The Day Mom Died

Mom's EID MILAD is on October 20.

The pain of her loss is still in my heart but I need to live with it.

Losing a mother as supportive and caring as my mom is a constant wound that will never heal.

Oh, how I wish I could still hug her. Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji'un (Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return).

Here is an old article I wrote for her. It narrates the painful experience I had upon knowing that my beautiful and loving mother was sick of cancer and would soon depart from our lives.

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The Day Mom Died

She was the wind beneath my wings, always the positive voice in my soul that I found refuge when I was troubled and stressed.

Whenever she would sensed that I was not well, she would lie beside me in my bed and comfort me with inspiring words.

How could I ever forget my late beautiful mother, Bai Saada Bajunaid Candao?

My words will never be enough to describe her greatness.

My words will never be enough.

I still vividly remember the day I lost her. I stood in my room, motionless after I received a phone call that I was to hurry to the hospital for mommy wanted to see me as soon as possible.

It was my second day at home after I took a break from taking care of her since the first day of her confinement.

My heart was beating fast, keeping my mind open to positive development.

Thinking that she was on the road to recovery and that soon, In Sha Allah, she would be home with us.

Deeply I prayed that a good news was waiting for us, then. I and my siblings, including dad were suffering in silence.

We tried to show her a brave front but we were all dying inside with her. T

The agony of knowing that I was about to lose my best friend and the best mom in the world was more excruciating than my sleepless days and nights attending to her personal needs while she was in the hospital.

Daddy wanted to get a private nurse but she rejected the idea, even saddened by the thought that I would be away from her in a short period of time.

Perhaps, she knew that her days were numbered. If I would have the chance to do it all over again, nothing can stop me from spending all my remaining days for mom.

I loved every moment I spent with her then. Although I lost weight, mentally bothered and spiritually grieving because of her impending loss, I cherish those moments that I was with her.

The hard part was having to show a brave face even if I was crying inside. How could I live without a mom? I arrived in the hospital after a few minutes and rushed to her room for I was too eager to hug and kiss her forehead and to tell her how beautiful she was.

I could not wait so I did not notice that I already passed by the nurse station and unmindful of their empty stare.

As if they wanted to tell me that no one is waiting for me inside the room.

I opened the door of my mom's hospital room and my eyes were fixed on her bed. She was not there and there was a sharp pain in my heart, knowing the obvious but I kept telling myself that she was still okay and I would be able to kiss her once again.

I told myself that probably she was in the x-ray room. The answer came after I noticed my late uncle, Bapa Abdulkadir Candao, seated beside her bed with tears in his eyes.

He was trying to avoid me but I still wanted to know where mom was. My heart beat faster and I began to feel that I was catching my breath.

Although I knew what he wanted to say, I did not wait for his answer anymore and went to the nurse station and asked the nurses instead.

One of them told me that mommy was in the emergency room. The tears in my eyes blurred my steps as I walked to where mom was.

I needed to be strong but I felt too helpless even to convince myself that I must not cry. I couldn't breathe. I needed to see mom. I needed to hug her.

As I was approaching the emergency room, my family members were staring blankly at me. I was unmindful of who was there. In my mind, I just wanted mommy and no one else.

Then, I went to daddy and he whispered that mommy was gone. I could sense that he was trying to be brave like me but losing a loved one is like losing your own life. It will never be easy for us to accept that our revered QUEEN in the family will no longer be with us.

I whispered to myself "Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Rajeon" (We surely belong to Allah and to Him we shall return).

I shivered and felt weak as if my world came crashing in on me. I could not breathe so I had to move away from my family and walked without direction inside the premises of the hospital.

Suddenly I saw an empty corner and stood there as if I was suspended in space. I leaned on the wall, trying to gather the remaining strength in me.

Nobody could seem to comfort me for my soul seemed to have escaped out of my body. I felt so weak that my legs gave up, which made me sat down on the floor with my back against the wall.

I cried silently, painfully, so excruciatingly. As if I was lost in an unknown world. I used to be living in the comfort of mommy's love. But where is she now? The truth was killing me at that point in my life for she was always the first one to comfort me when she was alive.

I heard voices talking to me but I was lost in my own pain. I felt someone's hands lifted me up and guided me to the emergency room of the hospital where mommy's body was laid down.

