A second mother

This morning, I knew I badly needed a vacation. Even for just a week. I know that vacations can affect me both ways. Invigorate me so much, that I have new energy to go to work or depress me because I may want a longer vacation and that feeling of never coming back to work may be stronger. I want one anyway.

It need not be a grand one where I go on a Caribbean cruise because if I set my heart out on that vision, it would mean that I would either have to work my ass off thereby causing more burn-out until I turn into ashes or I would need to win the lottery, which I don’t play nor buy tickets for, so that’s far-fetched.

I can be content with a simple getaway. Away from the city and what’s familiar. I posted a pragmatic Facebook and a BlackBerry Messenger status saying “I need a vacation.” without the requisite smiley or sad face. A few hours later, somebody sent me a BBM saying that I can go their place for a vacation.

It was Tita Rhia.

Ever had a second mother who isn’t your mother-in-law? She is that person. A friend, a mentor and a second mother to me.

I met her when I was in college and was an active member of a church group. I became friends with her when we started attending a leadership class (ENLI II) in the same church every Friday night. Coincidentally, I also became friends with her son, Ogie, who is a Los Baños local, because we were classmates in an accounting class and my bff, T, is close to him because of the leadership class (ENLI I) they were both in. Eventually, my bff and I became friends with all four sons of tita Rhia and the whole Frio family, because we would frequently hang out at their place in Data Street in LB.

I left school and LB in 2009 to work and now, coming back to school is some vague life plan that I’ve been mulling about for more than two years.

Years passed, the Frios moved to Bae, Laguna to a bigger and prettier house and I was able to visit them twice, last 2011.

Me and tita. June 2011. In their Bae kitchen.

I documented the last time I visited that place in my Adventures page but I left out the part where I was crying on the bus en route home because of what Tita Rhia said to me in BBM.

She said that I am always welcome in their dwelling and that I am like a daughter to her. I haven’t cried in a public place in so long. She ministered to  me and reminded me that God still loves me and that He misses me. I resolved to do something about my relationship with God.

But I crumbled on the second day. I’m back to not caring at all.

Weeks passed. Over Christmas, my birthday and New Year, tita Rhia and I exchanged warm greetings, not letting on that I’m still a messed up kid inside. Until that BBM she sent me this morning. She offered that I can stay in their place, movie marathon all I want, hang out with LB friends and the Frios, go to Liliw if I want and live like a princess. She loves me like that. And I feel unworthy and undeserving. I said that to her but she said again that I am like a daughter to her.

All I can think about was that sometimes, I love her more than my mother and that sometimes family isn’t all about being related by blood.

 To be loved by someone like her puzzles me, it astounds me and it amazes me. Tita Rhia is the woman, the mother, the wife I want to be when I grow up. I can’t help but be grateful that God would give me someone like her.

I do not know when I will be taking up her offer but I hope it will be soon. 

So here’s the cheesiest post ever. Because this is day 2 of counting my blessings.



3 thoughts on “A second mother

  1. Hi !

    Well, I happen to love cheese !

    BTW, all this time, I thought you live in New York ! ! Now why did I think that ? Anyway, I guess it’s like that in the Philippines. Over here, no mother ever gets attached to friends of her children the way your Tita does to you. It’s so different here in the US.

    Cheers and a Happy 2012 ! !

    1. Really? New York, huh? I wish. 🙂 I might do that one day though.. Live in New York for a bit and we could hang out some time 😉

      I’m still amazeed of how someone completely unrelated could feel like family, you know? And I guess, it’s also because all her children are male and she sees a daughter that she never had in me.

      Happy 2012!

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