if i could, i'd give her flowers…

If  I could, I’d give my mum flowers,the ones she actually liked, instead of laying them on her grave on special occasions like her birthday or on Mother’s Day…but I never got the chance to ask her what her favorite flower was, much like I never had the chance to ask her a lot of things about herself + her childhood, much like I never had the chance to tell her the biggest secret I have kept in my life for several years.  She would’ve been shell-shocked + aired her disapproval but in the end, I know that she will understand me + would stand by my choice, just like she always does….

My Mama is the epitome of a great mother, she is selfless + is always thinking of her children first, before anything else, always giving off 101% of herself to her family, always ready to reach out a helping hand to those in need. She is kindness personified, + I am not being biased just because I am her firstborn. A lot of people can attest to it + even until now, after 4 years of passing on, some neighbors will still come up to us + talk about the kindness that my mum has shown them. Back when I was little, I really couldn’t get it, I didn’t know why she has to go whenever someone requested her to help them with something, like helping in cooking of big batches of dishes during special occasions like weddings or fiestas, helping to bring a sick neighbor to the hospital, or there was this one time when one of our neighbors was convicted with a crime, she would accompany this neighbor to court proceedings + hearings. He was later acquitted + cannot thank my mum enough for all her time + help.

My Mama never went to College, in fact she only finished grade school + barely went to secondary school, but she has the wisdom of a sage. Basic + simple, yet the most effective in life.  Growing up we were raised to be fair with our dealings with other people + to never mistreat anyone, to show kindness whenever we can, to value our family much more that anything else, to not be too keen on material things as we can never really bring them in the afterlife, to believe that hard work pays + to sow kindness so that we might be able to reap some in the future.  I also love my mum’s philosophy, she would always tell us to not worry as, somehow, problems seem to have this odd way of solving themselves anyway, that all we need to do is pray + believe in God.

I also fondly remember that she always accompanies me wherever I go, to school enrollments (I only get to enroll on my own when I was a sophomore in College), + even to debut parties of my friends + it took me awhile to get used to traveling on my own + even much longer to mature.

Apart from being my mother,  she is also my number one fan, doting as ever, delighted at every little accomplishment I made (no matter how trivial they might be) + broadcasting it to the rest of our community, thinking I am much, much prettier than I actually am, believing I am smarter + thinking of herself lucky to have us for her children. I guess that’s one thing I miss so much about my Mama, the joy of sharing something with someone, no matter how petty or insignificant it might be, knowing they will share in your happiness + are happy for you too!

My Mama never read any books on motherhood or saw any online sites on the subject, but I can easily say she is the best mum, that even other people wanted her to be their mum, too!  She is always there for her children, +  has unwavering faith in us, believing in our capabilities even if we are having doubts ourselves. If I could be even half of a mum she is to me to my child, then I’d feel like I’ve accomplished much.

I see my Mama’s smile in the eyes of my child…

My mum succumb to diabetes + other complications that fateful day in February, 2007 (my sis Isabel’s birthday, in fact) after being bed-ridden for awhile. She passed on in her sleep, peaceful + tranquil. She is 58 + I know she has lived her life to the fullest! I was working in Makati + came home a few hours late. I didn’t even get the chance to kiss her goodbye, didn’t even get the chance to tell her that I love her dearly, that I am proud I am here daughter, that I thank her very much for her selflessness + her love.  I whispered those words in the air over again, knowing full well that she can hear me…i only wish my Mama got to kiss my son…

Started by Dindin’s Mama

Love + Light,

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mother of pearl series 01: pearl pins

Note: This post is part of a 7-part posts on the Mother of Pearl Series…

Mother of Pearl series
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Welcome to Pearl Girls Mother of Pearl Mother’s Day blog series. The series is week long celebration of moms and mothering. Each day we will feature a new post by some of today’s best writer’s (Tricia Goyer, Megan Alexander, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Beth Engelman, Holley Gerth, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, and more). I hope you’ll join us each day for another unique perspective on Mother’s Day.

And, do enter the contest for a chance to win a beautiful hand crafted pearl necklace. To enter, just {CLICK THIS LINK} and fill out the short form. Contest runs 5/1-5/8 and the winner will on 5/11. Contest is only open to US and Canadian residents.

If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT Mother’s Day gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.

And to all you MOMS out there! Happy Mother’s Day!

PEARL PINS by Margaret

At age 49, I am a mom without a mom. This deep longing for my mother continues to surprise me. During milestone moments, I imagine phone conversations with her.

“Can you believe that Melissa is graduating from high school in June? I’m so glad you will be flying to Chicago to be here with us.”

“Wasn’t that a fun family dinner we all had last weekend to celebrate Katie’s ‘sweet
sixteen?’ I am so glad you could join us.”

“Isn’t this exciting? I just got a new book contract. Will you please edit my manuscript before I send it in?”

Sadly, this will be my eighth Mother’s Day to spend without my mother. She has missed some poignant milestones in my life and in the lives of my daughters. Both Melissa and Katie were very young when she died so they don’t have a full reservoir of memories about Grandmommy Rhea. However, they do have the legacy of faith that she helped instill in them as toddlers. She loved to send Veggie Tales tapes, Children’s Bibles and devotional books.

Melissa and Katie were blessed to have Nana, (Dave’s mother) around for much longer. Nana passed away two years ago. A few years before Nana died, she gave me a beautiful necklace with a diamond pendant made from her wedding ring along with a pair of diamond earrings. She asked me to give these special gifts to Melissa and Katie for their sixteenth birthdays. Even though Nana wasn’t around to celebrate, my daughters were so happy to receive such special keepsakes from her. Hugs from heaven.

Last week on Katie’s 16th birthday, I discovered an unexpected blessing that had been tucked away in a cardboard container of my mother’s things. A jewelry box with three pearl pins! I gave one to Melissa as a belated 16th birthday gift, and I presented one to Katie for her 16th birthday. This Mother’s Day, I will wear my mother’s pearl pin as a tangible reminder that a mother’s love (and a grandmother’s love) is an everlasting gift from God.

Finding these gifts made me think about what I might leave for my own daughters someday. It isn’t the external value of the gift that matters, but rather the love that it represents.

Is there a special gift or letter that you would like to leave your children?

Margaret McSweeney lives with her husband, David and two teenage daughters in the Chicago suburbs.  After earning a master’s degree in international business from the University of South Carolina, Margaret moved to New York City to work at a large bank where she met David.  Margaret is the editor of Pearl Girls, author of A Mother’s Heart Knows and co-author of Go Back and Be Happy. Charity and community involvement are very important to Margaret. She has served on the board of directors for WINGS (Women in Need Growing Stronger) for over eight years. For more information, find Margaret at www.pearlgirls.info and www.kitchenchat.info.

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