Our great mom, Basilisa Morales-Felix, at 100
Not every human being is able to live a long life. If this happens, we think of it as extraordinary, a divine gift. Then we start wondering about the reasons for such longevity.
We take pride as we thank the Lord that all these years He has been faithful in taking care of our family, especially our Mom. We celebrated the long life given by God to our dearest mother on April 15, 2021, when she reached 100 years.
What is the secret of our Mom’s long life? There are just too many. She is the epitome of faith, strength, honesty, perseverance, integrity, humilityʍand a lot of other distinguished qualities that endear her to people. She is a paragon of peace and quiet, thoughtful and loyal to her clan, her family. She embraced all the good lessons, traditions, and influences of her elders and faithfully imparted them to the next generations of her family.
Born on April 15, 1921 to the late Vicente Morales and Ramona Montenegro in Canayun, Abulug, Cagayan, Mom was from a brood of six girls and one boy.
At an early age, she got married, and the union was blessed with seven girls and three boys. Eight of the children got married, while the two eldest daughters chose single-blessedness as their life vocation. Mom was widowed in 1988. Today she has 25 grandchildren, 30 great grandchildren, and 2 great great grandchildren.
Our family lived a poor life in the barrio. During these critical times, our three eldest sisters lived with our paternal grandparents while the fourth to the youngest stayed with our Mom. From our elementary to college years, our mother went through hardships and sacrificed a lot to earn a living and put us through school.
A strong woman, loving wife, and dedicated mother, she always reminded us of the value of education, hard work, and perseverance. “Wala akong maipamamana na lupain o kayamanan maliban sa karunungan,” she would say. Also, “Knowledge is a gift from God that no one can take away from you.” Not all of us got to finish college, but somehow, we are all successful in our chosen careers or fields of endeavor.
Mom showed her children the way to achieving good health and wellness. She insisted that we grow up to be more vegetarian. I believe this is one reason why she has lived to this age. Until now, she prefers being fed with boiled spices of mixed ginger, onions, garlic, and salt along with leaves of malunggay and saluyot or spinach, plus a soup of fish, chicken, or beef on alternate meals. She takes Ensure milk as part of her diet to complement her good health.
For the past three years, my sister Cora has volunteered to take care of Mom, since she can no longer manage her daily routine alone. She has to be accompanied to take her meals, or she would not touch her food at all without any companion beside her.
As far as I can remember, Mom was never hospitalized in her early years. She got confined for the first time in 1998 due to dehydration, while in January 2018, February 2020, and September 2020, she was treated again for the same ailment. Since then, Mom has been fed through a dropper. She doesn’t chew or swallow any more soft food like porridge with fish, or drink water, juice, or soup in a spoon or cup.
Still, she has no maintenance medicine and otherwise lives a healthy life. We are so grateful for and truly amazed at how God loves her. Her being very faithful and prayerful have no doubt made it all possible. Mabuhay ang aming dakilang ina!
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Milagros Felix-Lopez, married with three children and a senior citizen residing in Dasmariñas City, Cavite, assists her sisters in taking care of their Mom. She is an AB graduate of St. Paul College, Tuguegarao, Cagayan, now St. Paul University Philippines, and a retired government employee of the National Food Authority public affairs department, Quezon City.
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