Lourdes Corrales Razon—my kind, gentle, loving mother
Happy Mother’s Day! I was in Florida last year and my children wired flowers. Thanks to bad delivery service, I never got them. What a shame. But it was the thought that counted and I felt the love.
More today than ever, I remember my mother, Lourdes Corrales Razon, kind, gentle, loving. She passed away suddenly when she was only 54. Papa grieved for her until the day he died, 20 years later.
This whole week with my sister has been full of memories of that beautiful woman. Both she and Papa are always part of our long, way-into-the-night conversations. When I think of what it means to be truly in love, they come to mind.
We always talk about Papa’s quick wit and sense of humor. But Mama was funny, too. She, like her sisters, had a naughty side. But she was never mean. I remember her genuine happiness over someone else’s good fortune. She was generous.
Mama believed that there was goodness in every person. Several times, duped even by some friends, it never occurred to her to think otherwise.
I have often wondered what she would have thought about the complications in my life. She was gone before things really fell apart.
I know that she would have been very disappointed. She would have shed copious tears for me and agonized over my decisions.
But, because moms love unconditionally, she would have been in denial, believing I was not capable of such behavior, that it was her fault, that maybe she had failed me.
I think that’s what all mothers do.
And many years later, when time has passed and we have finally resigned ourselves, saying “It is what it is,” some questions will still remain.
It reminds me of a song from the Broadway show “Mame.” Although in the play a mother does not sing it, the lyrics are spot-on. With all due respect to genius lyricist Jerry Herman, allow me to paraphrase a few lines.
“Did he need a stronger hand? Did she need a lighter touch? Was I soft or was I tough? Did I give enough? Did I give too much?
“At the moment that she needed me, did I ever turn away?
“Were the days a little dull? Were his nights a little wild? Did I overstate my plan? Did I stress the man and forget the child?
“Were the years a little fast, was their world a little free? Was there too much of a crowd, all too lush and loud and not enough of me?
“And there must have been a million things that my heart forgot to say. Would I make the same mistakes, if they walked into my life today?”
A wise man once said: Each one must be accountable for his choices and live with the consequences. It is like throwing a pebble in a pond, causing ripples that reach far beyond the spot where the pebble was dropped. You may forget where it went into the water, but remember, it was you who tossed it.
Mama was an exceptionally beautiful lyric soprano, taught at several universities and conservatories of music, and mentored the likes of Conching Rosal, Rosie Farol and Evelyn Mandac, who made a name for herself at the New York Met.
At a recent memorial Mass at ABS-CBN, I met the daughter of Venus Dila, who was one of Mama’s favorite students. I remember that the very pretty petite coloratura used to come to our house for private lessons. Now her daughter Cecile is also a vocal coach and occasionally does backup vocals for my singer son, the grandson of her old “Maestra.” Talk about coming full circle.
What do women want for Mother’s Day? An Atlanta survey recently revealed that an overwhelming majority of American moms and housewives want an escape to a spa for several hours of peace and quiet while being slathered all over with fragrant creams and massaged from head to toe with aromatic oils. But it costs big bucks.
Some would just settle for a little “me time.”
I still remember how back-breakingly tired a mom can get in the US. It is exhausting to run a house and raise a family, often with a job outside the home.
My youngest child lives this kind of a life and I marvel at how she does it all.
There is no time for pampering. And, besides, it costs a fortune.
I had to go to a nail salon soon after I arrived from a week in Las Vegas where there is zero moisture in the air. My hands and feet had taken a beating—dry, cracked, sore.
Reluctantly, I submitted to the hurried ministrations of the Vietnamese girls at Dream Nails. They were sweet. But it’s just not the same. I missed Zeny and her girls in Alabang. They are the best.
Forty-five dollars later, I felt ever so slightly better.
I expected it would happen sooner or later, but the news still came as a delightful surprise.
Nicole and Brody are engaged. She is my 16th grandchild, the firstborn of “my baby” who lives in Florida. They are both a very grown-up 21, have been best friends for eight years and “going steady” the last four.
The big day will be after they are done with college, in December next year. How exciting!
I now have three entries in my 2019 calendar. My birthday, a wedding, and Christmas in Florida! You think? Why not!
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