When I was a child, I remember the assurance of knowing that after a day of school or being with friends, my mom would be there, arms wide open, to greet me with her welcoming smile. Her predictable joy was always contagious. A less than perfect day would soon right itself after a conversation with mom, who sat and listened eagerly as if nothing else mattered in the whole world except being there in that moment with me.
If mom was around, everything seemed okay. Home was a happy place. She was committed to being present when my siblings and I were younger, during our most formative and impressionable years, to offer that sense of stability and security that we longed for.
Mom was like the spark in our home. She laughed often and liked to make her funny quips around the dinner table. She was full of love and full of life!
The other day I set aside something for my mom, for Mother’s Day, that I feel is emblematic of who she is. It’s the Lolita Lempicka Collection by Maison Berger.
To me she is so much like the Lolita Lempicka Collection, and the rest of their Lampe Berger and Parfum Berger products in the way they captivate you with their distinctive and charming appearance, and the way they energize, soothe, or bring you the calm you need at the end of a long day, when you are battle-worn and hoping for encouragement.
They are special on the outside, but even more special on the inside because of their unique and enlivening scents, and that’s just like mom to me. Every time I encounter my mom, I am drawn to her beautiful and joy-filled countenance, and when I spend time with her, I am even more blessed by the loveliness she exudes from within.
That’s what my mom is like. She draws me in with her beauty but she blesses me more with the person she is within, someone who thinks about others as more important than herself.
Some years ago, when she dealt with a severe case of dengue which left her horribly weakened, she was still thinking about everyone else but herself. When my husband, Edric, and I arrived at her home to visit her, she tried her best not to act sick, not to make us worry. Making great effort to stand up from her bed while pulling the stand for her IV across the room, she said something like, “Can I get you anything?”
Obviously, she was in no state to do so and we insisted that she rest! But this was so emblematic of her personality, the way she served others.
She’s in her seventies now but she hasn’t changed into a grumpy elderly woman. She’s as vibrant as ever, as if youth and zest for life were immortalized inside her frame. If there was one who has found the secret to happiness, it is my mom. And she tells this secret to everyone she possibly can — on airplanes, in restaurants, in shops, during random occasions where she has someone near her who is a captive audience. She will tell them about her relationship with the Lord, about his love, about the forgiveness and peace he offers to all. More often than not, they believe in what she professes because it is so evident in her. That’s how she passes on what is most important about her, what is within her that spills out and radiates so attractively and contagiously.
When people ask me who my hero is, I always say it is my mother. I can think of no other person I would rather be like and emulate than her. Someday I hope my daughters will say the same about me!