This weekend has been filled with blessings and sorrow at the same time. I dread October 23 every year since 2016, because I was not ready to bid farewell to my best friend, soul friend, pillar of strength, inspiration and the embodiment of motherhood. I suppose I never will be able to let her go, but Mommy continues to live within me, and I still lift up my life questions, crossroads and insecurities to her, wondering what she would say or think with each situation I present to her. There is not a single day where I don’t wish I could pick up the phone and call her or even just send her a text. I miss her laughter, her counsel, wisdom, bluntness, and her sense of humour, and would give anything to hear her voice again or be enfolded in her loving arms. She taught me what friendship between mother and child is all about, and not to hesitate when it comes to loving those who really matter.
So this weekend I celebrated her life in the only way I knew how, and doing what she did best and did to perfection in her lifetime- soul cooking for others, and welcoming people into my home with an open heart. It didn’t matter what time of the day you arrived, Mommy would whip up meals and snacks, and serve them with copious amounts of laughter, entertainment, and generosity of spirit. This is what fellowship at table is all about she said, sharing what keeps body and soul together; and that was never limited to just food.
I was blessed with visitors both Saturday and Sunday, and the house was full of life and colour. Mommy would have approved, savoured the dishes especially because she didn’t do the cooking, but most of all, enjoyed listening to all your stories and told a few of her own. Cooking comes naturally to me thanks to her, and I truly enjoy doing so because I know she carried on the legacy of her father who turned cooking and bonding at table into an art form. Lolo Iding cooked for family, friends, colleagues, missionaries, priests, bishops, and anyone else who graced the house with their presence. Nobody left Lolo’s house with an empty stomach or bored! When my cousins were here recently, we recalled the time he cooked up a storm at my aunt’s house, using all the ingredients he found in the kitchen that were meant to last a week – he cooked everything in a day! Never scrimp on food, he said. You can cut corners in other aspects of your life, but never on food. Mommy took this to heart, and when she had to entertain larger groups over the years, she made sure there was enough food for everyone, and then some. It wasn’t just the Filipino culture, but it was her special magic, her way of honouring those she cared for. So to AIR, JR, and VK, your visits and presence at the table this weekend meant more to me than I can ever express. You were a part of the celebration of Linda’s life, her legacy, and her concept of family. Thank you.
Mommy loved flowers as well, and was always delighted when someone sent or brought her some. I completely forgot about this today, and during mass this morning I regretted not having picked up a pot of chrysanthemums and daisies for her. But the universe works in mysterious ways, and lo and behold, the flowers arrived this morning with VK when she arrived for brunch. It was a precious bouquet of local flowers from the Shire and it made all the difference.
I blub you, Mommy. I will always miss you.