How Do I Love Thee, Mother?

I was 2 plane-rides away from home, and it was fast and testimony Sunday. I was in Bacolod for a series of firesides for the Academy for Creating Enterprise (ACE) and I sincerely began feeling melancholic thinking about my family back home. Good thing that Church is practically the same everywhere, and with that knowledge came peace in my heart. I know that we will all be attending our Sunday services, listening to the same lessons, feeling the same sweet spirit.

And so my friend Met and I went inside the Sacrament Hall. She asked me where I prefer to sit. I told her way back home, my family and I, we have a special place, a spot we have chosen ever since we became members of the church 18 years ago. I motioned her towards the front of the hall on the right side, and we sat on the second row, exactly the same spot I will be had I been in my home ward – beside my sweetheart, together with my children.

Waiting for the meeting to start, we looked around, trying to see if we knew anybody. Church is actually one great big family, and it is normal for one to see someone familiar. In our case, we have met the previous day a good friend from CES who used to serve in Cagayan de Oro – President Ric Cobing. Just in time, the whole Cobing family came in: President Cobing, his wife Lolit, and their beautiful children. How the children have grown!

Then came the Nang family. I recognized Aying. She’s still as beautiful as ever! I looked at her children. I counted: six! Six beautiful children. Aying and I visited for a while, in hushed tones. She made a comment about my incredibly and ridiculously short pixie hair, and we laughed a little.

Then the meeting started.

Came the time for members to bear their testimonies. Met whispered to me that we should bear our testimonies, so that our sins will be forgiven. I smiled at her and I said I probably would need all the will power I have just to stand.

Slowly, one after the other, members stood and shared their testimonies.

Then, much to my surprise, one tiny person walked bravely towards the pulpit. He was Aying’s son. I said to myself he must be around 5 or 6 years old. We could barely see him! I guess all of us smiled as he fumbled to hold the microphone.

He began by telling all of us that his Mom tells them a very special story – his Mom’s favorite story – during bedtime. He began by narrating to us what the story was all about – of a Mother and her son and a rainbow. In the story, the mother told her son that should she die, she will turn herself into a rainbow so she can watch over him. Then, Aying’s son said: “So I pray everyday that my Mom will not die. I don’t want her to die, because I won’t be able to do anything without her. I love her so much and I want to be with her always. “

We all cried. I saw Aying’s husband wipe his eyes. I could not help but look around. Mothers in the congregation were all teary-eyed. I was busy rummaging my bag for a tissue. Metmet too, who was sitting on my left, was also crying. The young woman on my right was crying too! And even now, as I recall what he said in that meeting, I still could not fight off the tears.

Aying’s son gave me an unforgettable gift that beautiful and spiritual Fast and Testimony Sunday – innocence, pure and sincere love – expressed!

After the meeting, I went to the boy who was sitting closely to his Mom. I asked Aying for permission and then gave the boy a hug.

I wanted to comfort him, to tell him not to worry so much. I wanted to give him the reassurance that his Mom will be with him for a long long time …

So i hugged him tight, and gave him a kiss. Maybe in his young mind he was puzzled by my action, for he never even knew me. He looked at his Mom, and then he gave me a smile. His eyes was still sad. And as we all walked out the hall, I looked for him one last time…

There he was – still holding on to his Mom’s hand.

A child’s love – pure, sincere, true..

 

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