Happy Birthday, Momsie! 

My beautiful mujay is turning 65 in a few hours. Yep, sixty-freaking-five! God has been nothing but faithful to my mommy and I am so blessed because I get to spend another year with her. When my dad died, I made sure that I spend more time with her and that I “won’t be too busy growing up for I might forget that she’s growing old” (or so the famous quote says). Since it is her month, let me share with the world how incredibly awesome my mom is, and let me share these lessons the beautiful Aida Dayrit Latonero has taught me:
 
1. You don’t have to shout to prove your point
. My mom is a Bulaceña (she’s from Plaridel, Bulacan, and it turns out we are related to Marcelo H. Del Pilar :p) and Bulaceñas are known to be very soft spoken, gentle in words. For the longest time that I lived with her I never heard her shout. She never- up to now- raised her voice, even when she’s upset, or in an argument. I, on the other hand, speak so strongly and sometimes (well, most of the the time – if you ask my husband :p) raise my voice to prove my point. Mom taught me that even if I am right, I should never speak so highly and belittle people through my tone of voice. 

One time, we were at a bank and her ATM card was screwed up for some weird reason. She was talking to the bank person in her most polite tone and said, “ma’am, pano po kaya yung..”. Even if the bank was at fault and younger than my mom she was still very respectful and polite. She earned the respect of the lady because she respected her as well. I worked as a customer service representative and boy, do demanding people – those who shout, those who curse- get to me! Mom’s issue was resolved right away because she was very nice- tone of voice and all.


2. Take everything one step at a time.
I am a go-getter. If there’s something that I want, I really work hard to get it. This attitude is not at all bad, but you know, sometimes, because we want to get things done right away we tend to overreact when we don’t get it- or when things didn’t happen the way we want them to happen. 

I am very obsessive compulsive so most of the time when I don’t get things done, I get frustrated. Like uber frustrated. Mom has taught me to take everything easy, and take things one step at a time. 
Now that I’m a wife and a mom too I get to talk more about my problems with her, and she constantly reminds me that we just have to take things slowly, not to be too relaxed but to just worry less and trust that the Lord has everything in control.

As I type this, I sing Psalty’s infamous song: 

“I’m climbing my mountain step by step.. I’m climbing my mountain day by day. I’m climbing my mountain all the way. I’m climbing my mountain- I’m gonna make it! One step at a time, one step at a time (aa-aym!). One step at a time- with Jesus by my side. One step at time.. One step at a time. I’m climbing my mountain- ONE STEP AT A TIME!”


3. Mothers know best. Also, there are things that Science can never explain.
I once wrote about feeling that I would be good at mommyhood because well, I am a nurse. Because I thought I can handle things my way, I sometimes shove mom’s ideas away (like always putting a beanie on the baby’s head especially during night time to avoid getting colds) just because I thought I know better. Mom never pushed me to trust her, trusting her came naturally to me when I realized that she is after all the same person who raised all 4 of us. 

One time, when Seth was only a month old, he had colic. This was because I was exclusively breastfeeding him and apparently he was allergic to something I was eating- dairy products. Boy- do colicky babies cry a lot- and out loud! I was sort of panicking already because I couldn’t make his crying stop. Mom was telling me to use ‘mansanilya‘ because it would make the ‘kabag‘ go away (I know pinay mothers can relate!!!!). I didn’t want to do so, I kept telling her we nurses do not believe in that – just because. She still gave me the thing and told me to just put it on Seth’s tummy to make the crying go away. Days passed, the pm crying would not stop. Hans and I decided to put the ‘mansanilya’ on his tummy and alas! It worked!!!! Hahaha. Hans and I never admitted to using it and we never told mom we did but yeah, we did, and yes mom, you were right all along. 😀 

