Mother’s Day this year arrived while Tony and I were away—in California visiting son #2 and family.
No big deal really. As I’ve written often enough, my family does not often communally celebrate national or international events on the day they happen. Sometimes we celebrate it a week before or after. If we forget, we do it one day in the year, if at all.
Celebration for me, for us, is praise and gratitude to God for a milestone or other, and this can take place in one’s heart, minus the bells and whistles. We must be simple folks.
In California this year, the women’s group of my son’s home church had a special gathering on the eve of Mother's Day. My daughter-in-law, G, an active member of the group, invited me to attend. I was ready to be pleasantly surprised.
And I was.
We were the only Filipinos in the crowd of about 140, but around our table were two American ladies who resided and went to school in the Philippines while their father served as a missionary there. Small world. One of the Christian writers (an American), with whom I share a publisher, is their close family friend.
Special prizes for games, trivia questions, and other stuff got us all laughing. Then the emcee asked, “We have a prize for someone who came from the farthest place.”
Someone raised her hand, “Arizona.”
G nudged me, “Mommy, stand up!”
The emcee asked, “Where are you from?”
“Philippines.” Guess who got the applause and prize?
We had quiche, croissant, cheese, fruits, and some other western staples. A gift for each one was a paper teapot with tea bags in it. And as I met new friends, I thought of my own women’s group in my church back home, probably sharing pancit, lumpia and kakanin, an all-Filipino fare.
These all-American mothers in California and the all-Filipino mothers in the place where I live mount events differently. But we have one thing in common: faith in one God, whose borderless grace crosses all barriers of race, language, and coastline.
“From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.” Acts 17:26 (NIV)