ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Family and Parenting»
  • Parenting Skills, Styles & Advice

The Rosebush and the Watermelon Vine, My Mom's Motherhood Journey

Updated on June 17, 2011

Gift for Mom

As a gift for my Mom on Mother's Day, I am publishing through this lens her own motherhood story, which she wrote herself. She is 65 years old and has retired 5 years. She does a lot of gardening to stay fit and keeps her mind active by reading and writing. She is my strongest prayer warrior, and my kids' most loyal follower.

Happy Mother's Day Mama

Acknowledgment

This lens has 4 Angel Blessings

as of 29 May 2011

Heavenly Thanks!

My Garden Centrepiece Tells the Story of My Life

Mom in her garden
Mom in her garden

The centrepiece of my small garden is a big pot where I planted a rose bush which is a gift from my daughter. Along with the rosebush I dropped some watermelon seeds. In no time, the rose and the watermelon grew together.

My friends wowed the plant arrangement where the rose grew skyward while the watermelon hung down towards the earth. But they doubted if the pot could hold and sustain them both, so they suggested that I give up one of them. Of course I chose to let both live.

Mom and Dad in a corner of their little garden
Mom and Dad in a corner of their little garden

Two Plants in a Pot

This potted plant arrangement tells the story of my life as a mother. Like the two plants in my pot, I also decided long ago to take the career of an educator, alongside with motherhood.

My first born came when I was only eighteen years old, and other babies followed at a very close space of 15 months in between. Luckily my husband supported my decision to go back to college even as our family grew bigger.

Balancing my act as a mother, student and part time counter clerk in a hotel entailed much sacrifice. I would sneak into my classes always ten minutes late, and would rush home to my children as soon as I can. Nighttimes were divided between nursing the infant, bottle feeding the older babies, and doing my school assignments. I was young and healthy, so I had the stamina for all these tasks, and I was happy with the arrangement. My scale of attention was 70-30 in favour of my children.

I noticed the rosebush has new buds, and the watermelon vine is dotted with tiny, yellow flowers. Looking at the plants I recall how as a young mom, I was elated by the progress of my children at every stage of their development. The first smile, first tooth, first step, first word, and so on. These were more than enough to ease away all fatigue and sleeplessness.

Mom and my kids
Mom and my kids

The Plants Start Shrivelling

Last week the leaves of the plants shrivelled due to extreme cold. I transferred the pot into a more ventilated place and poured warm water into the pot. This brought into remembrance how I would fret when my children had fever, measles or colds. I would miss classes just to nurse them until they get well.

This happiness was mine until my fourth baby, Ditas, was born with a congenital heart disease. Oh what pain I felt for the frail newborn strapped to tubes that intertwined in the incubator. She remained in the hospital for 3 months. My 30% time for school was reduced to 10% because the baby in the hospital took up most of my time.

My Family and Friends Become My Nourishment

I noticed that my plants are starting to get stunted. Maybe the soil nutrients in the pot are depleted. I put in compost and watered the plants with rice washing to help restore the lost nutrients. The plants became healthier and greener after the soil was improved.

During all the times I needed help, particularly during Ditas' confinement, my family and friends, especially my mother and mother-in-law gave me all the help I needed. They were the source of my strength when I was so depressed. After 3 months, Ditas was ready for home care, and we were discharged from the hospital on my graduation day.

We were home, but the suffering of Ditas did not end there. It broke my heart to see her in intense pain when her attacks came. She would pull her knees to close to her chin, and her beautiful eyes dilate in pain. She would be blue all over, and her tears, saliva, mucous, and sweat all mix together as she groaned and gasped for breath. This would last for 30 minutes, and usually happen three times a day. It wounded my heart to watch helplessly. I prayed the pain could be mine.

More babies were born after Ditas. My sixth child Milo, was born with cerebral palsy and the whole left side of his body was incapacitated. It was difficult having a heart patient and more so with cerebral palsy added to the test. Thank God my mother never left us.

