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Caring for that One Little Candle

Posted by Papa Sez | Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dear Mama Sez,

The day started not as well as it could have and after reflecting on what happened, I would like to let you know how important your light is to our family.

I like the metaphor of you being the light for two reasons: (1) it is a Filipino concept that the mother is the light of a home or "ang ina ang ilaw ng tahanan" and (2) just like a candle melting away to bring light so others might see, you have sacrificed so much to take care of your family to the extent of losing yourself in the process.

While it is true that parenthood entails self-sacrifice for the sake of the children, it is also our duty as parents to take care of ourselves to be able to provide for them their needs- not only in terms of material needs, but more importantly emotional support that can only be provided when we're available for them to touch and to talk to.

This is in line with the P/PC balance we discussed during our coaching sessions, which also coincided with what I just read a couple of hours ago about a dying person reminding his wife that it's okay to take care of herself. I say, it's imperative that you start with yourself before me and our children. It's the same logic as in the instructions given when we ride an airplane. Before take off, we're told that in cases of emergency, we're to put the oxygen mask (and life vest) on ourselves first before doing it for the child. Because the child is less capable of helping an adult. And even as adults, we cannot extend help or serve others if we ourselves need rescuing. Indeed, one is able to give if he/she has something to offer.

Candle light by Alesa Dam

As for being a little candle, we would like you to light our home the longest time possible. So please don't burnout on us. We need you to be here with us so please burn sustainably. By taking care of yourself, you are taking care of us in the long term. Better yet, by taking care of each other, we're taking care of our family sustainably... because remember, we need to last for as long as it takes to accomplish our individual and family missions.

So yes we're little candles. But since we are the most important little candles to our children, let us give light all the way to the finish line when our missions are completed- that would be the right time our children would see our last flickers, and then our dying light would no longer be of much consequence as by then we would have successfully passed on the torch to the next generation.

Loving you,
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