Because of You


Because of you, I yearn to be alive.
Because of you, ‘till death (you) must realize.
In my heart I know there is only you.
And ask my heart, you’ll know that this is true.

Ang hirap at pasakit, ng pusong umiibig (Tagalog): The pain and sorrows from love arise

Each time I say goodbye to my mother

I don’t know if I will see her again.

This old Filipino song, “Because of You”, is a love song I sing with my mother during moments when it is just me and her, perhaps outside on the porch, under a flowering tree, sharing a quiet moment.

Her petite frame sinks in her wheelchair, her hands folded.

Her head is slumped, her neck at an angle

Underneath her mop of grey hair

She turns her eyes to look at me.

She mouths the words to the song, her voice a whisper.

I try to recall the few Tagalog words I know of this sog, “Dahil Sayo”. Because of you.

Because of you I have learned to love.

Because of you we share this moment, you gazing up at me

the way you once gazed down at me when you held in your arms.

I was so dependent on you for life, for love, for nourishment.

Now the opposite is true.

You depend on me for it all.

The burden breaks my heart.

I return to see you in the adult home the next evening.

You say, “Hello, Vina.”

I play a memory game with you, knowing all is lost.

“What’s my last name?” I ask.

You answer, “Beautiful.”

Only mom sees me as I hope to be seen

Only mom see me like that, only some sees the past, all into me as I was a child

I hope each one of us knows this kind of love

Where all is seen from the heart

From the past to present.

To who you really are.

I lead you to the end of the path

To the edge of eternity

to the vanishing point, olam, in Hebrew.

I lead you to the end of the path

My feet still grounded on this earth.

My path still leading my own children.

And soon, grandchildren.


Do I see you child

For who you really are?

Past my expectations.

How do I measure your worth

Or mine as a parent?

Do I really see you child

Your heart, who you were made to be?

Not who this world says you are

But who you truly are.

A voice.

A song.

A star shining in the universe, holding out the word of life.

A star that shines, a light to others.

Mom that is who you have been to me.

Let me be that kind of mother to my children.

To let go and let them be who they truly are.

Who they have been created to be.

To be a voice, a song of all that is beautiful in this world.

Because of love.

Because of you.



Vina Mogg
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