We all have a first-time meeting snapshot of every person in our life. We remember the time they came into our lives. True that these snapshots may not be as accurate, and we might even find most of the details of the pictures blurry, but they exist in our minds. Some snapshots may even be more special than others that they can never be erased in our memories.
My snapshot of Ms. Cecille was her walking down our HS corridor, commanding repect and confidence from people who glance her way. She was not our teacher then, but I remember commenting about how stunning she looked because she rocked a body that women her age would die for. hehe.
When she became our teacher for the first time, one of the stories she first shared with us was the story of her eyes. She told us that her dad said that it is her set of small eyes that make her unique and precious. This childhood story spoke so much of the woman that she would become. I firmly believe that every child should grow up with people like her father--people who believe in their children's unique beauty and capacity, and who dream with them as they grow up.
On a related note, I had the pleasure of meeting one of the country's champions of such belief, just late last year. Ms. SAM ("Shaker And Mover" Ms. Rayla Melchor Santos) of I AM SAM FOUNDATION is brimming with hope and positivity as she carries out her mission to make Filipino children believe that they are special, unique, and precious, no matter their state or the circumstances that envelope their growing up years.
As our 4th year HS adviser, Ms. Cecille, or "Maamsy," was our 'Ms. SAM.' In her eyes shone her hope for bright future for each one of her students. When we graduated HS, she became a friend and lifelong mentor in our lives.
|HS Graduation gift/message from Maamsy. "Maligayang paglalakbay sa panibagong yugto|
Today, she continues to pursue her life mission of making a difference in children's lives through education. She currently teaches preschool in CELL, a school lovingly built by Sir Samuel Geronilla, our HS principal. Together with equally passionate and like-minded teachers, or "gardeners," they work towards developing life skills among today's youth.
Just last February, I had the opportunity to make her a dress for the school's recognition program. I never thought that I would be making a dress for her someday (Just as I never thought that I would be interested in dressmaking and sewing ever!) :) It was an experience worth sharing as it is the first formal dress that I managed to pull off in about a week. Fortunately, Ms. Cecille knew exactly what she wanted, and I just took on ideas she gave me and sketched the dress. I even made a test dress for her, and fortunately, the fit was perfect. God must be at work all this time because He knew that I was on a tight deadline. :p
|Here we go...another afternoon date with my rulers and Math. :P|
|I used silver satin fabric, and used the wrong side of the fabric for the right side of the shawl collar.|
|Proofreading' the dress. :p|
I was not able to attend the program but Ms. Cecille sent me this photobooth photo of her in the dress. with her family--her daughter, Naeyah, and husband, Teacher Nelson. :)
I have no doubt in my heart that Naeyah would be a wonderful grown-up in the coming years. Growing up in a home with parents who love each other deeply despite life's obstacles and difficulties, and who constantly look after her and make her feel unique, special and precious in every way...she is truly blessed. :)
I, too, feel blessed to come across a few women in my life whose brave hearts shine bright today (in whichever dress they wear!) as they did the first time I met them.
More than giving me the opportunity to make you a dress, I thank you, Ms. Cecille, for life stories filled with courage and wisdom that I will keep with me all the days of my life.
Also, advance Happy Mother's Day! :)