The Rose Takes a Beating

The love and support of my mom, family and friends could not suffice. I wrote the then First Lady Imelda Marcos for help. Immediately, she had Ditas scheduled for treatment in Houston, Texas in February of 1973. Unfortunately, because we lived in a very remote area, the First Lady’s staff had a hard time locating our address. They traced us only in March, and the scheduled Houston treatment was given to another patient. Nevertheless, they took us to Manila where we went from hospital to hospital for the intensive check-up of Ditas.

In April, a month after she began her check-ups, she was admitted and scheduled for operation. In the evening before her operation, she said she did not like to be operated on. I persuaded her that it will free her from all pain. She sadly agreed, saying “it’s up to you then”. I felt a chill sweep over me. Before her sedation she kissed and embraced her dad and me long and tight. The following evening, we brought her home in her small, white coffin. She was 4 years old and 8 months. Even in death she shed tears. How I wished then that it was I who died. I was in deep grief and despair.

The Rose Tries to Survive the Weeds

This tragic event changed me completely. The 70-30 attention scale in favour of my family was reset to 80-20 in favour of my career. I asked myself if my daughter would still be alive if I did not insist on the operation. I wondered why Milo had cerebral palsy. Was I a bad mother? Is the lot of my children my punishment? I felt I was a curse to my children. To forget my deep sorrow, I buried myself in my work as a teacher. I stayed out of the house for as long as I could and left the care of my children totally to my kind mother.

I distanced myself from my children. When they asked help in their homework, I would tell them to ask their grandmother. During school occasions and PTA meetings when they needed me, I would ask somebody to stand on my behalf.

I was soon promoted and was offered scholarships one after another, which I gladly accepted just to get away from home.

I would go home to find my girls already sleeping, but my boys slept elsewhere. In my neglect, one of my boys got severely ill with typhoid fever.

Then my ninth child was born with a severe abdominal infection. She was confined in the hospital for two months, and again, I went through the pain of seeing a very delicate infant fastened to tubes in the incubator. When we went home, I was angrier with the world.

I thought it unfair for God to lodge me with severely sick children, as if I were the only mother in the world. And He was not content to give me one, but four.

I again immersed myself into work, giving almost all my attention to it while shunning my responsibilities as a mom. Even my spiritual life was neglected. Fortunately, I was blessed with the best mother I can never emulate.

The Rose and the Watermelon Survive

This morning I saw that the rose was attacked by aphids and the watermelon leaves were white with mildew. I hurried to brush the bush with soap suds and cut away the infected watermelon leaves. In two days time the plants put out new small but healthy buds, and soon were fully recovered.

This reminds me of the time in my life when my mom got fed up with my abandonment and really took me to task. She even threatened to leave me and the children if I didn’t come to my senses and take responsibility over my children. I knew my mother was right, but I was stubborn.

I stormed out of the house angrily, my youngest in pursuit craving for my attention. In her hurry to catch up with me, she missed a step and fell over a 10 feet deep stone wall, bumping her head on a sharp rock. Immediately her face turned blue and became terribly swollen. She looked like a blue balloon with two slits and two dots. I almost lost her.

The accident jolted me back to my right senses. I realized I have allowed the aphids and mildew of my sorrow, despair and anger to destroy me. And I was destroying my family. I shuddered to think of the consequences if I let this go on. Immediately, I worked to restore the love, peace and joy in my home. I had a deep and thorough introspection, and I prayed for strength and guidance and asked for forgiveness.

The Plants Are Pruned in Order to Bear Fruit

The watermelon plant has so many shoots, some of which do not have fruits. Likewise the rosebush has many branches that are thin and unproductive. At first I did not want to prune the plants, reasoning that they might improve. But today, I decided to trim what could be done away with, for the sake of the plants.

