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A mother's warmth never fades

Her live-in partner left Carmelita when Michael was only four. She had her doubts from the very start since their relationship was a bit shaky. Nonetheless, she fulfilled her role as a mother despite being financially burdened and emotionally disturbed. Solrac Dawal/Philippine STAR

Her live-in partner left Carmelita when Michael was only four. She had her doubts from the very start since their relationship was a bit shaky. Nonetheless, she fulfilled her role as a mother despite being financially burdened and emotionally disturbed.

Devastated at first, she found uncomplicated tasks such as household chores to be her refuge and distraction, and after recovering, she turned her undivided attention to Michael’s security and well-being.

She worked hard everyday until she saved enough money to afford college fees for Michael, for he was the only reason that kept her going in an otherwise arduous grind. Until she was enticed by her former boss, a store owner, pretending to be some kind of civil engineer, to give her hard-earned money to him with the promise of gaining it back with interest. Sadly, it turned out to be a malicious scam, and all her hopes vanished into thin air.

Life was never easy for her and her son. Despite all of that, her persistent determination and motherly love ensured that she would never falter in the face of adversity.

No matter the odds, Carmelita was stubborn to the bone. It is second nature to her. Life has to go on, she looked back, without reliving the past. She always remembers her failures but is never trapped in the agony of defeat.

Fortunately, she and Michael found a job at a carinderia. Though the pay was not much, it was enough to feed them three times a day, to pay for the rent, and the job was not boring at all. The little carinderia is flocked with different kinds of people, with different personalities and just enough humor to entertain her for the day.

Now retired from her daily routine of working in the carinderia, Carmelita seeks to find comfort in the simplicity of her life, and even in the toughest of times, she never forgets God above – to pray for forgiveness and good health, not just for herself, but for her son.

She also has a certain fondness for cats and dogs. “It eases the loneliness I feel sometimes,” noting that her pets were merely rescued from the streets, some homegrown after being adopted.

Now that Michael is already 30 years old, Carmelita’s love and genuine concern for her son has not wavered nor abated. Instead, it has only become stronger, for she realizes that life is so precious. The simple moments, the quiet laughter, and the bond she has with the person who is most important to her could perish any given time.

She is physically aging, yes, but the connection between her and Michael will never fade – it is an ageless, maternal warmth. 

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