Besides my own mother whom I call “Mom”, there’s Mommy, who is really my friend Jude’s mom.
I just realized I didn’t know her name until she died last Sunday.
You may have seen her at Fat Michael’s Place many years ago or at The Frazzled Cook sitting on the couch and reading the paper. She may have given you the paper if she sensed you were interested in it.
I was in bed in Tokyo, when I got a text from Jude that said, “Are you awake?”
Jude never texts in the morning.
Thank God for Viber, which I’d installed only a few days ago.
I spoke to Jude for 28 minutes and found out Mommy died at home at night after a headache and vomiting.
She was pronounced dead on arrival at the nearest hospital. There were no tubes, no blood. She died a kind death.
There was no autopsy.
That day I struggled to think what is Mommy’s name and couldn’t figure it out. That’s because when I met her, she instantly warmed up to me. And I said to her, “What do I call you, tita?”
“Call me Mommy,” she said.
And so I called her Mommy.
Would you believe she never had to dye her hair?
She loved Olay, which I gladly supplied her with.
She walked to church daily and was a devotee of Our Lady.
She had a few close calls with death. I remember visiting her in the hospital.
Last Christmas she gave the boys plush toys, which they called Wrinkles and Monty.
Whenever I had an extra heavy problem, I would ask her to pray for me. And she would say, “I pray for you everyday.”
Every time I saw her she would greet me with a hug. When I left she would say, “I love you anak.”
I had to remind myself not to compliment her on her wardrobe, because the last time I said she had a cute jacket on, she took it off and gave it to me.
When Mommy died, Jude found a piece of paper she had scribbled on.
It read: “If and when I die, I would like to inform my or our friends and relatives…”
I was touched to see my name and Jeroen’s at number 2.
On the day she died, Jeroen passed by the wake at Loyola in Guadalupe and sent me this photo.
Now I know her name.
When I arrived at NAIA on Monday night, I went straight to the funeral parlor.
I was relieved that Mommy looked so beautiful in her Vivienne Tam dress.
“I’m so glad you took care of her,” I told Jude.
I don’t need to wax poetic about Mommy. She knows I love her and I know she loves me.
P.S. Jude mentioned a woman named Chary Lagdameo who would pick up Mommy to go to church every Sunday.
We have been trying to contact her before Mommy’s cremation on Saturday. We don’t want Mrs. Lagdameo to pass by on Sunday to find out Mommy is gone.
If any one of you should know her, please tell Mrs. Lagdameo about Naty Mancuyas.