I too trimmed my life back then. When my older kids were ready for college in the big city, I was then being groomed for a supervisory position in the Division Office. But I made the decision to give up my career, join my husband in a mining company near the city, and apply for a job there, beginning from scratch.

My friends and colleagues called it a foolish move, to take a leave and think about it. But I decided to cut clean. It was about time I put my family first.

My children grew to be teenagers, and together we went thru trying times. They wanted more freedom while I insisted on discipline. I had all sorts of fear for my children, and I wanted to protect them as much as I could.

More tragedies followed. I lost Milo to a vehicular accident, and my second son died of hemorrhagic stroke. I was heartbroken with deep anguish. No mother could ever be prepared for these times, but I learned to deal with the situations as they come.

I took up activities such as gardening, reading and writing. I got involved in bible studies. All these I did, not to cover up or obliterate the pain, hurt and anger in my heart; I did these so there could be space for love, forgiveness, peace, restoration and reconciliation with my God.

The Plants Bear Fruit

My life as a mom is not all about pain and suffering. These are just spices. The main components of my motherhood are love, joy, peace and contentment. I glory in the love of my husband and my children. I am happy over their academic achievements, like their being scholars of the premier university in my country. My heart swells with pride every time they passed university and government examinations with flying colours. It gave me joy to see my children win in oratorical and dramatic contests, too. As I hear about their success in their jobs and endeavours now that they are adults, it fills me with pride. Most of all, the values they developed and hold dear turned my life full and sweet.

The watermelon vine has fruits ready to be picked in a couple of weeks, and the rosebush is flaunting its peach buds. I will enjoy them while they last, but even now I am teaching my daughters to plant their own pots, paying heed to the many valuable lessons learned from my own garden centrepiece. One day their pots will tell the story of their own love, fears, hopes, trials and rewards.

Let's talk about your Mom

How old is your Mom?

See results

Please Sign the Guestbook

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 6 years ago

      your mom had so many trials in her life and she carried a heavy cross to see her kids go before her. your dad must have suffered silently.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Lovely story. Well-deserved lens of the day award.

    • profile image

      JackalyeYe 6 years ago

      Nice lens - congrates LOTD

    • marckq profile image
      Author

      marckq 6 years ago

      @norma-holt: Hi, thanks again for nominating this lens. You really are sooooo kind!

    • profile image

      AdriennePetersen 6 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD! Wonderful inspiring lens.

    • SueM11 profile image

      Sue Mah 6 years ago from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

      What a lovely tribute to your mom. Congratulations on LOTD.

    • SueM11 profile image

      Sue Mah 6 years ago from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

      What a lovely tribute to your mom. Congratulations on LOTD.

    • sheriangell profile image

      sheriangell 6 years ago

      Congratulations on a sweet LotD! Well deserved.

    • sheriangell profile image

      sheriangell 6 years ago

      Congratulations on a sweet LotD! Well deserved.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What a sweet tribute to your mom. The prayer section is so very special! Congratulations on your lens of the day!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What a sweet tribute to your mom. The prayer section is so very special! Congratulations on your lens of the day!

    • vermontmom profile image

      vermontmom 6 years ago

      Whoops. I put my comment in the wrong place. Yes, this was an unbelievably beautiful story. It was moving and instructive and inspiring.

    • vermontmom profile image

      vermontmom 6 years ago

      Whoops. I put my comment in the wrong place. Yes, this was an unbelievably beautiful story. It was moving and instructive and inspiring.

    • hysongdesigns profile image

      hysongdesigns 6 years ago

      A lovely and heart warming story! I think there are many women out there that connect with the ups and downs of your mother's story

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Congratulations on your LotD and purple star!

    • Retro Loco profile image

      Vicki 6 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on LOTD! I read this lens from beginning to end, and it is a very touching and beautiful story. Your mom sounds like an amazing mother to me!

    • DRomaxx profile image

      Diana Romaxx 6 years ago from Chicago

      Congratulations on your LOTD!

