A Mother’s Day Story: A Widowed Mom’s Journey of Strength and Self-Compassion

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A Mother’s Day Gift to Remember

In the small town of Daraga, Albay, Dona Marie Marcayda-Loveres, a 39-year-old public school teacher, still cherishes the most precious Mother’s Day gift she received from her two sons in 2020. The heartfelt gesture of her boys, aged 8 and 9 at the time, left a lasting impression on her.

They approached her with a handwritten card and two makeshift envelopes, carefully secured with tape. As she opened them, she discovered money neatly folded inside the bond paper. Her sons had willingly given her their savings as a gift, so she could buy food for them.

Overwhelmed with emotion, Dona Marie recalls how she cried upon realizing that even at such a young age, her sons understood the family’s struggles. It was a poignant moment that highlighted the strength and compassion of her children.

A Bittersweet Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day has always been a bittersweet experience for Dona Marie. Since becoming a widow in 2014 after her husband’s death from bacterial meningitis, the hallmark day brings a wave of nostalgia. She remembers her late husband as a remarkably simple man who always made the day special.

Her husband would ask her if she preferred flowers or groceries, and he would cook a special dish for them to enjoy together. They would spend the entire day at home, cherishing each other’s company. He was a man of service and a true family man.

The Solo Journey of Parenthood

Forced into the solo journey of parenthood with two toddlers, aged 2 and 3, while pursuing her education degree, Dona Marie faced numerous challenges. Juggling her time between taking care of her kids, doing school work, working as a private tutor, and selling various items to earn money was no easy task. All the while, she was grieving for her spouse.

Assuming the role of both mother and father proved to be the most daunting challenge for Dona Marie. When her children were young, she would tell them, “Papa will go out now to buy the things that you need,” when she went to work. And when she returned home, she would say, “Mama is here now to take care of you.” It was a bittersweet reminder of the absence of their father.

Wrestling with Guilt

One of the greatest struggles for Dona Marie was wrestling with the gnawing guilt of being unable to provide everything she believed her children needed. However, over the years, she has learned that having a proper mindset and practicing self-compassion can help alleviate these feelings of inadequacy.

She congratulates herself for small wins, such as being able to juggle private tutoring sessions after a day’s work at school and still finding time to assist her sons with their homework. These moments of fulfillment remind her that she is doing her best as a mother.

A Mother’s Dedication

Now that her sons are on the cusp of their teen years, Dona Marie makes it a priority to be available for them. Despite the challenges, she juggles her responsibilities as a public school teacher, running a private tutorial class, and managing a layout and printing business.

Celebrating Mother’s Day is always a joyous occasion for Dona Marie. Her boys never fail to express their admiration for her strength. The cards they prepare for her are filled with words of love and gratitude, serving as a testament to the deep bond they share.

A Beacon of Hope for Widowed Moms

As the world pays tribute to mothers worldwide, Dona Marie’s inspiring journey serves as a beacon of hope for widowed moms navigating the unique challenges of solo parenting. Her story reminds us that even in the face of adversity, there is always someone who will light our way.

Life may not always be greener on this side, but our children have the power to make it brighter. Believing in ourselves and never forgetting to pray can help us find strength and overcome any obstacles that come our way.

When asked how she was able to make it through, Dona Marie proudly attributes her strength to being raised by a very strong mother. The resilience and determination she learned from her own mother have guided her on her journey as a solo parent.

Don’t forget to appreciate the strength and love of the mothers in your life, not just on Mother’s Day, but every day. Their dedication and sacrifices deserve recognition and gratitude.

Source: The Manila Times

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