I would like to share with you two posts written by my eldest daughter, Stephanie.
I love my mom and it’s really a shame that we can’t spend time together during special occasions like Mother’s day. This is where utmost appreciation for the internet comes in, for it bridged our wide gap through blog posts, photos, videos, and of course the occasional email.
This is my very last post from my old Xanga blog and I’m glad I was able to keep it for last.
“Ever since, I have always valued and appreciated how beautiful a mother’s love is. After being away from my mom early in my life for 8 straight years, I know how comforting it is to be assured that no matter what happens, the one person who will always accept and care for me despite all of the mistakes and misfortunes is my mom.
This is the most beautiful and most amazing characteristic of a mother’s love to her children. It doesn’t judge them for what they did or how much they have achieved in life. It isn’t limited to those who have given a lot of material things in return for her hard work. It only continues growing and growing, telling us, her children, that wherever we may go, wherever we may be, we will always have a mother to come home to.
So even if your mom’s a nagger, a pain in the head, or too cold and seemingly indifferent to you, don’t let that stop you from letting her know that you love her. If she never loved you, she wouldn’t have brought you into this world and raised you to become the person who you are today. She stuck by you through thick and thin; that’s why you’re here, and that’s proof enough that her love is unconditional and everlasting.
I love you mom, wherever you may be. I always miss you and I would never have been able to become the kind of mom I am today without your guidance, wisdom, and encouragement to be strong no matter what.“
Now I wouldn’t want to just end this post this way. I’ll have you know that Mother and I (along with my sisters) were able to reunite and start anew. We’ve had some really awesome times together, and she managed to fly all the way to Bacolod on the day that I was going to give birth to Holly. She’s done her best to make up for the lost time and I greatly appreciate what she’s done for us.
So for this year’s Mother’s Day, I’d just like to let my dear Mumsy know that:
I love you with all my heart and soul. We may not always communicate or see each other everyday, but let’s always remember that we’ve got each other’s backs through thick and thin. I hope that with your advice, encouraging words, and unending support, I will be able to be just as good a mom for Holly.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love you Mommy and happy Mother’s day!
3 Lessons Freelancers Can Learn from My Mother
by Stephanie Alexis Gonzaga
First, a warm and happy Mother’s Day to all! Go on, give your mom a call, write her a note, slap a high-five, or whisper in her ear that she’s the greatest person in the world.
Moms are special beings. Someone once said that because God could not walk the earth amongst humans, He created mothers to do so for Him. In many ways, that is true.A mom loves her child to the extent that if she feels cold, she turns to her little one to clothe him more. If a mom senses something is wrong, she does everything that she can to understand and soothe the pain away. Lastly, she’s the person who teaches us to be good people and God-fearing, always reminding us that if we walk through life with a clean slate, we will reach true happiness.
There are a lot of ways we freelancers can learn from our mothers, and these lessons could change the way we run our freelancing careers for the better. Let me share with you three very important lessons my mother taught me that have changed the way I work as a freelance writer:
1. “Love what you do and follow your dreams.”
My mom always encouraged me to do what I love to do. I love reading books, so she’d tell me to save at least P100 a week so that I can go to the mall and buy a new book for myself. I love writing as well, so she bought my first diary, taught me how to write and send letters through snail mail, and allowed me to use her typewriter at the office.
With that said, I think freelancers should do the same. Whatever it is that gives you joy, whether it is writing web copy or building slick and awesome websites, don’t allow anything to convince you to do otherwise. Learn how to master the skill, create projects that has your unique personal touch, and your best work will shine its brightest.
2. “Do not envy the successes of others.”
I was a very envious little girl back then. A lot of kids earned gold medals, trophies, certificates, and plaques of recognition while I sat in my chair, watching them from afar.
But Mom always told me not to envy other people. She’d constantly assure me that even though I don’t bring home a silver or gold medal, what’s important is that I understood what I was learning in school.
In the end, she’s right. There’s really no point in competing with other people, or envying them for their achievements.
As a freelancer, you’ll benefit more from connecting and interacting with other freelancers who share in the same passions and interests as you. Sure, you’ll feel a sense of envy at those who have succeeded, have a long list of clients, and who are recognized globally, but if you keep working hard and doing what you love to do, you’ll reach the peak of your career as well.
3. “Respect your parents, and your children will respect you.”
One of Mom’s core values is respect for the elders, particularly your parents. She always believed that how you treat your mother will be how your children will treat you in the future. It’s a powerful lesson because it teaches us to be good to people and to treat them the way we’d expect to be treated.
