Thank you, brave mom – Carina Bayne!
The following is the second installment for my tribute to her on Mother’s Day.
Part II: The Middle
The US military did eventually station my Dad in Long Beach. Mom’s citizenship was granted with the marriage. However, my Dad made a promise to return Mom back to the Philippines within 5 years to visit as condition of having the blessing of the union.
The 70’s was still a tumultuous time for the amount of civil unrest throughout the United States.
Can you imagine uprooting your entire existence, move to another country, that you barely speak the language, but look relatively like a person that the US Military is embroiled in a foreign, controversial conflict with? You either must be crazy or brave. So thank you, brave mom! I wouldn’t exist without your bravery against the harshest circumstances. Eventually, and luckily, Dad and Mom moved up north to Washington State in the Green Lake area.
Then my mom was soon pregnant with yours truly, and I arrived in 1976 … just in time for the USA’s bicentennial year. The conflict in Vietnam was technically over, and my Dad was honorably discharged from the Navy.
My Dad was able to buy a house in the burgeoning city of Mountlake Terrace. That’s where our tiny, yet growing family would settle down for the next 20 plus years.
At one point, when I was young, my Mom was grocery shopping at the local Safeway. An older woman waltzed up to the very cart I was seated, and started pushing it away to abduct me! My Mom saw what was happening, and then jumped in front the cart. As it crashed into her small frame (5’1″, maybe 100 lbs or so), she started screaming and pointing obscenities at the would-be abductor. She hastily got up, and pushed the woman away, snatched me out of the cart, and placed me behind as she charged after the woman to shoo her away with the threat to call the police.
Thank you, brave mom!
Without her bravery fused with her maternal instinct to protect her young, I would have been sold to the highest bidder? Heaven only knows, and I’m thankful I didn’t find out.
Part III: The End
For as long as I could remember my Mom experienced bouts of excruciating pain in the abdominal area that would send her into the bathroom. What I didn’t realize was that it was unsafe amount of time to be spent in the bathroom, and her migraines were debilitating. My Mom’s threshold for pain was one of the highest I’ve ever witnessed – thank you, brave mom. So when she finally had enough of the pain, Dad and her made an appointment for a medical assessment.
Based on the assessment of the symptoms that she described, and the medical professional, the decision was made to seal up an ulcer in her stomach lining. Before I knew it, the day of the operation came and I had to work, as I was denied the time off.
Then I received a call at my desk from my Dad. It was brief. “Los, come home right now. Mom’s back from the surgery. We have bad news for you.” My Dad’s bedside manner is less than desired.
As we were all gathered up, Dad explained that while the doctors did slice Mom open to address the ulcer they discovered over 1,500 small tumors on all major organs. A cancerous tumor located between the esophagus and stomach had metastasized over the past 3-5 years. Mom sat quietly while Dad did all the explaining. Imagine being explained your death sentence, and not have one tear in front of your family is impressive internal bravery – thank you, brave mom!
I could continue to detail her bravery for the next 76 days of life, but I won’t. That’s something I’ll keep to myself. That’s not my point. My point is that I’m hoping when it’s my time to pass that I’ll be able to summon and show that type of bravery.
Thank you, brave mom! I’ve missed you the past 20 years, as I’ll continue miss you until we can meet up again.
Until next time, be good like you should and if you can’t good, be good at what you do!
Mic drop *bOoM*