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My mother was my instruction manual

She knew how to make life better and brighter

Without mothers, our world would be darker. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

People always wish that babies would come with instruction manuals. But they do have one, and it’s called their mother. I don’t know how they do it, but mothers always seemingly have the answer to every question and the solution to every problem. At least my mother did.

She wasn’t a doctor, but she always had a remedy for any illness. She wasn’t a teacher, but she always slew school homework. She wasn’t a fashion designer, but she always managed to put together a cute sartorial ensemble. And yes, she wasn’t a chef, but she always cooked the meanest adobo.

Aren’t all mothers like that? They simply make life better and brighter. In their presence, our most complicated problems melt away. In their loving embrace, our fortitude is made whole and our faith restored. One reassuring smile and we start believing we can conquer the world. They’re like our cars’ instruction manuals: They just know how to fix us. Without them, we feel broken and out of sync.

But that’s also the saddest thing about this mother-child relationship. Most of the time, we tend to view and treat our mothers only in the context of their fix-all usefulness in our lives. We remember to call or show up only when we need them to tell us that everything is going to be okay. We hardly ever think of their own need to have and feel us in their waning years.

Yesterday, my instruction manual was finally laid to her much-deserved rest. I imagine this would be like having to finish my personal race on my own. Like Michael Schumacher having to complete the 1994 Spanish Grand Prix stuck in fifth gear, I will now have to figure things out for myself. I will have to bring the car home without that guiding light, that inspiring voice, that comforting hand.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. Thank you for seeing me through.



Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist for 23 years. He just looks really young.



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