Losing a dear one, a mother, is devastating. But with God’s saving grace, we knew we’ll be able to cope and go on with life. Yet… things will never be the same again.
I have a story to tell…
I am the youngest among 3 siblings, daughter of Engineers and Couples For Christ (CFC) members for almost 25 years. I started as a member of Kids For Christ (KFC), Youth For Christ (YFC) High School based and became a member of Singles For Family and Life (CFC-SFL) since 2008. I grew up having the Catholic faith, with my mom and dad setting the examples.
In 2007, my mom has been diagnosed with Colon cancer and was given 18 months to live. Since then, there has been series of struggles. Personally, I had to balance school and daughter duties as I was a graduating college student at that time. Worries and fears never left me, especially on moments I had to deal with projects and final exams while my mom is confined in the hospital every other week. (I lacked .02 points in my over-all grade to make it as Cum Laude and I honestly don’t know what happened to a subject’s finals result). I was lost for a time. Struggles too of different levels have been experienced by dad, my sister and brother. A battle has to be won. Not just mom’s battle, but OURS, as a family.
Yet our faith became stronger than ever. We have been continuously praying as a family or individually. What makes me admire my mom all the more is that despite of her illness, she never stopped serving the Lord. Through music, as Unit, Chapter or Cluster Heads (together with dad) of Antipolo District, going to and from places for households, missions, music ministry practices, sharing her time, talent, energy and of course, her life story. She has been an inspiration to many.
We were still able to travel to different countries. We were able to build more memories. She has been a loving mom in her own ways: protective of her son and daughters when it comes to our future. She wants the best for us. She has always been supportive of us. 18 months became 2…3…4…5…6 almost 7 years until last February 7, 2014, at 1:40am, death took its toll on her.
It’s too painful, seeing your lifeless mom in the hospital bed and realizing what pain she might have been through the past months, days and her last hours. In a span of 6 hours in the hospital, who would have thought she will not come out alive? She was relaxed and everything seems okay then all of a sudden she’s gone. It’s too heartbreaking when I have constantly prayed for her healing every single day of my life, in my every Tuesdays devotion to Padre Pio, and every Sundays during mass but in a snap, we lost her. I can never explain the pain.
But as we grieve, God has shown how blessed and loved we are. Her life has been extended. Maybe my mom knew we can now stand on our own and that we are surrounded by good people. Through the presence and testimonies of people she has touched, we’re very sure we have gained an angel up in heaven. Aside from family and friends, the community never left our side since day 1 of the wake till she was finally laid to rest. We couldn’t have done things on our own. I’m very thankful for all the titos/titas, neighbors, fellow SFLs, officemates, and our relatives of course.
Her memories will always remain: our talks about heart matters, the mom and daughter moments over shopping, videoke, food, etc. and of course our complete family moments. She has been a fighter, reflecting strength and positivism to people she has encountered. She will always be the woman with a wonderful singing voice and graceful dance moves. She will always be the “sungit” boss at work yet super generous to all her workers and helpers. She will always be my frank, cool, beautiful and loving mother.
I will never question God why why all these happened. Instead, we will keep holding on to Him as we go through our lives without her (physically). Salute to a Dad who is a man of God. He kept the vows made on their wedding day “In sickness and in health…” Salute to my sister who has been selfless the whole time, and my brother who has always been beside mom too. Our faith will help us through. At least now, there are no more pains and sufferings for our dearest Mommy. It’s still a battle won.
2 Timothy 4:7 says it all: “I have fought a good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.” Indeed, till her last days… She has kept the faith…
(Original Story shared March 2014 for the World Singles Congress in Batangas City)