Kap & Me My Kids Others The GOppets


“When you speak of her, speak not with tears, for thoughts of her should not be sad. Let memories of the times you shared give you comfort, for her life was rich because of you.”   Author Unknown

Last week, May 4, MIL passed away due to complications at age 89. She was rushed to the hospital 3 days prior & confined after complaining of difficulty in breathing. Other than regular bouts of asthma, she never had any major health issues.

This wasn’t the first time she felt this way so we didn’t make too much of it. She’s always been asthmatic but due to her advanced age, any bout no matter how mild alarmed her & made her more nervous than usual. All the while we thought she was just having one of her panic attack episodes because all her test results came out negative. Her lungs were clear, her heart was okay. All the necessary tests were made & there were no special prognosis that should make us worry.

And yet, she clung to her nebulizer like it was her lifeline & wouldn’t lie down or sleep. 3 days in the hospital she kept herself awake, panicked, and breathed away heavily, continuously complaining of chest pains & labored breathing. She kept herself from sleeping thinking that if she did, she would never wake up again. It’s become a psychological battle.

Her doctor gave her all the necessary medications so we didn’t know what else to do. We didn’t know what to make of it & were actually at the end of our rope trying to comfort her the best we could. We pegged her to be just looking for attention because she was exceptionally clingy to Kap & was visibly struggling more than usual whenever he was around. One moment she looked fine (see above), the next she would be hysterically gasping for breath.

On May 4, her third day in the hospital, her body & heart finally gave out. She was nebulizing almost every 30 minutes like it was nobody’s business & the strong inhalant may have further exhausted her already weak body & heart. The doctors ordered it just every 4 hours but she panicked whenever she didn’t have her inhaler & demanded to be nebulized every so often even against medical advice.

To those who have asthma like me, you know the side effects that come with inhaling combivent. Tremors, headaches, palpitations. It is not to be abused because too much of it creates havoc with the heart. Using it every 30 minutes was like a train wreck waiting to happen. To relax her & get her to sleep, we asked if she could be given relaxants or even sleep-inducing medications so she can rest, but her doctor didn’t think it was a good idea. And so awake she was, for 3 straight days & nights.

Her heart finally gave out that Thursday night. She complained of tiredness & being sleepy, fainted, passed urine, then stopped breathing & flat-lined. The medical staff did all they could to revive her & administered all the medications as well, but after 30 minutes of CPR & extraordinary efforts, she was pronounced dead at 11:50 pm of May 4, 2017. She was 89 years old. 

Mama’s viewing was held at the Mabini Room, ground floor of Funeraria Paz in Sucat. So thankful to our pastor, Joby Soriano, and his CCF team who performed a short but comforting service at the wake.

Thankful too for the outpouring of love & support from friends. Every message, ever call, every thought, every visit, meant so much to our family. <3 True friends show their love in times of trouble regardless of the inconvenience. These people who are there for you on your darkest nights are the ones worth spending your brightest days with.

Mama’s wake turned out to be a celebration of life. At almost 90, every moment she was able to spend on earth is already considered a bonus. She lived a full life.

Kap’s sister arrived from Canada. She was supposed to come this December for Mama’s 90th birthday celebration. 7 months early.

My poor Honey, knocked out from the week that was. Until her very last moment on earth, even until she was finally laid to rest, Kap was the perfect son. Mama was so blessed because her son loved her so much & took care of her until her dying breath. Any mother couldn’t have asked for more. I know she was very proud of her only child & she is smiling at him with gratitude from heaven above.

Mama joins Papa, my maternal grandparents, and my Dad in the crypt at St. James.

It pained me to see Kap having to see his mother being revived & in that situation. I tried to keep him away but he fought to stay by her side & be the supportive & loving son that he has always been. In my past stories, I’m sure you know how much he loved & valued his mother. How devoted of her he was. No matter how old we may be, we are never prepared for something as painful as the death of a parent.

This remains to be his fave picture of him & his mom. I’m glad I thought of taking their picture side by side, they have so few together. Mama was never a person to show affection or be touchy-feely so Kap grew up the same way. But they had a tender moment captured here.

Not many get to spend their whole lives with their children, or even their grandchildren. Mama had a good life.

We may not be the most ideal MIL/DIL tandem, but I will forever be grateful to Mama for the gift of Kap. He is all things beautiful, and wonderful, and amazing because he came from beautiful, and wonderful, and amazing set of parents. I thank her for molding him into the kind of person he is today. He is kind and good and all kinds of decent because of my MIL. I will not deny her that. My family is what it is today because she raised a loyal, faithful, admirable, and dependable son. 

You don’t live with a person for more than a decade and not have her grow on you. Of course love is there. No matter our differences, we loved each other in our own way. Given the circumstance, the best we could.

I am also grateful to Mama for the love & affection she has showered my mom. Since Mom’s stroke over a year ago, they have been inseparable & are truly BFFs in every sense of the word. Sisters even. It’s amazing how they automatically became each other’s support system. 2 widows eating together every meal time, a dynamic duo terrorizing the streets of Alabang in their regular afternoon golf car ride around the village with dear Lelly, girlfriends bonding over shopping sprees in 168, and yes, senior citizend watching free movies courtesy of their privilege cards. 

Now mom is back to her lonesome self. How eerie, it’s like Mama was bidding her bff adieu with a farewell kiss in this last photo taken just recently. :'(

Mama, we never got close because of our forced living arrangement, but you will always have my gratitude. I never got to show you love & affection because of our unconventional setting & my feelings of resentment at being hopelessly & indefinitely boxed in, but I know that I am forgiven my sins because that’s just the type of person you are -big & forgiving. I know we would have fared better in a different situation for you are the type of person who is highly likable. Alas, we are just two peas in a pod when it comes to parenting that living together for 22 years meant regular combustions & meltdowns. Mothers will always be mothers no matter the age of her son. Not loving you as much as I should have will always be one of my biggest regrets in life.

I promise to take care of your son and love him with my whole heart on your behalf, more than my life itself. My love can never compare to yours, because a mother’s love is incomparable. But I promise to love him unconditionally & be there for him every step of the way for as long as I am able to, for as long as I can.

Thank you Ma for all that you have been to us. Rest now and enjoy your reunion with Papa. We will be okay. 

Mama would have turned 90 this December. In fact Kap was already making plans for a big party. This photo was taken on her last birthday. On her next, she will be celebrating it in heaven with Papa & God. For sure, it will be fantabulous!

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