A Mother’s Love
More than a farmer, more than a wife, and certainly more than a mother of seven. You are the heart and soul of our family. Every sacrifice you made, every dream you nurtured, was a testament to the depth of your love.
May 12, 20243 min read
A Mother’s Love

Graphics: Thea Garay

She was an elementary graduate, a farmer, a wife, and a mother of seven.

My mother was never given an opportunity for a better education like the rest of the children during her time. She was not a degree holder but I witnessed how good she was in math and with the language I use now. With seven children to care for and a modest farm as our only source of living, she toiled tirelessly in the fields alongside my father to put food on the table. While other mothers in our village tended to their homes, my mother labored in the fields, rain or shine, just to ensure we would not starve for the coming days. Her hands were calloused but her spirit was unbroken. With sweat glistening on her brow, I saw weariness in her eyes but not resignation. Every day she endured the two-hour trek, back and forth between our house and the fields, ensuring Papa would not work alone and that we could attend school.

Exhausted as she often was, there was never a day that she stopped us from attending school because to her, education was the only way out of penury. Due to her and Papa’s sacrifices, all my siblings and I, save for my one brother, were able to attend college. They selflessly poured their hearts to provide us with the life they were denied.

I was in my third year in college when I got pregnant. I was scared to return home. I had to conceal my pregnancy. I was agitated to face people’s mockery. I couldn’t bear to disappoint my parents again, especially since it was already my fourth course in my seven-year stay in college. After five months of conception, I returned home. My knees were trembling as I approached our humble abode. I found my mother seated in our bamboo chair. As our eyes met, she directed her gaze toward my belly and inquired about the duration of my pregnancy. Bracing myself for blame and admonishment, I was surprised to be met with nothing but compassion and acceptance. I anticipated reproach but instead found only forgiveness and understanding in her eyes. 

She took on the role of mothering my child while I continued my studies. I had no fear of leaving my daughter behind knowing she was in the most capable hands. She eagerly anticipated my graduation. Even from her hospital bed, she kept asking Papa what she would wear on the day she would march with me. Unfortunately, she never got the chance as she continued to fight for her life. After the ceremony, I rushed to the hospital and showed her my medal. She hugged me and I saw the pride she felt behind her weary eyes and frail body. The following night, she suffered a stroke, slipping into a coma from which she never awoke. A few days later, she passed away. With her passing, a part of me died too. I had so many dreams for her. I wanted to repay all the sacrifices she made for us by giving her the life she never had the chance to enjoy. But fate had other plans and she was taken from us far too soon.


Each day, as I look upon my daughter, I see the reflection and the enduring legacy of my mother’s love, a love that never died even though she was no longer with us. Yes, motherhood is challenging especially when you’re doing it alone. There were countless nights when I cried myself to sleep questioning my ability as a mother. I was scared to fail as a mother because I failed as a daughter. But, I strive to parent my child with the same tenderness and devotion my mother showed us. Though I’ve faltered at times, I am committed to learning and growing to become the mother my daughter deserves.

To my dearest mother, you are more than the sum of your roles – more than an elementary graduate, more than a farmer, more than a wife, and certainly more than a mother of seven. You are the heart and soul of our family. Every sacrifice you made, every dream you nurtured, was a testament to the depth of your love. You are, and always will be, the heartbeat of our existence, the light that guides us home.

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