A Mother's Love.

22 September 2010

Yesterday was supposed to be my rest day from work but my friend/ officemate Frank asked for a shift swap so he and his niece Badeth can collect the new DSLR she won from 24/7 Taxi Service's Photography Contest (congratulations again Badeth!). So I was at work doing my job, while having the privilege of surfing the Daily Mail between calls when I read an article that made me a human well of tears.

Gemma Hogg with her four-year old son Thomas on his first day of school
Photo Source
Nothing extraordinary about the photo when you first look at it, but what is extraordinary about it is that Gemma has breast cancer. Despite getting the all-clear, the cancer returned last October. This time, the disease has spread and is incurable. She asked to be discharged from the hospital so she can accompany her children - especially the youngest Thomas who has just started studying - to school. She died the next day.

Just look at the photo and notice how Thomas is holding his mum's two fingers... Isn't that enough to melt your heart?

From the article:
The brave mother then began the heart-rending task of preparing her children, Isabelle, six, Thomas, four, and James, two, for their lives without her.
Her father Peter Carpenter said: ‘She had some cushions made with her photo on them with each of the three children, with the words, “When you need a cuddle I’m always here”.’
She also made up ‘memory boxes’ filled with items to help them remember her, wrote a journal of her life and had lots of family photographs taken.
Her final act for her children was to discharge herself from St Catherine’s Hospice in Crawley, West Sussex, to walk Thomas to his first day at Horley Infant School.
Rest in peace, Gemma. My prayers are with you and your family.

Read the full article here.

Yesterday was also my paternal grandmother's death anniversary. It is customary in our country to hold a "padasal" or a ceremony in memoriam of the dead which involves prayers and songs and a mini-feast for everyone who attended. Relatives and friends are invited so after work, I went straight to their house in Malabon City. It has been a long time since I went there and I am glad I did because I missed my relatives. We are a big, close-knit family (my father have ten siblings so you can just imagine how many cousins I have), and it is amazing how my younger cousins have grown. 

My Lola Binyang
My paternal grandma's name is Virginia, and I called her Lola Binyang. (Lola is the Tagalog term for Grandma.) She is a beautiful lady, and I got my dimples from her.

This is the "altar" set up in the living room.
There was also a choir that sang - accompanied by an electric keyboard - between prayers. They have such beautiful, haunting voices that it was impossible not to be touched. I got the chance to record one of their songs and hopefully I will be able to share them with you. I also got emotional and couldn't help but shed some tears. I just realized that I miss her. She was such a kind, gentle soul who loved watching movies at the cinemas, and I will forever love her.

Rest in peace Lola Binyang, I know you are in heaven now with my little sister Kim, watching over us. We love you, and we will always remember.

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