    • profile image

      celeBritys4africA 6 years ago

      Congrats, I like your lens.

    • profile image

      celeBritys4africA 6 years ago

      Congrats, I like your lens.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      An excellent, passionate and beautiful story about love and family. Featured this on Squidoo LOTD Lenses. Congrats of that award and the purple star, well deserved.

    • MrWidemouth profile image

      MrWidemouth 6 years ago

      What a wonderful analogy. I love it. Congratulations!

    • gypsyman27 lm profile image

      gypsyman27 lm 6 years ago

      Yes, it is a great story of an accomplished, and well adjusted mother. It makes really good material for a good lens. Well done, and executed in a logical and intelligent fashion. See you around the galaxy...

    • profile image

      JennySui 6 years ago

      Congrats on well deserved LOTD!

    • profile image

      Jerrad28 6 years ago

      Wonderful story, thank you for sharing!

    • profile image

      Jack-in-the-Box 6 years ago

      Wow, what a great story. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    • profile image

      sujaysen 6 years ago

      Nice lens for our mom.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      This is such an amazing story of Motherhood. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on a well deserved LOTD.

    • marckq profile image
      Author

      marckq 6 years ago

      @happynutritionist: Yes I did, it was actually added as an update after I read it, I loved the lens!

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 6 years ago

      PS - I just noticed you included my lens 7 Things I Learned to Love from Mom...thank you for that, so kind of you.

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 6 years ago

      What a touching story, thank you for sharing from your heart. Your Mom sounds like a treasure, thanks for sharing her with us. Enjoy your Lens of the Day, you deserve it.

    • retta719 profile image

      Loretta 6 years ago from United States

      beautifully told story and a wonderful gift for you mom! <3

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 6 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Just ... wow. Amazing. Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your mother's story.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      My Mother has past away, this is a Truly Remarkable way to Honor Your Mother; not just for Mother's Day but All Year Long!!

      Congratulations for Lens of the Day!!!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      A powerful story of resilience, overcoming grief, the impact of our choices, and a love that overcomes all. Wishing you much joy and peace.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 6 years ago

      This is a beautiful tribute to your Mother. I love my Mother as well, she is 96 years old, and I do whatever it take to be a good caregiver for her.

      So our lives have had ups and downs, but you are right , the love is the great asset for everybody life. i enjoy imensely your lens and your values in life.

      Regards

    • Philippians468 profile image

      Philippians468 6 years ago

      thank you for sharing such a heart warming story! cheers

    • marckq profile image
      Author

      marckq 6 years ago

      Hi everyone. I am awed by your kind comments and generous support on this lens. I have started getting back to all of you, but my time is very limited. I may not be able to post on everyone's bio page and visit your lenses today, but I promise to get back to each and everyone of you. Thank you so very much for your visits and kind comments on this lens, and all the others I posted. I'll see all of you around.

      with a grateful heart,

      marckq

    • mich1908 profile image

      mich1908 6 years ago

      What a sad and yet lovely story about your mom. You wrote so creatively. My eyes tears up when I read about Ditas. My prayers for the little one. So sad to hear about other losses. What an amazing mom.

    • profile image

      SofiaMann 6 years ago

      How nice tribute to your mom. Congratulations on LOTD.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Congratulations on your Lens of the Day!

      ~ Blessed with much love by a Squidoo Angel ~

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great lens! made me love my mom much more

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 6 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! What a great endearing story of a sweet lady, but with the sadness of family losses...I'm so sorry for that.

    • profile image

      criminalbackgroundchks 6 years ago

      A Different way to tell your story. I like it.

    • profile image

      criminalbackgroundchks 6 years ago

      A Different way to tell your story. I like it.

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      What a beautiful way to tell your story... by paralleling it with the watermelon and rose bush story... and carrying it out so completely

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 6 years ago from Sweden

      I recognize the love for mom. I had two and both are dead.

