On Celebrating Mother's Day Without A Mom


This will always be my favorite family photo. Well, I have no choice. This is the only one we have. I sometimes wonder why we never captured more photos together. This photo reminds me of the good times. It was when me and my sisters were shielded from the reality of life. Everything was perfect and happy.

I used to live in a bubble. I lack the knowledge of how tough the real world is. Then in 2001, I was slapped with the most heartbreaking news. My mom was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. My world shattered. Why, of all people, God chose my mom to have cancer?

I can't remember my mom showed any sign of sickness. She underwent mastectomy and chemotherapy. She was like her old self the whole time. She still did the house chores (she's OC when it comes to cleanliness of the house) and she remained cheerful. I know that her strong faith in God has helped her win the battle. While I was sad and depressed the whole time.

The ordeal had brought the family closer and restored our faith in God. My dad, who I never remembered going to church, started hearing mass every Sunday with my mom. We also made sure that we go out as a family more often and celebrate every occasion together. My mom's birthday was always a swimming party while Mother's Day was celebrated dining out.

I thought it will go on forever. 

April 2009, Mommy's Swimming Party

November 2009, we had a shopping spree in Divisoria and when we went home my mom complained of a pain on the upper right side of the abdomen. I told her we should see a doctor the following morning. 

Metastatic cancer. 

She never missed a doctor's appointment in the past eight years and suddenly she was diagnosed with a stage 4 liver cancer.  I broke the news to her and she just casually asked me, "What should we do?" like it was just a fever. She underwent chemotherapy again but this was it was very tough for her. I accompanied her on all her hospital visits and she never complained. She even joked and laughed about stuff while having chemo. She was always a fighter. Except she lost this battle.

Losing the battle doesn't mean she was not strong. She was always strong for all of us. She stayed up all night when we were sick even though she had to go to work the following morning because she can't let her grade one students down. I've been a witness of her dedication to her teaching profession. Her weekends were not meant to be spent for rest. She always made sure the house was clean, the laundry were done and our schoolwork were finished. She was unselfish, always forgiving, always loving. She was our strength even when she was at her weakest. 

How do you celebrate Mother's Day without a mom?

You remember her. Everything about her. The good times, the bad times. All the #TibayNiNanay moments. She may not be physically with us, but we all know she never left us. She will forever stay in our hearts. To quote my favorite line from "The Five People You Meet in Heaven"...

“Life has to end. Love doesn't.”

I was not blessed to experience how it's like to be a mom. But I understand how a mother's love is like through my mom. It endures everything and always willing to sacrifice. 

From the moment we first opened our eyes, to our first steps, to our first words, and the million other milestones that came after, they were there. At every high and every low of our lives, they have supported us, protected us, and loved us with no question. This Mother’s Day, Orocan celebrates the strength and dependability of all our Nanays, Inas, Moms, and Mamas. Nothing really compares with the TibayNiNanay.

Do you have a #TibayNiNanay story to share?

Visit https://www.facebook.com/OrocanPH/ and share your story and to know more about the durability of Orocan. Don't forget to tag your mom. Let her know how much you appreciate her.