By Karen Galarpe


As I write this, my mom is intently watching a teleserye, squinting through her glasses. At the next commercial break, I know what she’ll do: pick up her crochet kit and resume crocheting something–a bag, a coaster, or a tablecloth–until the teleserye comes back on TV.

Every night, she would do this for as far back as I can remember.

Sometimes I would ask her what crochet project she’s working on. And so she would tell me. But at other times she herself doesn’t know what would come out of it. She’d continue crocheting just the same, much like an abstract artist would continue painting with no idea where it would lead, and be thrilled (or dismayed) at the end result.

I have always wondered why I never took to doing crochet. Just looking at the repetitive motions seems to bore me, and really, I would just rather read, or watch NatGeo or the news.

In the same way, I have always wondered why I never liked mahjong, which my mom has been playing almost every day since I was old enough to go to preschool. I remember playing patintero and tumbang preso at someone’s front yard or backyard while our moms were inside the house, playing their own game.

While my mom follows every teleserye on her favorite TV channel, I can’t stand watching Pinoy drama on TV. After a day of working hard, I really prefer to relax and not delve into the problems of some drama princess on TV.

Clearly, my mom and I are so different.

But we are also so alike.

We both like to eat out, are both morning persons, and like fried rice and salted dried fish for breakfast. We both enjoy sweets and coffee, and like discovering new places. We’re not good swimmers and neither are we good cooks. But we both like Michael Buble, and strongly believe family should always come first.

Some years back, my mom and I would take turns picking up my son from school. Rain or shine, she would be there to make sure my son sees a familiar face at dismissal time on days I’m tied up with work.

Last month, she turned 80. Those years of making sundo from school are long past, with my son in high school and her gait not as strong as before. Her hands may tremble a bit while working on her current crochet project, but she’d continue just the same.

She’s still the same mom I’ve known all these years.

Moms are God’s blessings, don’t you agree?