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 6 years ago

      Very well written story on that all-important subject of motherhood. Congratulations on LOTD.

    • profile image

      jamesrocking 6 years ago

      Superb lens dear, keep writing and god bless u 2....with lots of love

    • LikinTrikin LM profile image

      LikinTrikin LM 6 years ago

      WOW!!!! Congrat's to you again.....Purple Star & LOTD all in one week what a beautiful honor for a Great lens !!!!!

    • LikinTrikin LM profile image

      LikinTrikin LM 6 years ago

      WOW!!!! Congrat's to you again.....Purple Star & LOTD all in one week what a beautiful honor for a Great lens !!!!!

    • NAIZA LM profile image

      NAIZA LM 6 years ago

      Very heartwarming lens.. I enjoyed reading it. Congrats on LOTD! ~Blessed by a Squid Angel.~

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 6 years ago

      An amazing story, congratulations om LOTD - well deserved!

    • BrahmM profile image

      BrahmM 6 years ago

      Lovely lens! Congrats on LOTD!

    • howtocurecancer profile image

      howtocurecancer 6 years ago

      Congrats for the well deserved LoTD.

    • elyria profile image

      elyria 6 years ago

      Beautiful story, truly enjoyed reading it!

    • profile image

      miaponzo 6 years ago

      Thanks for this very heartfelt lens! Congrats!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What a wonderful way to honor your Mother and what a story she tells along the way, sweet! Congratulations on receiving the high honors of a purple star and LOTD on this precious gem!

    • pramodbisht profile image

      pramodbisht 6 years ago

      Very nice lens!

    • MagpieNest profile image

      MagpieNest 6 years ago

      Wow what an honest account. And wonderfully told.

    • Airinka profile image

      Airinka 6 years ago

      Very nice lens! Congratulations on LOTD!!!

    • profile image

      weddingsnews 6 years ago

      Congrats!

    • profile image

      uniquenewgifts 6 years ago

      Congrats for the LoTD.

    • profile image

      TKOSquidoo 6 years ago

      I love it!

    • profile image

      quyenngo 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Yeb. I agree.

    • ColorPetGifts profile image

      ColorPetGifts 6 years ago

      Love that this precious lens made LOTD -:)

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

      Congratulations on LotD - well-deserved.

    • profile image

      quyenngo 6 years ago

      I like this post so much. Thanks!

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

      Breathtaking

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      The analogy between the two plants and your lives was enchanting. A wonderful story. Thank you for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Really liked the Lens, my Mom is the same age - maybe I should do a Lens on her. Congrats on LoTD!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      You did a wonderful tribute to your mom. I'm sure she is very proud of you! Beautiful lens!

    • profile image

      Sire01 6 years ago

      What an inspirational post! I loved every word of it.

    • LikinTrikin LM profile image

      LikinTrikin LM 6 years ago

      What a beautiful lens. This story was very moving. Thank you so very much for sharing.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Beautiful lens and story - life is indeed a full of challenges and triumphs. Like the rose bush has thorns, so does life, but blossoms into something beautiful, so can we. Encouraging story of the joys and trials that life is!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      Lovely story - your mom is the cutest little lady ever - she's adorable. Your love for your mom shines through. Beautiful tribute, many thanks.

    • profile image

      GrowWear 6 years ago

      A beautifully told story.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Beautiful pictures

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Your mother looks great at this age and she is very active, a beautiful tribute to Mother in the form of this lens.

    • marckq profile image
      Author

      marckq 6 years ago

      @kimmanleyort: Heavenly thanks, Squidangel kimmanleyort!

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 6 years ago

      I think this is an incredible story and the way she compares the life of her roses to her own life is brilliant. This should be in a magazine. ** Blessed by a Squid Angel **

    • glenbrook profile image

      glenbrook 6 years ago

      Very nice tribute to your mom:)