It’s also a lesson freelancers should remember as they manage and grow their freelancing careers. If we want our clients to pay us on time, to respond to our emails, and to understand us if we need to take some time away from work, we must do the same for them. If we want our fellow freelancers to support us and lend a helping hand, we should our part as well.
Treat your clients and fellow freelancers with respect and kindness. Being honest, helping others, and going beyond to give the best customer service will reap good relationships and trustworthiness. Issues may arise along the way, but it’s nothing that you can’t solve together.
“When I stopped seeing my mother with the eyes of a child, I saw the woman who helped me give birth to myself.” -Nancy Friday
I am who I am because of my mom. She may not be a mom who likes to hug and kiss, nor a mother who comforts her children when they hurt but in her own ways, she has never failed in showing us how much she loves her children.
Today is Mother’s Day and it is fitting that this post is written especially for the woman who taught me so much on how to be a daughter, a wife and a mother. These are the most important “gifts” my mother has given me all my life:
Faith in God
My mother was the only Christian in our family. Every Sunday, she never fails to go to church. It is quite difficult on her part since my dad was a firm believer of Buddhism and my siblings that time were Catholics because we all went to a Catholic school. Despite it all, she was never discouraged. In one of my posts at http://www.helium.com/items/1929854-how-should-we-lead-our-children-to-god, I talked about how my mother never gave up in leading me to become a Christian. During the roller coaster ride of my life, she would always remind me to pray. I know that during the worst times of my life, it was she who has been praying for me so much.
The first (and the only one) song my mother taught me when I was a child was “The Lord’s Prayer“. My father used to go to Manila and I get to sleep with my mom at night. With the lights out and the moon casting shadows in the night, my mom would sing this prayer to me. Her voice was the sweetest sound engulfing me before sleep finally came. Eventually, I grew up with a gift to sing. These days when I am troubled or tired from work, singing is my form of relaxation.
My mother never gave up on me. There is a Filipino saying that goes like this “Matitiis ng anak ang Ina, pero ang Ina hindi kayang tiisin ang anak.” It simply means that children can go on with their lives staying away from their mothers not communicating and seeing them but a mother cannot do this. They would do everything just to show how much they care and love their children–even if their child is not worth it.
Despite all the pain and sleepless nights I have caused my mom, she has always been there loving me. Yes, she can really nag at times but I know deep down, this is because of her great love for me. Many times, I know I don’t deserve my mother’s love but her love and care has been selfless all my life.
I believe that my mother is my number one support. The first time I talked to her about giving up my cooking business and venture out into writing, she was quick to tell me that I should pursue it because I am a good writer. All my life, this is the highest praise I have received from my mom. Even back when I used to sing in church and win local singing contests, my mother was not the type of person who gushes you with praise. Yet, I know every achievement of my life made her proud.
Good Example Being a Daughter
She used to tell me “how you treat your mother is also the way your children will treat you”….I used to stay away from my mom because of the many times she would nag me in doing something I don’t usually like. When life became difficult, I stayed away because of fear from hearing the words “I told you so…” Eventually, I just opted to stay away. I realized now that I was wrong to hurt my mother this way. Then I saw how my mother treats her mom, my grandmother. My grandmother is now 92 years old and living with my uncle. Mama would pick her up once a week and bring her out to lunch or dinner. Every time we have party at home, my grandmother is almost always present with mom serving her food and keeping her comfortable. I want my children to love and treat me the way my mother is with her mom. These days, I try my best to keep in touch with my mom regularly. Although I still fall short because of my own struggles in life and the need to work all the time, I hope that I can show her how much she means to me.
I am the kind of mother I am to my children because of the lessons I learned from my mother. I love my children unselfishly; willing to let go of everything and anything just to be there for them. I always make it to a point that my children know how much I support them in all their endeavors and if they need a hug, a kiss, an encouragement,a friend, a home…..they know they have a mother to turn to.
There is no “perfect” mother. Mothers are only human and there would be times they fall short of the expectations children set. However, a mother’s love can be considered a glimpse of how much God loves us.
Mama, I love you. No words can ever express how thankful I am that you are my mother. God bless you always and Happy Mother’s Day!
“Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward the life that God intended for you with grace, strength, courage, and confidence.” Og Mandino
….and here goes the list of things and people I consider God‘s blessings:
1. Values. I believe that I am blessed with the very values instilled by my parents in me. I may not be the “good” daughter who does not cause them pain and frustrations but I am proud to say that the very anchor that keeps this ship from sinking is the values my parents have taught me since I was a child. The values of hard work, contentment with what I have, importance of money, family as top priorities in my life and love of self are just some of the important lessons they have taught me.
