Thursday, July 10, 2008

MY MOTHER-IN-LAW: A PRELUDE TO AN ODE

IN THE BEGINNING

I chanced to meet my MIL or Mother-In-Law for the first time when my buddy, turned boyfriend, turned husband brought me to their house one Saturday afternoon for some sound tripping. I was the usual rose among the thorns, though I was treated by the boys more like their gardener. She stopped by the sala from the kitchen to ask for my name and proceeded to her room. That was it! From the very beginning I found her very practical and straight-forward... "I do not know you, what's your name?" I feel funny remembering the first things altogether. We had a unique history, she and I. But yesterday is yesterday. If I valued her and her opinions before I and my hubby got married, I value her now more. I mean, big time! She has become an inspiration. A woman worthy of an Ode from a DIL... at least from an in-law who can start writing before the other in-laws write theirs.

I am a very forgetful person... where was I again? Oh! Here, trying to compose a Prelude [before the Ode]. I could have written an article about her long before we became close because I got good things to say about her even then. But, I did not have the guts to write for someone who is so well-versed in any form of literary composition. I thought of writing a song instead, but still, good grammar and sound thoughts are required in composing impressive lyrics. Panic attack! However, if I don't start writing, I might start forgetting the things I have been meaning to share with my avid readers (which is -for now -just a few of my internet-connected family members and three friends) about how special she is to me and my nuclear family. She has truly become a special woman to me. Besides, I am not out here to impress her! I think I just want to affect her favorably.

AMAZING COINCIDENCE

Conicidentally, my MIL's name is like a cropped version of ST's names. My MIL's first two letters S & T are obviously the first letters of my daughter's two names, and E, L, L, A are the last 4 letters of her second name. I think this is partly the reason why the two are so specially bonded. STELLA, according to www.thinkbabynames.com, is...

of Latin origin, and its meaning is 'star'. Mostly literary use until the 19th century, when the name became popular. Linked in most minds to the movie "A Streetcar named Desire" (1951), where Marlon Brando bellowed 'Stella played by Kim Hunter!'


Disclaimer: I did not quote this info for the purpose of giving away her approximate age, or to insinuate that I am way too young for not knowing the movie "Streetcar". Yes, I have not watched the Streetcar, and I do not know Marlon Brando or Kim Hunter. However, I just want to share plainly that her name was popular during her parents' time, and probably may have influenced them to give her the name. I do not know really. I do not remember asking her about it. Remember I forget easily?

STELLAR HOME-MAKING

She was indeed the "star"for being the only girl in her family, and maintained her luminous stature up until today for being the ever reliable queen of the kitchen and the rest of the home. "Oh, what will my FIL do without her?!" Such is an exclamation that should be followed by a sigh, then a smile. I had the impression before that my Father-In-Law was the underdog. But being a part of the family for 3 years now, I have witnessed how her sharpness in the things she does especially with regard to managing her home gained props from the family. I realized how wrong my assumption was. He was, all along, the head while she, the neck.

My husband has an array of childhood stories about her mom being overly protective, meticulous, disciplinarian, and other things mothers are for the love of their kids. Now that I am a parent of two beings whom I have yet to know, it is not easy to imagine how difficult it was to raise four equally smart kids with different personalities. She must have had the faith of a staunch hero, not giving up even after knowing that "with great power comes great responsibility." If she knows now how to measure perfectly the ingredients of raising the best kids ever like the way she does with her pasta and saute' dishes, I think she would turn back the time. But, looking at how her kids are, I say God had His hands on this one star.

She really has a way of paving light to our lives in times of difficulty and confusion through her wise, practical counsel. She's a great lola to my kids. Moreso, great in dealing with insect bites, allergy attacks, unsewn hems, trimming pants, hair coloring, hair cut, sanitation, dog grooming, cat feeding, gardening, etc. Name it, she has something for it. I think this is the result of her being a well-read person. In fact, I am a beneficiary of her newspaper cut-outs on remedies, preventions, business opps, weight maintenance and child care. Almost everything important in the household come in handy. I am amazed of how she influenced people in the family to read and improve their lifestyle. Though this is not a religion, I am a self-professed convert, but not as much as the last helper they had. I remember how the teenager Bells once read the paper on the floor while the Shih Tzu's on it. If that is not conversion, I do not know how else to call it.

STAR-FLOODED SKY

It's amazing how my renewed faith in God has enabled me to blend in the household where my MIL is the queen. I feel like a star myself, not for being a lone girl for we are four girls in the family, but mainly because I am the eldest. Eldest child has the reputation of "getting what she wants", the birthright of being a firstborn. As a child, I saw the sky as to where all colored "follow spots" are hung, pointing at me. When I got married to my husband and his family, her domain somewhat moved me to a momentary backstage, another place to see the sky from a different perspective. From there I saw how she performed with or without the spots. God allowed me to see while a wide spectrum of light pass through in her seasons of celebration, sadness, grief, rest, work and play. Then, a realization dawned on me. The spotlights can also be the different colored people who come our way either to shine God's light on us or to dampen our spirit. We may be thankful for the presence of these people, but their presence or absence must not change the fact that there is only one Source of light. That our actions and reactions must not depend on whether there is light, little light or no light at all. I am happy to witness the seasons she goes through, for there I always see God's light.

POSTLUDE

An Ode is supposed to be a lyrical song intended for a chorus. It has to have three parts to be a legitimate Ode: the strophe, the antistrophe, and the epode (Wikipedia). Since it looks like I will need a second wind to gather my thoughts and compose something as meaty as my Prelude, and because I cannot write a demanding piece of art such as an Ode while babysitting, I will have to postpone my entry till next week. And, while you wait, please kindly pray for my dear MIL's health and disposition as she goes through her Autumn.CH


4 chimed in:

ling sharene said...

thank you so very much for your kind words about my (now "our") mommy... :-)

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Posted: Fri Jul 11, 02:30:00 PM 2008

Reflexes said...

hwoow! i love your post...na miss ko tuloy si mommy lulu (my MIL). we're so blessed no!?

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Posted: Fri Jul 11, 08:51:00 PM 2008

Momsie said...

I'm overwhelmed...speechless even. Thank you, I never expected that tribute. :-)


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Posted: Sun Jul 13, 01:23:00 AM 2008

Mymes said...

nice! thank you for loving our mom =)

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Posted: Sun Jul 13, 01:25:00 AM 2008

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