Tomorrow (Sept. 4, 2018) is my Mom’s 6th death anniversary.  Josefina ‘Josie’ Roxas Pagalilauan would have been 73 years old. 

Young Mom

My Mom married at a very young age. Guess my Dad was so smitten that he made sure of having her immediately by his side. At 18 years old and out of school, Mom gave birth to my Kuya (elder brother).   A year after that, I was born. I have 2 sisters and 3 brothers. Imagine what she went through raising all six of us! One would think that a delicate young lady like her could not do a good job managing a family but she proved everyone wrong. We all turned out fine, thank goodness!

Mom and Dad's wedding photo
Mom & Dad’s original and restored wedding photo. (September 24, 1961)

Good Life

Sans a college diploma, my Mother had a good life. My Dad provided well for the family. He made sure that we will be fed and sent to school. My Mom’s other sisters also married young. It must have been the norm back then. Totally different from today’s generation – with the so-called Millennials where career is their topmost priority. Maybe that’s why singles now outnumber the married ones.  Back then my Aunts would tell my Mom how lucky she was as a wife and mother. Of how she’s financially stable and how her children contribute to her happiness by spoiling her with her requests.

But life is not at all perfect. They also had bad times as a couple which is normal. What matters most is that they were able to manage and moved on. Imagine reaching 50 years of marriage? Cool.

Sealed with a kiss-again after 50 years. (June 2011)

During their 50th wedding anniversary which we celebrated in advance. The same church (Our Lady of Sorrows, Pasay City) where they gave their original vows.

All six present! Henry, Jennifer, Hector, Hazel, Joness and Joyce with Josie & Nes 

The Shock of Our Lives

Back in 2010, we noticed that our Dad was losing weight fast. To our knowledge, that means something is wrong. And we were right. He was diagnosed with 3rd stage colon cancer. We were so devastated and worried more for our Mom. We hoped and prayed that we will all get through with the tragedy together and stand strong. We all continued life as normal as possible until the year 2012. My Mom noticed her stomach is much larger than normal and sought out her doctor’s advice. She was told that she has advanced liver cirrhosis-a complication from her Diabetes.

To cut the story short, my Mom passed away before my Dad and that was the biggest shock of our lives. We thought she’ll be with us much longer but sadly, no. Family, relatives, neighbors and friends were all in disbelief.


After six long years, I still yearn and long for my Mom. How I wish I could hear her voice again, hug her and sing again to my number one fan. Honestly, I am so jealous of my friends who still have their Moms. It’s not easy losing a parent, most especially a Mother. We all eventually learned to live without her but to this day, it still hurts so badly. So in her honor, I am writing this story. I know she is smiling from above. I love and miss you so much Mommy, Mudrakel, Mommshie! Till we meet again.