I always have these thoughts about knowing our parents. Sure we know them as our parents, what kind of parents they are, but I often wondered what kind of people they are outside of parenthood. You know, what kind of people they are on the context of just being human.
I mean, how many of us know our parents outside of them being our parents?
Last April 1, the whole family went to the big city to give Mother Goose a dose of moral support for she was chosen by her former school to be their guest speaker for their CAT graduation.
I forgot what CAT means now but before it was Citizen’s Army Training. You know, ROTC for high school students. Mother Goose was their former CAT Commandant before we migrated to the mountains of Bataan LOL and she was their BEST CAT Commandant ever to this day, not coming from me at all.
It was a very special day for me because I saw Mother Goose in a new light. I saw her as a person, as a friend, as a teacher, as a mentor, and even as a lover to Don Domeng, and my golly she was good, very good.
Would you believe that, after 16 years of being away from that place, all of her co-teachers still love her to pieces, like she was just there yesterday? Their friendship to me looked like a cheesy TV soap opera that just got a break because of some commercial only to pick up where it left. When she gave her message on that event, she mentioned all of her friends who were still there teaching, and applauded their efforts from way before to this day, how they had helped her, how they had inspired her, and how they had loved her.
Would you believe that after 16 years of being away from that place, her students, now successful people with lives of their own, still came to that graduation ceremony just to see her, to see how she was, to reminisce the good old days with her? Oh wow. Now I know she was one hell of a teacher and the cards and letters my students gave me compared nothing to the fact that her students love Mother Goose and has almost placed her on a pedestal after 16 years of absence, I think even more than 16 years. I was only away from my students for a month, I think. Of course I do not underestimate the love of my students. I am just saying that it is far from 16 years of sweat, tears, and so much love that Mother Goose shared with her troops back then.
Don’t get any false ideas though, as a mentor she was tough, no make that brutal. CAT then was at its peak so the military training Mother Goose and her CAT cadets and cadettes underwent was immense. They trained in Fort Bonifacio with the rest of Commandants and officers in Metro Manila. At that training, Mother Goose was awarded Best Commandant, leaving her competitors way behind. I remember what Arthur said on that day, her first ever Corps Commander, “Itong pinagtatayuan ng covered court na to, dito kami pinapagapang ng Mama mo hanggang sa napatag na tong lupa. Those were the golden days [Your mother made us snakecrawl on this same ground where this covered court stands. Our bodies were the ones who made the ground flat and even].”
Mother Goose was at the peak of her career the moment she resigned. It was like Manny Pacquiao retiring after beating the hell out of Marco Antonio Barerra. Her then principal never accepted her resignation though, only thought strongly that Mother Goose was on a long leave even when the principal knew that of course, Mother Goose was never coming back to teach. She did it for us, for the whole family. Now that is sacrifice that never stopped there. Day after day, I see how much Mother Goose gives selflessly to us. I am not sure I can do as much as that ever because believe me, Mother Goose invented the word ‘super Mom’.
After resigning, Mother Goose never taught again because she left a promise to her former school that she would be forever loyal to them, that she was leaving not to find another school to teach but for her family. She kept that promise to this day.
I was very proud of her that day, Don Domeng too, as he was telling me stories of ‘way-back-then’ while the program goes on.
My only regret was that I never saw her teach during her prime. I am hell sure I would have drooled all over in amazement.