Wednesday, May 11, 2005

12 red roses

Dennis, my half-brother, is 13 years older than me. Despite the age gap, we’ve become really close and it never felt like we were “half”. He had a huge influence in my life. It was he who taught me how to play the family computer and it wasn’t just Super Mario, Mappy or Popeye. We played the boys’ games – Battle City, Galaga, F1 race, and later, Tekken, Gran Turismo and the like. We’d watch basketball games, refuse to believe Wrestlemania was scripted, and monitor F1 races rooting for Mika Hakkinen. When I was younger, my brother would take me for a ride in his trusty motorcycle every night after dinner, and we’d come home late, much to our mom’s distress.

He is my confidant, my friend, and my most loyal supporter whenever I come in conflict with my parents. My brother would always bail me out when our parents would punish me. He or my dad would bring me to McDonald’s sometimes so I wouldn’t incur any more of my mother’s wrath (part and parcel of motherly love, they would appease me). And when I was too young to reason out to Mom or Dad, my brother was my voice.

I miss him so much. My brother passed away in September 2000. He was 31 years old, barely four months into his marriage and his wife was 4 months pregnant when he figured in a tragic motorcycle accident.

I really missed my brother when I had a falling out with my mom days before mother’s day. That was a huge fight and things could have been easier had my brother been there to make things ok and to straighten out things for us. On the eve of mother’s day this year (7 May), my mom dreamt of my brother. He went to our house as he usually does during special occasions, and gave mom a bouquet of red roses. That was a first, though. In his lifetime, my brother never really spent much on flowers for our mom as he was very practical and the last time our mom received a bouquet was when dad was courting her. The most she got after her marriage were 3 red roses.

When mom woke up the next morning, on the dining table were 12 red roses beautifully arranged and held together by a huge ribbon. No, the roses were not from my brother. It’s no Nginiiiiiiig moment.

The roses were from me. I am not known to be the sentimental daughter and it took a lot of guts for me to do this. I’d usually buy a gift from some department store, have it wrapped and accompanied by a greeting card, or if not, I’d just give mom some shopping money. But the night before, I happened to be at a mall where there were a group of flower vendors. My dad was late to pick me up so I decided to take a stroll and look at the flowers. For some reason, I was swayed to buy a dozen of them for my mom. Even my dad was surprised. My dedication read:

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!
Thank you for everything.
You just think you’re not appreciated
but you are. Love you.

Love, Dad, JOY, Jenna, and Kuya Dennis

It just melted her heart. And what made it more special was that Kuya was part of it. Seeing the look on my mom’s face was more than enough to make me happy. That was an affirmation that no matter how much we disagree sometimes, my Mom loves me and she knows how much I love her.
Amazing how God really works. And thanks, Kuya, for the help.