Issue of June 10, 2018
Mt. Province

70th Courier Anniversary Issue
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Calloused hands

Calloused hands; they were a contrast to your most tender heart. They were only proofs that if there was an award for most industrious, diligent, hard-working, loving farmer, grandmother, gardener, teacher, single mother, public servant packed into one sash or trophy, it would unquestionably be yours.

You are most stubborn when it came to tending your gardens, saying you have a piece of land to till. Even when your grandchildren come home to spend time with you, you would prefer to stay in your garden until the moon would rise.

You have a home to look after. You have chickens greeting everyone who comes home. You have pigs, just because you cannot afford to waste leftovers. You have Cory, the puppies’ mother, who always did her job of scaring people off. It was not easy to calm her for people to come close and deliver their message. You have Pussy – just because you ran out of names – which didn’t serve much aside from being your pet that can enter the house. Sometimes, when we think you are screaming a command at us, we find you talking to them. You just love them too much, which was just fair because they kept you company more often than we did, recently.

You have to travel a lot because you are, as people put it “a public servant.” Duty calls every Monday so you have to be there. Then you attend a wedding as a sponsor, attend a funeral of someone you don’t know, and donate to assemblies and programs. Then you just sigh and come up with the conclusion that “from the people, for the people.” Your job was never about the money. You are becoming the people’s parent, grandparent, sister, and family. In this, I saw what “to lead by serving others” meant.

But aside from these, you are a mother who never knows how to stop showing your children how much they mean to you. You keep loaning large sums for my brothers’ causes. No interests added.

I almost have no complaints. Almost! Aside from those nights that you actually scolded me because I came home late or that I went somewhere without asking permission and made you worry. Yes. It’s drilled in my brain your explicit explanation of how a baby is made with just a kiss, and how I felt so low that you had so little trust in me to handle situations. But as you explained, being the only female among your children, I had to hear those lectures.

With your calloused hands and tender heart, I am amazed at how you became all of the above. Along with six brothers, who may not express their love in words because they’re born taraki, we show our love for you through actions. Mother’s day is long gone and in your 23,376th day, may we express in verbatim that we love you very much.

Remember when you wished that you would live as long as your mother lives? We do wish the same thing too.

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