4. You are your husband’s wife. You represent him. Support him. Love him. Respect him. My mother, being the pastor’s wife that she is, exemplified the idea of submitting to the husband. She is also opinionated like me but she never lets that opinion get be the result of fighting with my dad. I never heard her shout nor speak to my dad in a degrading way. She was very respectful to him and his funny ways :D. She was also very supportive of him and his ministry- it wasn’t very easy being part of the pastor’s family but she handled her calling with so much grace. She was my dad’s partner in everything he does but she still made it a point to give my dad his personal space and touch in handling each members one by one. Because of her I wanted to become a pastor’s wife too- because she made it look so wonderful and so so easy. 🙂
Mom would also always remind me to never let my in laws see or hear my husband and I fight. She would also remind me to always speak gently with my husband because he is well, my husband- the leader of the family. She also reminds me that anything I say or do represent my husband so I should always represent him in a good way. 


5. You’re never too old to dream and live your dream
. I have had my fair share of indecisiveness with my life- not knowing what to do or where to go. But no matter what decision I made she was always there to support me. She was very patient with my pursuit of happiness and success and whenever there are opportunities she would encourage me. She would always tell me to dream big, and make that dream happen.


6. Family is always love.
It is everything. My mom would always remind my siblings and I that family is forever. She would tell us, in her deep, soft voice, “walang ibang magtutulungan kundi kayong magkakapatid.” She never encouraged competition amongst us. Now that I’m older and more vocal I would tell my mom if one sibling has upset me and she would always defend that sibling- not to show that she favored one over the other but to explain why that sibling could have done or said it. 
Now that we’re all older my siblings and I make it a point to meet every Sunday to bond with each other and update one another of what is happening in our lives. The way that she raised us (especially when dad left us) was very inspiring and so humbling. I treasure my family, especially now that I have my own more than anything, and my love for my siblings is definitely something I would want my children to have to. 


7. God is a Father to the fatherless. He loves orphans, widows, the barren and those who are unloved.
My mom would always remind us that even when my dad died God is still there for us. She never questioned God about what happened to her- being barren all so sudden. She relied on God’s comfort and love. 

Whenever people would hurt us, mom would always remind us that God’s heart is with the orphans. God’s heart is with the barren. God sees us through. That reminder keeps me going. I never felt indifferent and yes I miss my dad so so much but relying on God’s love completes me.


8. Vengeance is never ours. It is the Lord’s.
There will always be people who will bring us down. And it’s sad because most of this people are people we trust and love. There were instances wherein people would create issues about mom but she never fought back. She never argued in front of a lot of people – she would fight for what is right but she would never fight-fight (if you know what I mean). There was one time that there was this group of people who tried to bring my mom down. I was deeply hurt, I don’t want to go to church anymore and I just want to fight! But mom reminded me that there is no need to fight- and that I should choose to forgive because the Lord will avenge us in His time. That has always been my motto whenever people would try to bring me down- God will fight for me. He is God of justice and He will never let me get degraded. 


9. God should be first in our lives.
Mom would always remind us to put God in the center of our lives. She would remind us to get involved in the church, use our talents for God’s glory. Sometimes she gets soooo makulit (like super!) but I get her point. I would also want my children to be involved in church just like me and my siblings. 🙂 


10. Take time to have fun. Life is short, enjoy it.
Mom is one of the happiest and funniest people I know. She would make sure to enjoy enjoy whatever it is that she’s doing, just have fun. I enjoy life too but sometimes I’m too uptight! 😀 
Sometimes I tell mom to take things slowly. I mean, she would have meetings here and there, dates with her friends, visitations, et cetera, et cetera. Whenever I tell her to not be so busy she would tell me that she has nothing else to do, this keeps her busy and she’s enjoying life! And that’s something we don’t really do. Life is short. Have fun. Enjoy. ❤

I feel sooooooo sad that I’m not gonna be with her on her special day. This is the first time that I won’t be with her but I know that she is happy and grateful because she knows how loved and blessed she truly is.

I love you, mom! I am so honored to be your daughter. See you in a few months. 🙂 

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