Two days before Mother’s Day, TN received an email from our avid followers and requested us to publish her life story. At first, we ignored it and thought it was only of the tons of spam mails we receive every day. But out of curiosity, our staff opened it and was intrigued with the subject title – Meet My Iron Mom.
We verified the email address and it was legit so we read the content and found no link to a website. We immediately replied to the message to confirm if the letter sender really wants us to publish it. She replied, and told us she is from a high school teacher from Pasay City. She requested us to not to reveal her surname.
Here is her very emotional story about her mother.
It’s been 50 years since my mother left me in front of Paco Church as a helpless, tiny baby wrapped with an old blanket. Thanks to Nanay Melba, an early church goer who found me and brought me home. Having no capacity to bear a child, she considered me as a blessing from God so they named me Angelita.
Growing up, she and his husband Tatay Domeng treated me as if I’m really their child. Their hands became my shield against any harm, and their eyes became my guide when I could not see. Yes, my mom left me even if she knows I was born blind. I always wonder what kind of mother does that to her son. But still, I survived.
Using my four remaining senses, my adopted parents taught me how to live like a normal person. I learned how to climb our staircase without the need of anyone. I learned how to identify things through sounds, and understand the food through its smell. Although I don’t see it, I know our house is small and mostly made of wood.
Tatay Domeng told me he is horse shoe maker. That time, it was a decent job for people who drive calesas in Manila. He doesn’t earn much but he did his best to provide my needs. I remember him arriving late at night, and telling Nanay Melba that they save for my eye treatment. And yes, they told me how they found me but they said they couldn’t describe my mother. In fact, they said they don’t even know her name.
Throughout my school years, Nanay Melba patiently brought me to the Philippine National School for the Blind in Pasay and fetched me afterwards. And yes, I know this also costs more than studying in an ordinary school, but my parents didn’t mind at all. I can imagine how tough they should work just to send me there. As far as I know, I finished high school without receiving a single centavo from my mom, and not even hearing her voice.
Every night when I was young, I always ask the same questions. Was my arrival a huge obstruction for my mom to reach her dreams? Was I not as cute as the other babies? Was she too busy that she didn’t even bother to give me a name? But thanks to someone up there who provided all the answers. It’s just funny that I was old enough and got tired of asking. Maybe because I already accepted that my mom has an iron heart.
Come September 1991, my parents told me the best news I ever heard. Someone was kind enough to donate eyes to me. I had never been so nervous, imagining seeing for the first time. Three months later, the operation was done and yes, it was successful. My parents told the donor would not want to be identified, but I insisted. Although I know she will never hear me, I want to thank her for changing my life.
Five months after the operation, I’m still begging my parents to tell me who the eye donor was. Then, they handed me an old handwritten letter, carefully placed inside a tiny box. The letter has only few sentences but they were enough to send the message I ever wanted to know.
“Kung sino man ang makakapulot sa anak ko, sana mahalin nyo siya parang tunay nyong anak. Isa akong teenager na estudyante ako na ni-rape ng aking tatay. Huwag na huwag nyo itong sasabihin sa kanya. Salamat.”
(To whoever shall get my child, I hope you love her like your own. I’m a young student and was raped by my own father. Please don’t ever tell this to her. Thank you.)
I learned that my “Iron Mom” gave birth to me when she was 16. She started searching for me after her father died, two years later. He was killed while escaping from the police for a separate case. My mom’s mother couldn’t take what happened to me, and was brought to a mental hospital. My mom is the only child.
But because we moved to another place, my mother only found me when I was already in high school after asking information from the administration of the school for the blind. She met secretly with my parents and gives them money for my needs. She married six years after I was born, but she could not tell her husband about her dark past.
My parents told me my mom supported me financially without telling her other five children. They told me she decided not to introduce herself to me because she thinks it would be better for me. Nevertheless, she regularly sees me in school and she knows where I live. In fact, Nanay Melba told me my mom was present during my 18st birthday simple celebration. She didn’t give me a gift, though.
But in 1988, she was diagnosed with diabetes. When she got bedridden, she told her family everything about me. Before she died, she requested that her eyes be given to me.
I am now a mother of four wonderful kids, and will be a grandmother next month. My architect husband is a good provider and loves me very much. Every month, I visit my mother’s grave, especially on Mother’s Day.
But this year, it is very special. I’m will be celebrating my 50th birthday! Hope my “Iron Mom” won’t see my grey hair 🙂
Thanks for allowing me to share my story, which I hope you publish this coming May 10, Mother’s Day.
For us here at TN, this story only proves the saying, “Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.”
Happy Mother’s Day!!!