I want to tell you about a story of true love. It’s crazy that it has already been 10 years since the story has ended. Over the past few years I have encountered many people going through a variety of losses, but after talking to many of them I noticed a pretty common theme. We often agree that it feels like the loved one who is lost will soon be coming home. Even pets may share the same mindset, our dog Tubby would always wait for my mom to come home every day at 5:30 waiting to greet her after they both had a long day. After she passed, he kept on waiting, waiting for her to come home. He would be waiting for months before he realized that she wasn’t coming back. Sometimes I feel like that, sometimes I feel like I am just waiting for her to come back too.
I might be waiting for her to come back because I don’t like thinking about a harsh reality. Having regret never mixes well with handling reality. Constantly, I am reminded of the mistakes I have made. I think about how when my mom passed away my first thought was “Now at school everyone is gonna know me as the kid who’s mom passed away.” I think of the days she was in her room sick and I never even bothered to check in on her and even ask how she was feeling. I think of the moments in church where I was too insecure to give her a kiss on the cheek and could barely tell her that I loved her. But sometimes it is only the mistakes we make that make us realize the love that we had.
Once I push through that foggy layer of regret I can slowly remember the love we shared. I start remembering moments where her and I lay in bed together and she would tell me that she was putting up with everything in life for me and Lem. I remember the moments where she would let me play video games in her office with her when I would fake being sick, even though she probably knew I was faking. But I know she never saw my lies she just saw her son. I even remember the times when she was in a drug-induced coma and I made promises that in 6 months when I get my license we would drive to the golf course together and just play all day. In that moment ,even in her coma, her heart-beat started racing. I had to take a step back because my dreams could actually hurt her. I believe her heart-beat was racing with hope or maybe it brought back distant memories of love when life just made sense.
Maybe she was reminded of the times when she taught me how to play ball. I wish we could run it back. Maybe she was reminded of the times when I would always sleep by her side at night because I was afraid to sleep alone. Being next to her always felt like home. Maybe she was reminded of the time when I had the privilege to take her to the Mother Son dance in High School, despite my pepperoni face and filipino wavy bowl cut. Knowing my mom, her main focus was probably just to not let anyone down. She didn’t. Even in her last moments she fought for those around her. That is just who she is. Now that I think about it. Thinking about my mistakes doesn’t make sense because she would never hold those against me. But sometimes it is only the mistakes we make that help us realize true, unconditional love.
There is no one like you, Marilou Ramos Ilustrisimo. You will no longer be just a part of my story because you are the motivation behind it. I just wanna make you proud.