A letter to Manding


Of all the things I miss, I miss calling you Ding. There’s just something about your laughter, so pure and real. Maybe because first name basis means you’re cool, you’re young and you’re also just like my friend. So whenever I get the feeling that you’re sad, I call you Ding over and over till you start laughing.

That’s one thing I miss too. Your laugh.

You, by far, have the weirdest face when you laugh. All your beautiful facial features just squint; you turn red and you start crying. But then again, no matter how weird your laugh was… I would give the world just to hear it again because my whole life, I’ve only seen you laugh so rarely. And that made me sad, regretful even, because I know I will never see it again.

To tell you honestly I feel fat and lonely; my tummy’s bloating from over-eating and I’m the only one awake this time, as usual. But whenever you’re here, you remind me how blessed I am that God gave me extra layers of fat to always keep me going; and with your occasional temper-tantrums, I know I’m in for some entertainment. You have a list of things to talk about, none of them was about you.

I just wish that you brought your cellphone with you wherever you are so I could receive random corny messages from you trying to lift my spirits up from a shitty day, then I would have meant all the HAHAHA I replied to you. I wish I spent more time with you when you wanted me to and reminded you how beautiful you were even when you were sickly, bald and impatient. But then again, what’s a daughter without the rebellion, the hardheadedness and the stubborn act that I oftentimes showed you? I guess I didn’t know you won’t always be around to remind me that I won’t be a kid forever.

But that’s how you always treat me; like a kid. I miss that. Growing up is tough, now that you’re not around. I could have learned a little of that angst that scared all the boys that tried to talk to me. I can hear you now shouting out the window calling me because it’s supper time and that afritada’s ready, my favorite. Even just the smell of your clothes comforts me because I feel you close, your warmth and your safety.

But Mama, why aren’t you around? Because this time, I’m sure I could have used some of your wisdom, your patience and your love. But don’t get all worried because I’m as resourceful as you are, I find ways of making myself feel that you’re always close..watching over me.

Watch over me and the boys that you left me with. God knows I can’t handle their mess. Truly, you’re phenomenal to have survived so many battles I know so little. I’m learning a lot about you now than the time you were around. Maybe because your presence didn’t require me to.

Your absence required me more than just the resourcefulness but also the strength, goodness, patience and faith. All the things that defined you as a person, as a woman and as my Mama. I hate cancer for taking you away but I’m equally thankful because with it, we have lived 4 meaningful years filled with so much love and joy.

Its such a waste that you haven’t seen me in my milestones, my prom dresses, my presentations, my glorious moments but then again, you’ve seen me in any way I can imagine because you’re my mom. That fact alone is something I always hold on to. Cancer cannot take that away, even my failing memory.

So wherever you are, I love you. I miss you.

Your 2-years breast milk kid,



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