The Good Daughter

By Marjorie Orantes

 “I know enough to know that no woman should ever marry a man who hated his mother.”
Martha Gellhorn, Selected Letters

“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
Abraham Lincoln

“Be a Mother who is committed to loving her children into standing on higher ground than the environment surrounding them. Mothers are endowed with a love that is unlike any other love on the face of the earth.”
Marjorie Pay Hinckley

And the ever famous “Mother Knows Best”

I could quote and make a long list of sayings about mother. But those that I appreciate? Only a few. It came from an experience that I view my mother differently. No she’s not the evil queen and I’m Cinderella. Ironically, her name is Diosa, my beloved mother.

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When I was a child, my eldest sister and my mother always fight, a big one. Chairs will be broken, they would curse one another, and at the end of the day I’m left comforting my mother. The reason behind all these fight is because my sister is a rebel one, the black sheep of the family, for me. But as I grow, I fully understand why, and it looks like I’m the last one to know. My mother have money issues. My father for 23 years is working abroad, but she don’t have money saved for the future. She’ll hide how she spends the money.

And because my father is an OFW, some of our relatives think that we are rich, and rich, and rich. I’m not so close with my relatives on my mother side, and I’m not building any connection with them other than relatives. I don’t hate them for who they are, but for what they are doing and how they treat us, I think they only know us when they need money, but what can I do? My mother supports them. She even put up a charity, oh I mean a business to help her relatives. She’s the boss, and her relatives are her staffs, great. And because it is a 24-hour business, she’s there 24/7. And she’s not at home caring for us or acting like a mother. At school I’m the one who’ll claim my card, because she’s busy. That way I felt motherless and rejected. That’s why I’m closer to my best friend’s mother than to her.

Whenever my father will come home, there will be an unplanned party and uninvited relatives at our house, sometimes an early Christmas Party, hosted by my mother. They will all be nice to my father and ask for a pasalubong, like they’re a priority. But when my father got sick, no one cared to visit him at the hospital.

There are moments when my mother would remember my father’s infidelity because of another woman, she’ll cry and will ignore my father the whole day, if not, blame my father again and again. Then I’ll stop her, she’ll say “kampi ka talaga sa papa mo…” I admit I am, but my point is, it all happened years ago. There’s no point on remembering it. She’s not the only one who’s hurt. When their relationship is at risk of separation, I said to myself I will go with my father, she have her relatives with her to take care of her.

Bitterness and anger reside in me towards my mother and her relatives. I thought I’ve already forgave them, but I realized not completely.

After all the revelations, who am I to evaluate her? Maybe I should also ask myself if I became a good daughter to her. With all those grades and treatment she don’t deserve. With all those kickbacks and harsh words. I realized that if I will continue harboring this feeling, I will just make our relationship miserable, and might be a worst mother than her. Maybe it’s time to appreciate her efforts and stop looking on her downfalls.

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