Mom had always been sickly during my entire life. Yet my mother was
my whole world. Everything that I have become today is because of her.
She taught me to believe in God and she taught me my first evening
prayers, the Hail Mary, the Our Father and the Prayer to My Guardian
Angel. She told me that God has granted all her wishes and that God
was especially good to children like me. One night, as I prayed to
God with my elbows on her lap, I asked her if I could ask God to also
bless her and Papa? She said, “Of course!” and that I should also include in my prayers everyone that I love. One day my prayers became very long because I loved so many and had to mention all of them. My Mama stood by me throughout all my long prayers, as she had done throughout my whole life.
On my first day of school, Mama took me to school herself. As we rode in the tartanella, a horse driven cart, she taught me how to cross the streets and to walk on the sidewalks because they were the safest place to be. She also told me on that first day of school, that one day I would be brave enough to go to school myself. So on my second day of school I told her that she didn’t have to take me to school anymore, that I was already “brave enough.” Then I told her that when I came back from school, I wanted her to be home. She smiled and promised me that she would be! And she did keep that promise all though my grade school days and throughout the days of my life. She worked her own business at home and she wanted it that way so she could be near her children.
As I grew older, my mom's being sick could no longer be cured at home by a visiting doctor and she would have to stay in the hospital for periods of time. As she was nearing 77, I noticed that she was not using her eyeglasses anymore when she read. When I asked her why, she said she didn't need them anymore. Then one day she was rushed to the hospital and we all went with her as we had done many times before. I was upset this time because she stayed nearly a month, but as I saw her growing worse I went to the hospital chapel. I prayed to God to heal my mom as he had always done before during the 50 years of my life.
Several times I visited the hospital chapel and during one of these visits I heard a voice from God say these exact words: "Okay, Corabel, when do you want me to take your mother?" I told God, "Never!" He replied, “No, Corabel, it is time for your mother to go." I gave God a rather quick but defiant reply:" Take her anytime you want—today, tomorrow—what difference would it make? You already want to take her."
God took my mom one fine morning two days after my conversation with him. I was mad and disappointed with God for many months. Today my discouragement has calmed and I now have a feeling of submission. After all, God could have taken my mom much earlier in my young life, yet he gave me 50 years to enjoy my Mom's embrace. Thank you, Dear God, for giving me my Mom. Thank you for yesterday and today, Lord.
Corabel —Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines