For a bright future
Mothers are called “the light of the home” for it is they who mold their children’s personalities, take care of each family member, and keep the household going. Light is essential for every house to be a home devoid of the darkness caused by dysfunctional parenting, lack of morality and absence of harmony.
But what if the light of the home is far from home? How will she extend her brightness to her family if she is so distant?
I was 10 years old when my mother left the country with the hope that the opportunity to work abroad would help us overcome our financial difficulties. On that December afternoon, my parents had been separated for four months due to personal issues between them. But on March 8, 2006, three months after my mother flew to Doha, Qatar, my father died. Since then, my mother had been the only one providing for our needs.
I have three elder brothers and a younger sister. Although I am the fourth child, I am the first one expected to graduate from college. My brothers did not complete their studies because of our financial difficulties and the personal choice to stop going to school. My younger sister and I study at the same university.
Having a parent working overseas, I continue to witness the sacrifices of one of our country’s modern-day heroes, including the single-handed effort to meet the needs of her offspring. I am also aware that my mother regrets not being able to watch us growing up, having entrusted us to her own mother for care and guidance.
My mother has been working as a sales assistant in Qatar for over nine years. During that time, there were important moments in her children’s lives that she missed. (My second brother now has two children, and my third brother is soon to be a dad.) She comes home for a two-month vacation only every other year.
Every time we ask our mother through the Internet how she is, she always says she is fine. But there were times when she would honestly tell us about the mistreatment of her employers. And occasionally over the phone, it would be obvious in her husky voice that there was something wrong with her health. Sometimes I ask myself: What can I do to help her? I always go back to the reason she chose to work abroad: to secure our future.
I realize that I also have to work for my mother’s happiness. To cheer her up, I have tried to be excellent in school, so her efforts would not go to waste. I graduated grade school and high school with recognition. I felt so blessed because on my graduation days, she was home on vacation and therefore was able to attend the commencement exercises.
Every time I tell her good news, especially about my scholastic achievements, I feel that she is energized. I am glad that I have done things to make her happy in the midst of her stressful, exhausting work.
It is not true that when a mother is away, the home is filled with darkness. I believe that a mother’s love for her children shines no matter where she is. I know that my mother’s love and care shine on me, because she inspires me to do the best that I can for a bright future.
Beatriz Q. Pereña, 19, is an incoming fourth-year journalism student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.