My mother turned 82 three days ago and it was a beautiful day with so many reasons to celebrate and be grateful for. When I went down in the morning, the sight that greeted me was one that endeared her even more to me. There she was, all bright and cheerful, standing in the kitchen preparing Daddy’s food, but dressed in a bright array of colours. Goodness gracious, when she twirled around I saw the daring rise of the hem to the side and grinned. In spite of her petite stature, Mommy has always had lovely legs that looked stunning in heels when she still wore them. These days she is a complete Crocs woman, preferring the comfort flip flops to the glamour and formality of closed shoes.
The friendship I share with Mommy is very similar to the one I have with my own daughter. Needless to say, Lola (grandmother) and apo (granddaughter) get along like a house on fire. It is only when she became an octogenarian that she started shying away from spontaneous trips and adventures that involved climbing stairs or walking longer distances. Imagine my surprise last year when she wanted to tag along for a sunset photo shoot at Manila Bay! This year she asked to tag along the other upcoming photo shoots planned, though I did warn her that one included a boat ride. Her eyebrows rose in horror, but she said calmly “I hope I don’t fall off”. I suppose you could say that she in denial about her own age, considering it just a number. But then there are days when her memory fails her miserably and we have no choice but coast along, and when the pains set in she wails that she feels more like 92.
Wobbly that Mommy is on her feet, she should be walking around with a cane. In fact, there are three of them in the cabinet. Unused. I ask each and every time if we should take her baston (walking cane) and she gives me that signature indignant look that only my mother can do, retorting “why should I use a cane when I have you?” Truth be told, I absolutely adore having my mother latched onto my arm. The roles are reversed now, but it wasn’t that long ago when I clung to her arm for safety and comfort. When we go out, I can leave her standing for a few moments as long as she has something to hold on to, but the moment I return to arm’s length, she reaches out and loops her arm in mine again. So yes, I do enjoy being my mother’s walking cane.