The other night we heard of the passing of a dear family friend. “Mommy” is what we called her. Even though her nickname was “Bing”, and she’s technically my (non-blood-related) “Lola”, I can’t remember ever calling her any other name but “Mommy”.
That house in Opera street
It’s been a long time since I last saw Mommy, but some of my best childhood memories happened in her house in Opera street, where we spent countless of lazy Sunday afternoons, December nights, and warm summer days growing up. We would run around her garden, play with her dogs, feast on her delicious home-cooked meals, fight over her blueberry cheesecake (the best!), and rummage through her refrigerator for left-over cookies to take home.
That house in Opera street always felt like an extension of our home. It’s the kind of place that remains etched in the mind of a child forever, that, even until now, 20 years later, I still have vivid recollections of time spent in that house.
I don’t have a picture with Mommy, but these are her daughters. I must have grown up thinking they’re my biological sisters! I’m so blessed for the life of Mommy who raised these beautiful ladies I love and look up to.
Lessons on motherhood and servanthood
I’ve been making mental notes on my takeaways from Mommy’s life. I know there’s more but here are some:
- As a mother, choosing your children over whatever career you want to pursue is a decision you will never regret taking.
- The kind of mother you are will reflect on the kind of children (and grand children) you raise.
- Raising your children to serve the Lord, and to love the Lord with all their heart, is the greatest legacy you could ever leave in this world.
- Letting your children go is possible when you trust that you raised them well enough to build their own lives, and when you believe that the Lord is always with them wherever they go.
- Opening your home and sharing your life to others is an investment that will come a long way, even long after you’re gone.
- You don’t have to be in the spotlight in order to make a huge impact. A life of quiet and humble service can make a universe of difference from one generation to another.
- Oh, and that blueberry cheesecake recipe! I should get a copy of that.
It makes me sad, the thought that Mommy’s house in Las Pinas will never be the same, and that we will never get to taste her special blueberry cheesecake again. But my heart rejoices, knowing that hers was a life well lived, and that I’m one of the many recipients of the legacy that she left behind.
Only one life, it will soon be past
The truth is, I’ve been contemplating a lot about life these past days. I’ve been restless, mostly tired, and maybe a little anxious about what the future holds. In hindsight that’s probably why I had to intentionally look back the other day—I do a lot of reminiscing when I’m feeling a little wary about certain uncertain things in my life.
And then death happens.
Death has a way of keeping us (those of us who are still alive) grounded, making us appreciate the days that we take for granted, inspiring us to better and to live a life that will make the most impact on others.
Just recently the whole world was shocked by the sudden death of Paul Walker. But now, everywhere we look, everyone is just paying tribute to Paul’s life, inspired by the massive work he was doing to help people in need, and the little anecdotes of his grand gestures and secret acts of kindness.
Life is short. We never know when ours is going to end, but one thing for sure.. it will end. We’re all on borrowed time.
Just like Paul Walker, and Mommy Bing, and my Dad.
Many people will not remember their course in college, the jobs they took, the possessions they accumulated through the years. But people will always remember how they made our lives, and the world, a better place.
I’m reminded to make the most out of this one life. Live each day as if it’s our last, love people, show kindness, wear our passions, chase our dreams. And more importantly, fulfill God’s purpose for our lives and live in a way that will give glory to His name.
An age old poem goes, “Only one life, ‘t will soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
At the end of the day, and at the end of this life, that’s all that will count.