2. Lessons learned. Every time I stumble and fall, I know this is because I did something wrong. I made stupid decisions in life. While other people would blame it to bad luck and “punishment”, I choose to believe these are lessons I HAVE to learn and mistakes I need to avoid. One of the life story that has impacted my Christian life is the story of Job. God allowed Satan to test Job with all the bad luck and severe mishaps in his life. Taking away his hard-earned possessions, his health and his family are just too difficult to bear. Yet, Job chose to be thankful and never for once blamed God even at his lowest. I am scared if this happens to me! How I wish I am like Job–always trusting and faithful to God. I believe that each lesson in my life should be learned as a “test” and a stepping stone to become a better person that reflects God.
3. Writing. All my life, I have found solace in writing. I have always refer to writing as my way of expressing what I feel. I remembered when I was a child and my way of letting out childish pain was writing to my mom about it. The same way when I was a young bride struggling with my troubled relationship with the father of my daughters, I used to write all of what I felt in a piece of paper. Today, writing is still my “outlet”. There would be days when everything seems so overwhelming that even words cannot express how I feel; nevertheless, after a day or two, I would end up writing about it and feeling better.
4. Skills. Come to think of it, I am truly blessed with so many skills. Yes, God is so very good to me! I may not be blessed abundantly in the financial aspects but God has gifted me with so much! As a child, I have so much exposures in singing and acting. God used me to sing in the choir and eventually became a soloist in church. I learned to cook at a very young age. Thanks to my dad who was very patient in teaching me this skill, I was able to use it to feed my family by starting my cooking business. I did not go to any culinary school but my secret would always lie in cooking heartily and happily for others’ enjoyment. I enjoyed cooking very much. After its downfall, my writing skill led me to this freelance career. I started out humbly. (You can refer to this previous post http://lynnesampilo.wordpress.com/2011/01/23/freelance-writing-my-own-experience/) Today I can truly say, I am blessed. God has never stopped giving me continuous work. I have three wonderful employers and working for them is a joy!
5. Tennis. Back at the age of 24 and with a body like Penguin (Batman’s number one nemesis), I started playing tennis. Almost 17 years later, I am still playing this sport and loving it! Tennis is my escape (http://lynnesampilo.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/tennis-my-escape/) from all the pain and problems I am going through in life. I thrive on the exhilarating sport. It allows me to focus my mind and heart on what is beyond the challenges I face. It helps me become a fighter and a survivor in the game of life.
6. Parents and Siblings. My parents are my inspiration. I feel that the reason why I strive to be better in everything I do is because it is always my desire to bring joy and pride to them. I don’t know if they are aware of my humble achievements but it would be my greatest joy to know that they are also proud of me. I am nothing without my parents who sacrificed and worked hard for all of us. Thus, I am always inspired to work harder and be successful in everything to bring them joy. My sisters and I have a special bond. Though we live far from each other, I know that whatever I am going through, they are always ready to be there for me. This, I will always be thankful. I have a wonderful childhood because of the love and happy memories I have with my two brothers. These memories are deeply cherished in my heart.
7. Motherhood. Despite everything that happened in my life, I am truly the happiest the very moment I became a mom to each and every child I was blessed with. Every one of them have a special place in my heart. Through my daughters and son, I know God loves me so much for allowing me to experience the joy of being a mom.
8. Family. Imagine having no one to call “family”….it saddens me to think that so many are homeless. My joy will always be my family. My family will always be the two men in my life; Roy and Josh. My family will always include Stef, Jamie, Annie, Kat, my son-in-law Jayson and my granddaughter Holly. My family will always be my parents, my siblings and their families. My family also includes Bomber and Beauty our Belgian Malinois dogs. I am part of a family! I am not alone in this world at all.
Finally, above all else I am truly blessed that God loves me. He has loved me with an everlasting love. I cannot do this on my own….I don’t have the strength, the courage and the will-power to continue on with life if not because of HIM. He has continually given me so many “second chances” in life as I know how stubborn and stupid I can be. Yet, I am truly blessed.
Just like everything in life, pain happens for a reason. I have good days and I have my shares of bad days too. I cannot rely on other people to make me get over the pain in my heart but I can always trust God that in time, I will be able to rise above it and come out a better person. With this list, I am made aware that the joy I have will work wonders in healing the pain in my heart.