Dear 18-year old,
I'm writing this to help you remember, that around the same time last year, on your birthday week/month, a lot has happened. And I mean a lot, from all ends, your life included.
Perhaps by this time that you are reading this, it's highly possible that:
> there are more unexpected deaths in our family and among friends
> your school is still closed for f2f classes
> your academic load hasn't eased up
> we are still doing WFH
> you are grappling with this and that in your mind
>you still have questions
>we have been finally vaccinated vs Covid19
And yet, your sister and I would be seated together at our dinner table and recalling another year of our lives and how our experiences have turned from bad to worse. Your sister could be cracking a joke in an effort to avoid getting 'unhinged' (her words not mine). And you will be seated with us simply listening and absorbing it all.
But since you are now 18, you know better.
A parent would always want a better world for their children and I really am sorry to see that this ain't forthcoming yet. And, I am sorry for having passed on something else to you. I guess, there's not much I can do to 'protect' you from all these, son. It is what it is.
But this I remember well. During OUR very tough and trying times, you have kept to who you are. When I thought I was missing pieces of you, or even thought hard that if I were to lose those pieces of you, I know what I will hold dear about you in my heart, and that piece of you will forever remain, that is - you held my hand and you pat my shoulder and you listened when I asked you to PROMISE ME that you will be well. And yes you have become well. In those days after, you bring to the table some fond memory :)
Then 7 weeks after that, things became bleak. I tore up and told God, eee-nough! Only because I could not imagine - gumuho ba bigla mga panaginip mo sa buhay? So paminsan, iniisip ko, paano ko ba pwedeng gawing sapat ang mga pangyayari sa buhay mo. I'm really not the best person to even tell you what 'well' means. Cuz when I look back to my years, it's been a journey of 'unwellness' and yet I have such great memories of people, adventures and heavenly moments which have made those unwell years very much liveable... and loveable.
Now that you are 18, it really is your life to live and your world to make something out of. And that as your mother, I won't be one to promise you that life will be better. YOU KNOW life ain't a bed of roses. That life can be bad news on certain days. (And yet once in a while you will always pull out a fond memory or two...of Builders, of life at Hardin, of Java and Mikasa, of Cavite, of Lola Juliet.) And still it can be back to feeling just as worse in a span of 3-5 days or even a 2-week all time low.
But I am one who will give you that space to feel what needs to be felt, until things get numb. I will be the one to pray in those times when you believe otherwise. I will be the one to try to listen even if deep inside me, I feel I am just about to cry and fall apart, and appear not to fall apart cuz I need to pay attention and listen. I will do my best to keep quiet and see you through it, until a smile pops up. And that it is ok, if that is just for a moment or two.
I am no superwoman, nor a supermom, but I'm just here while I still CAN BE here, BE still and KNOW you are well.