By Edwin D. Arceo
Its Mother’s Day today. My mother’s name is Dalisay. Her name means “pure” in English. I called my mother “Nanay”.
She died of complications of Parkinson’s Disease when I was 13-years-old. I do not have many memories of her. You see, I was born 15 years after my Ate Lulu. That would make her over 40 years old when she had me.
I remember her taking me to Caniogan Elementary School in Pasig City when I started 1st grade. She was with me when I had my first vaccination shots, well, outside the classroom anyway. She would wait outside until I came out. She stopped taking me when I learned how to commute on my own during my 2nd grade. Around that time also, Parkinson’s disease was settling in. By the 3rd grade, she could not stand freely on her own. She was now bound to her chair.
I loved my Nanay.
When she could not stand on her own I would pick her up from her chair. I helped her a lot that way. I would take the toilet to her, if you know what I mean. I would feed her and give her water to drink. I slept with Nanay all through out my growing years. I learned how to help her up from bed and how to bring her to sleep. I would massage her legs and arms for her exercise.
I think she was very proud when I was chosen to go to Japan as an exchange student at the end of my 3rd grade. I could see the sparkle in her eyes.
They told me that Nanay cooks great food. I think my Ate Medy learned from her. She also had a sacrificial heart. She was a member of the Seventh Day Adventist’s Women’s ministry, Dorcas, who often came out to help the poor.
We took Nanay to a lot of doctors, the regular and the quack kind. We looked for any way that we thought would help her get cured from Parkinson’s Disease. Sadly, she would not.
I was with her when the doctors had to take her off from her life support system at the Manila Sanitarium. I cried a bit but I was unusually not so grief-stricken. Maybe because I was just 13. Or maybe because deep inside, I know I would see her again. Someday.
I know Jesus loved Nanay. This is my tribute to her. Happy Mother’s Day!