She was born with that rare classic beauty that transcends time and generations. When she turned 18, she blossomed into an exquisite rose and captured the heart of the handsome Naning. At 20, she marched down the aisle as a stunning bride, and at 21 became a first-time mom. Five sons and one daughter later, she still reigns as the majestic queen in her humble kingdom. How she raised 6 children, kept her house clean, cooked meals for the family every single day and still stayed beautiful, I’ll never know. Not all women are created equal — my mom-in-law, Sally, is of a very special breed.
I’ve only known her for the past 8 years, but I love her like my own mother. I’m proud to call her Mommy. She has all these wonderful qualities that make her truly unforgettable. She remembers everyone’s birthday and makes sure to be one of the first to call just to greet. She is caring, charming, prayerful, thoughtful, dedicated, loyal and hardworking. Cooking for the whole family (children, in-laws and grandchildren) every Sunday is no easy task, but she does it without complaining. We all just love her homecooking. Mommy is also very funny, even if she doesn’t intend to be. She was the one who informed us that actress Angel Locsin was dating athlete Phil Househusband (*teehee*). She makes a phone directory that only she can decipher; her children Cesar, Claro, Celso, Caloy, Gani and Candy are all listed under the letter F — for “family”, of course! She’s also mastered the art of preserving food. She firmly believes that the freezer is the answer to everything. When Bea spent her very first Christmas with the family at six months old, the ham that Mommy served for Noche Buena was even six months older than Bea. Expiration dates mean nothing to Mommy. When I was new in the family, in 2004, she gave everyone packs of dried mangoes that had expired two years back. Having grown up in a household that was very particular about expiry dates, I was shocked when her brood gamely gobbled up the dried mangoes. On my birthday last year (2010), she gifted me with a box of Marks & Spencer Green Tea which was 2 years past its best-before date. But it’s really the thought that counts — at least she knows I love green tea.
Seriously now, Mommy is my inspiration and role model as a wife and mother. Despite her advanced years, she takes care of Daddy like a 24/7 nurse on duty. She is one remarkable woman, and one of God’s greatest gifts to me. Today she turns 80 years old, but she’s still one of the most beautiful women I know. I love her dearly. Thank you, Mommy, for hugging me tight when you learned I was going to marry your son; for staying by my side and holding my hand while I was in labor; and for cooking halaan soup when I was trying to breastfeed. Thank you for everything! Happy birthday!
(*Our photo courtesy of Candy)