Her own kind of perfect

She smiled so vibrantly that anyone who will see will eventually conclude that she has a perfect life and a perfect home. Looking at her, one will never think that behind her smiles are tears, behind her laughs are sorrows. It is only her eyes that speak the truth about the pain she has been going through, and which she deftly hid for a very long time.

Maria Flor Cabanos, 42, owned a successful flower shop located in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur, just beside an ancestral house of her husband’s family which was given to them as his share. This flower shop started as a photo printing shop in 2000 where most clients are newlywed couples who wanted their photos printed and framed. It was their clients’ suggestion to enter the flower industry since their clients are usually involved in events like weddings. Not long after, they also added catering services for any kinds of events, covering the food to the decoration.

Along with her growing business is the demand for a larger capital. She joined Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD), Inc., a non-government organization dedicated to the goal anchored in the vision of CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI) to empower socioeconomically-challenged families. It’s been five years since she became a member and it really helped her in seasons where flowers are in demand like Valentine’s day, holy week, graduation day, and weddings. In one look, she is indeed the face that reflects success. So what could possibly be the things that still pained her until today?

Twenty-two years ago, she remembered the inexplicable feeling of holding for the very first time the little angel, as she described, which she carried in her womb for nine months. She looked at her baby’s twinkling eyes and her pain faded away. They named her Mikka, their little Mikka. All she remembered was the feeling of falling in love all over again. Maria and Meilito, her husband, thanked the heavens for such a wonderful gift. But weeks and months after, they noticed Mikka’s strange actions. According to Mikka’s doctor, she has delayed mental development and may suffer mental disability that would affect every single aspect of her life. She will never live like the way others do, and she will need more attention, too. At that moment, she did not know what to think or what to say. She just hugged her, reassuring Mikka that she will be patient with her all the days of her life. If the world will not understand, they will.

Indeed, Mikka is one of the reasons why she became so patient with understanding her needs to being patient with business, with life, with everything.

At present, her business is doing well and they had been planning for their flower shop’s expansion on their next loans. Moreover, they own a ricefield and a farm which also add up to their income.

Indeed, we cannot judge a person by the way she talks or walks, or even the way she looks. Maria Flor faces a challenge that not everyone could understand but she has more to be thankful for and Mikka is just one of them. She loves her like the rest of her children, like the very first time she held her in her arms.

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