Letters To My Two Mothers

Dear Nanay,

I know that you had a difficult childhood. It was not easy living with 8 other siblings. At a  young age, you had to look after the younger ones. You aimed big and high not only for yourself but for the whole family.

You left the small town to chase your dreams in the city with nothing but your talent and fervent desire to make a better life for yourself. It was a courageous thing to do at a tender age. However, I was surprised when you hinted one time that it was not really about running towards your dream. Instead it was running away from a life that you thought was a dead end.

I thank you for instilling in me that passion to become someone better, for aiming higher yet remaining grounded; for nurturing and teaching me to become independent; for letting me take the path that I wanted; for showing how proud you were of me. But I sensed that you knew. You knew that just like you, I was running away too.

In exchange for my quest for a better life was the chance to spend more time with you. As I went further away from home, the distance between us grew wider.

I am sorry for that night when you felt less important to me, for not realising that you did not have much time left, and all you wanted was to feel like we were a complete family.

Holding on to every memory of you.

Love you,

Toto

Dear Tyay,

I could not call you mom because I felt I was being disrespectful to my own mother. How could I be so naive to see that you did not have to bear a child to call your own ? Thank you for showing me how to accept and love unconditionally. It must have been hard but you did it with open arms and heart.

Thank you for accepting me as your own, for telling people I was your son, and for being as proud as any mother could be. You took care of me when I was sick yet it deeply saddens  me not able to reciprocate it. I see you in very patient I look after.

Every time I shower or wash my patient, I wish it is you.

Every time I feed my patient, I wish it is you.

Every time I sit beside my patient, I wish it is you telling me stories.

Every time I see my patients crying because they feel lonely, I see you.

I am constantly reminded that I lost my chance a very long time ago.

I hope that for the few times I called you mommy, I gave back the love you unselfishly showered us.

Your son,

Toto

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