All Souls Day is commemorated just one day in a year. But I think of my mom 365 days in a year. I think of the good days as well as the missed opportunities. Today I visited her at the San Agustin columbary with my dogs Kotton, Samedi and Dimanche. She loved dogs and cats and had many animal companions during her lifetime. Samedi and Dimanche (Saturday and Sunday, in French) used to live in my parents' house. Unfortunately, she was already suffering from partial paralysis due to a stroke so she was not able to enjoy the company of the weekend duo.
When my brothers and I were growing up, our home was never without a dog. We had German shepherds, a dachshund named Pepper, and three dogs from San Fabian, Pangasinan who were named Topspin 1, 2 and 3. The dogs slept with us and played with us.
When we moved to our home in Quezon City in the late 60's, we had a furry pepper and salt mutt named Beawy (pronounced Behwee) who used to play hide and seek with Mom. She would hide inside the closets while Beawy would rush through each room to find her.
One day years later, she told me that she had ordered one of their dogs to fetch his sister. Imagine her delight when the dog came back pulling his sister up the steps by her collar!
She also regaled me with colorful accounts of her favorite dog when she was a young girl and how he would sit and walk on his butt toward the gate to meet her after school.
Mom was also a lover of cats. She had many cats when she was growing up. I used to be terrified of cats, but when my favorite aunt, Tita Olga, insisted on giving me a Persian cat, I accepted. Mom was very fond of D'Artagnan and I left him with them when I pursued masteral studies in France.
|Mom with D'Artagnan|
After I came back, I found a match for D'Artagnan and their union gave us 2 beautiful kittens. I didn't know about neutering and spaying then, so the family expanded and Mom helped find people to adopt the kittens. She had favorites and she bought them fish and often checked on them.
|Me, my mom and Good Chi|
A firm believer in the Catholic faith, Mom kept several statues of saints in
their bedroom. Good Chi's favorite sleeping place was behind the statue of the Sacred Heart.
My mom passed away in July 2016, and I have had several years of introspection regarding our relationship. I realize now that everything she did for me was out of love, because I was the only daughter and we are so much alike. And maybe she thought I needed guidance because of my stubborn nature. She used to come in my dreams and her kisses and hugs felt so real. She still does sometimes, and I cherish these occasions.
If there is any truth to the belief that we choose our parents before we incarnate into this world, I know why I chose her. She was fiercely loyal to me, defending me against a world that barely understood my eccentricities. And I needed an anchor, a loving guide into the world of animals.
My life now revolves around helping campus cats and dogs. I have given up a lot to do this because it has to be done and they need help and saving. The UP Diliman campus is not yet a safe haven for stray animals.
|My mom and I at home|
Whenever I face an obstacle to my goals, I talk to my mom and ask for help. Most of the time, things turn out well in ways unexpected.
I believe when you're on the right track, the Universe and your guardian angels will help you reach your goals. And there's Mom, too, helping make things happen for me from the spiritual world.