’s unconditional love, how great is that love! I guess the most beautiful words we could have said to her that fateful day… we could have said, we should have said we love her; that we appreciate everything she did for us. And we also forgot to say sorry for the times we have hurt her, disappointed, and disobeyed her.


This has became an avenue for me to learn the importance of letting people know that I care, that I'm grateful for their life, for who they are to me. I pray dear reader that you’ll take the time to tell your love ones, tell them while they’re still with you. Affirm them, let them know.



walk-in-the-park-with-Mom
We frequently walk in the park back then. 

Life is fleeting and that you have to take advantage of every moment spent. Life here on earth is really too short to live aimlessly, in anger or in want. Learn to let go of regrets, do not let it stop you nor hold you from living a fruitful live. Forgive those who have hurt you and ask forgiveness if you did someone wrong. Do not allow anyone to disturb your peace of mind. And never ever let circumstances rob you of your joy. Do not let life pass you by without happiness and contentment.


Nothing is permanent except change. Indeed, this adage is very true. Everything changes, people come and go. Your problems come and go. Don’t let it break you. Learn to adapt to change, because that’s how life works. Learn to bend, but never break.



She loves to plant and to bake, but she also loves lampshades and chandelier. We always have at least one at home.
(She bought the tall one besides me too.)

That being strong doesn't mean not crying and always fighting back; strong means you can be vulnerable at times yet still have the will to stand up every time life knocks you down.

Silence can also mean not attending to every argument you’re invited to. 

Life can be really hard, but no matter what do not lose faith.

Life was, is, and will always be hard; and you have to accept it. Do not be disillusioned to think that there is such thing as being problem-free. Please remember though that trying times are molding times, without trials your character won’t grow. Whenever you have problems, keep your faith and remind yourself that “this too shall pass”.


cousin-visited-us
She's no longer feeling well here, her feet were swollen, she also had very bad coughs and headaches.

People will always disappoint you.

Yes, you read it right. And I know you’ll agree with me. Everyone will disappoint you, your family, friends, colleagues – everyone. Because we are all human being, and absolutely no one is perfect. And sometimes, those closest to you hurt you the most. When my Dad died then my Mom, I saw some close relatives and friends turn their backs on us. They even mock us, said worst things about us. Instead of grieving with us; they themselves spread malicious gossip about us. Instead of reaching their hands to help us, they were the ones who took advantage of our weakness, use us and abuse us. That’s why I conclude the next…
my-2nd-grade-graduation
During this time, she frequently flew to Manila to have herself medically checked. And I was so glad that she made it and were able to pin my ribbon for being on top of the class. She always personally hand-picked the dresses I wear, we would go to the nearby town and search for couple of hours until she's satisfied with what I'm going to wear.

Abusive people, the negative and dream killers should never have a place in your life.

Life is too complex to add people who just take your time, rent a space in your mind, and suck the sanity inside you. I have much to say about this, but I’d rather not say more. Don’t spend time with these people, if you wish to live a happy life. Pray for them, but don’t let them influence you and don’t let them slow you down. 


last-graduation-with-Mom
She was misdiagnosed with a heart disease during this time. Her body is no longer in top shape. This was the last graduation she attended, in fact this was the last graduation I've ever experienced coming up on stage with a parent. My grades drastically went low, although I still managed to make it to top 4, but it was a challenge. I was so distracted and confused.

Have enough respect on yourself.

Losing our parents at such a young age made us independent-minded, strong-willed, and determined. But you see the earth is sadly filled with nasty people. Then I've learned that when you have enough respect on yourself, people will give it back to you, they’ll respect you in return. I've never let anybody looked down on me because I’m young. I've faced too many trials and I have overcome. For more than half of my life, I have learned to survive and does it well. I know who I am, and I know my worth; no one has the licensed to put me down and tell me otherwise. But of course, it’s essential to respect others too. Each gives what each has to give.


last-family-gathering
On a wheel chair, her breast cancer was already stage 4. This was the last gathering she attended with my family and relatives in Shangri-La Hotel. This was her last photo with us.

People will leave you eventually, what matters most is how you make the most of your time being with them.

We are inherently lazy, and routine makes us complacent. In relationships, we should not allow ourselves to be like this. No one knows how much time we have on earth, so be on guard and make your relationships a priority. We need healthy relationships in our lives, we are made that way. So when you are with your love ones, make it a habit to show kindness to them. To show them you care and you love them. Don’t wait to lose them before you appreciate their presence.


my-parents-wedding
My parents' wedding. They're my example of true and unselfish love. They've shown us to appreciate life and be happy with what we've got. They've shown us what a simple, happy family life could be.

Everything happens for a reason and the choice is yours; it can either make you feel bitter or better.

I know you've heard that life is 20% what happens to you and 80% what you do with what happens to you. I think it’s important that we took the time to dig deep and know our inmost thoughts. Like losing a love one, it’s not merely positive thinking that’ll help you get over it. It’s more of how you see it. When you see where you stand, and how you view your circumstances, that’s when acceptance comes in. It’s okay to cry, it’s okay to rest a while, it’s okay to be weak, it is okay. But after that, you have to hold yourself up, and then help others do the same.

And finally, make up your mind to always move forward and onward whatever comes your way.

Because at the end of the day, life is still good, and there’s so much to live for. 


I'd like to think they're in a happy place now, together. They're beautiful souls that will forever be engraved in the memory our hearts and minds.

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