I begged the nurses to allow me to see mommy for the last time. They pitied me and consented for a few minutes. I saw her body fully covered with white cloth, lifeless.

Not the same lively mother who would always smile for all her children. A mother whose arms were always open to embrace us. Tearful and weak, I slowly walked to her direction and I whispered prayers into her ears and hugged her silently careful that not a drop of my tears will fall on her.

That was the last moment I had with my mother. Mom was my idol for her strength and demeanor.

She brought me my favorite stuff whenever she visited me during my vacation breaks in college. She was always beaming with pride whenever she introduced me to her friends.

If I could only just swap my life with hers then I would be happy to die to see her live. But the Almighty Allah (SWT) has a reason for everything.

Mommy did not know then that I was dying inside. My monthly period was delayed for many months since the time she was diagnosed by her physician that she had cancer of the uterus. I could not sleep and eat well from then on. There were moments in the hospital that I had to hide my tears from her.

Using the excuse that I need to go to the comfort room, but actually, I was crying my heart out inside.

Then when I was done, I would hug her tenderly, careful not to cause her pain because a slight touch could hurt her after her body was devoured by cancer cells.

She noticed my red eyes and asked me why. My only reply was a kiss on her forehead and a lousy joke which she managed to give a laugh at despite the physical pain she had to endure.

I felt my soul was being squeezed and I wanted to yell but I could not. I knew then that her cancer had spread ninety-nine percent to her internal organs but I was still optimistic that she would make it.

I secretly talked to her physician about her recovery rate. They told me there is no more chance for her. But despite that information, I read books on her ailment and researched on other forms of alternative medication.

She was a very strong woman for not once she yelled because of her excruciating pain. Her character was impressive, strong and graceful till the end.

She resigned her fate to Allah (SWT ) and her only wish was to leave on the day of FRIDAY.

For us Muslims, it is the holiest day of the week. Dear Allah (SWT) answered her prayers. I remember when the nurses had to extract a blood sample from her for laboratory tests, she held my arm tightly and I knew then that she was in pain but I heard no complaints from her at all.

At that time all I wanted was to free her from physical pain for it was killing me seeing her suffer. Cancer is a very painful disease but my beautiful mother never made us feel that.

She was an unextraordinary lady. As I write this article, my tears cloud my vision. Mommy was my life then and until now. Mommy never left us nor entrusted us to the care of other people. She never traveled far from us.

In fact, when I had to leave Cotabato City after my high school graduation to study in Manila, she cried a lot but I assured her that I would always keep in touch.

Mommy's death was traumatic for me. She was my closest confidante and she understood me more than myself. 

I missed her being there for me for she listened to me anytime of the day. She was the best mother for an unpredictable daughter like me.

Her motherly touch could help me feel well whenever I was emotionally down. Mommy died many years ago but the pain is still as fresh as the moment when death took her away from us. I miss her more and more each day.

Millions of mothers in the world are as loving as my mommy. Please never waste a single moment to show love to your mother and express gratitude for her love and attention.

Mommy raised us well with her impressive reputation as a woman of elegance and substance. What was impressive of my late mother was her ability to neutralize me despite my natural unpredictability. She and dad loved me unconditionally.

Mommy will live in our hearts for only when we forget her will she really be gone.

The most touching memory of her last days in the hospital was my birthday. In the early morning of my natal day, while I was still half-asleep at her bedside, mommy quietly whispered 'happy birthday' to me. She woke me up with a soft and loving voice singing me 'happy birthday'.

Despite the physical and psychological suffering I had to bear for mommy, the thought of being able to show her how much I loved her was the only thing that matters to me then.

Mom's recovery was the only thing in my mind. All I wanted then was to see her well again even if it means giving my life in exchange for her survival.

Mom's voice though faint and weak while singing me the birthday song was full of love. When I looked up, I saw her smile.

I kissed her and told her how much I love her. She cupped my face with her both hands and looked into my eyes, saying, "Do not worry Bai, wherever I would be, you and your siblings would always be in my prayers. Thank you for taking care of me." 

I recalled myself telling these to her: "Mommy, If I could trade my life for yours, I am willing to die anytime just to see you live." She smiled and sang in a whisper.."Happy birthday to you.."


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