- Family and Parenting
A Good Son
It takes a good mom
I love and admire many women. I have been blessed, and touched by some of the most beautiful female souls ever to come in one's life. It gives me extreme joy to celebrate and find opportunities to pay tribute to my mom, surrogate mothers, aunts, sisters, in laws, girlfriends and my one and only daughter. This, for as long as i live, will be practice that will never stop.
And there is Lorraine. The woman who gave birth to the man who would be my husband. She is one human being i will always be grateful to.
I met Lorraine at her home in North Carolina, over thirty years ago, as her son's new bride. I remember our introduction and embracing my new mother in law. While i had some apprehension, whether she was going to at least, like me, nothing close to it happened. Thank God!. I found her very warm, and actually thought she was sweet. So, we had a good start. And that gracious spirit prevailed all throughout my entire stay. Being Asian, my worry about a white mother in law who may be condescending proved to be unwarranted. She was loving and very thoughtful, to my delight. She was a class act, a fine hostess. My admiration for her would grow each day that we were together.
I can still remember how she and my father in law, made time to give me a grand tour of the home. I felt their pride as we made our way through every room. Lorraine's touch was everywhere. The place was organized, impeccably clean. The, we walked outside into a lush garden where she grew cherry tomatoes, blueberries and a trellis of beautiful pink roses. Later, we all sat down for a little game of domino, traded stories and laughed. She excused herself to work in her kitchen where she prepared us a delicious fare of healthy salad, organic beef patties, with whole grain freshly baked bread culminating with frozen fresh fruits. Nothing seemed to be a feat for her, but rather, as i observed her in the coming days, i begun to admire a lady who to me, clearly knew her purpose in life. I never once saw her fret, have a meltdown, nor whine about anything. This is not to say that theirs was a perfect family and was never visited by problems. That is not reality.
The fact that he was moved 11 times in a span of 12 years because of his dad's work, he had to deal with adjusting to 11 new schools and various environments. This included facing bullies, becoming a bully to beat the bullies, among many terrible things that happened. Growing up was rough. Thank God for the safety of home where he was treated like a prince by a loving mother. It didn't matter what happened outside, Lorraine welcomed her son and made sure he knew how precious he was. A nutritionist who could have pursued her own career, she chose to be a full time housewife. If there was a mother whose sole concern was to raise a fine man, she was one.
After graduation, Lorraine had to face her nomadic, now handsome and grown son who was raring to see the world. The day he announced his acceptance of a job in faraway Asia, she knew she had to finally let go, and let him fly. If she had any anxiety or fear of the unknown, she didn't let him into it. She may have whispered it to her husband in their bedroom, or the woman of faith that she was, she would have laid it at God's feet in prayer. I have read her handwritten letter to her son before he enplaned for his assignment overseas. It was full of love.
The separations would be long, but the visits home would be well planned. For years, it would be that way.A magic wand did not give me my wonderful husband. A beautiful being, my mother in law did, with the years of loving and guiding she invested in making him into what he is. By God's grace, I became the recipient of her generosity the day we met, then fell in love (at first sight) in the Philippines thirty years ago. I knew i had found a gem of a human being, in the likeness of the mother he dearly loved. Far apart, they were connected by letters Lorraine used to write regularly, and he never failed to reciprocate with a phone call. After staying by her husband and caring for him after a bad fall from his horse, son took his mother to travel and see the world. She was 86 years old. They had such a good time, they did it again when she was 90. She passed away at age 94.
Lorraine is gone, but her legacy remains with us. One of the things she loved to do was to make her voice heard, by writing to legislators, leaders and media. Some of her thoughts were so bold, and intelligently expressed, they were often published. I wish we could post them here, but much of our things are currently stored. But, she was so good, she got invited to speak in Universities and Town Meetings. She would have loved the synergy in the internet. I wish she was still with us. She would, for sure have her own Hubpage, be in Facebook, and be a Twitter. I would like to make her proud that in my own little way, i have joined the many voices that dare to be heard in this universe. If just for my own edification, i have her son as my number one fan! Woohoo!!!