Few years back, we would always have a long Christmas celebration starting from the evening of December 24 for the traditional Christmas Eve dinner. Then it extends to the whole day of December 25 when all my mother’s inaanak (godchildren) would visit her. And it will culminate on December 26 when all our relatives would come to celebrate her birthday.
It was like that for many years. And looking back at those moments, I couldn’t help but remember the lessons I’ve learned from her when she was still alive.
- R–ESPECT FOR WOMEN. I don’t have a sister. I only have my mother, my grandmother and my female cousins when I was growing up with in the province. Aside from my brother, there were more women around me than men. Being raised by a single parent, I saw how strong a woman she was and that in itself was worthy of my respect. She has become my role model and my standard even up to now.
- I–NTEGRITY IS WEALTH. She always believed that good things will come back out of doing good everyday. Even if she would work late nights, carry heavy shopping bags from Divisoria, shamelessly lay down her articles on the side street of Laloma, she would do all that in the name of decent living. Back in the days when she’s working as a waitress, she was always commended for her dedication. She would proudly keep a photos of it in the album and show it to us. It was my vivid recollection of how hardworking and excellent worker she was.
- T–IME IS GOLD. She doesn’t like wasting time lounging or sleeping. Neither she allowed dirty clothes dumped and untidy house. You’d always see her moving and for her, she’d rather do things now so she can do more things the next day. Procrastination was not on her vocabulary. She would always remind me to come early to school or to meetings and never let other people wait for me.
- A–LTERNATIVE. I learned from her even while we’re still young that there are always many alternative to expensive things… even alternative to ways of doing things (even if it is more difficult so long as it is inexpensive). She always have a back-up plan when things don’t go her way and I think I learned this trait from her. Until the end, she even prepared everything that she will need until her last moment since it was her attitude not to be a burden to others.
Her name is R-I-T-A. My beloved mother. People close to her call her RITZ and i even named my daughter after her (Jasmine Edenritz). And today I honor her with this simple post.