I called my Mom early this morning to greet her a happy Mother’s day. 2 calls but she was not picking up.

She returned my call an hour after.

My mom hates texting. She uses her phone only to call and answer phone calls. She was using an old Nokia for many years and when it finally broke (sometime last year) Claudia gave her an Iphone. When she saw the Iphone she didn’t like it. “dili ko ana uy! Ka lisod ana gamiton, di ko kasabot! Dili man gani ko kabaw unsaon ni pag abli. English translation: I don’t like it! This is so hard to use and hard to understand. I don’t even know how to open this.”

Ingna si Claudia Nokia na lang Tin. English Translation: tell Claudia I just want a Nokia Tin.

True enough she didn’t know how to use it. My brother Ryan had to tutor her on how to use her phone but even then it took her a few months to be able to make a call or pick up calls without help.

Since she had Viber on her phone my sister Annie added her on our family group chat. After a few days she left the group. Dili ko ana uy saba kaayo! English translation: I don’t like that it’s so noisy!

Apparently her phone would ring every time she gets a message in Viber. And in our group chat we chat non stop. Day and night. So her phone would not stop ringing and she said she can’t sleep.

I told Annie: why don’t you put her phone on mute? And my sister said she wouldn’t be able to hear if we call her. So, we left it like that.

Every time I would send her a message in Viber I would also send the exact message to Annie and tell Annie to tell Mom I sent her a message in Viber. It was like that since last year. All of us are frustrated becos she refuses to learn. Especially my siblings abroad since they’re the ones who needs to message her more often.

Until recently (maybe 3 weeks ago) we noticed that she would already reply to our texts. It started with small messages.

Okay. Thank you. I got it, etc. That kind of small messages.

“Haven’t you notice Mom knows how to text already?” I was so excited I told everyone in our group chat. And my sister Susan said “ya and she replies right away!”

Recently she has been texting us longer. Like she’s writing a letter. And she would end her message with: Love, Mom

Ever since she’s been texting us I remembered my Mom and I used to write letters to each other and I remember she writes well. I have forgotten that part of her.

When I moved to Manila we would write each other a lot. There was no internet yet at that time and our only mode of communication were long distance calls (which was expensive) and letters. Can you just imagine how many letters we wrote to each other?

I kept all her letters and the letters from my sisters. I have one big box full of their letters.

The other day I took my box and read some of the letters. I had to stop reading because first, it was a lot, and second I couldn’t stop crying.

I couldn’t take it. She would always end her letter with “I miss you a lot. I wish you were back home. Love, Mom”

I was reading about those times when I was no longer living at home and it brought back memories. Some sad and some happy.

It also brought me back to the time when I was still in grade school and I found out my Mom had a diary. I would steal her diary every now and then and read it in the bathroom. I would cry non stop every time I read her diary. It was painful but I was too young to understand her pain. But even then as young as I was, it made me cry.

How did she survive it? I can’t, for the life of me, imagine how she went through life and came out whole.

My sisters and I were laughing the other day cos she sent a message to my sister Susan and the emojies that she used were not relevant to her message. A rocket, 3 boats and a train. With all the emojies she can choose from she chose trains, rockets and boats! And when my sister replied to her message with a thumbs up emojie, she replied: oh, how nice!

She’s learning. One day she will get there.

My Mom, Diana.