It seems like it was just a few days ago when my mother who is base in London went home here in the Philippines. She planned to surprise us by not telling us that she was going home for 2 weeks. She did even find the courage to ask my father’s sister to pick her up in the airport so as not to spoil the beans on us that she was indeed coming home. You see, my mother and father has been separated for two years and my father refuses to talk to her though my mother has asked for forgiveness a couple of times already. And as such, my mother vowed never to associate herself with my father’s family so it was really a surprise when she asked my aunt (my father’s younger sister) to pick her up in the airport.
There’s been a lot of issues and conflicts that my mother and I have to settle while she was here with us but that’s a different story altogether. What I really wanted to write in here is how it felt to be with my mother for that little two weeks and knowing that she will leave again after that.
My relationship with my mother is not quite an ideal one. It’s so hard for me to be open and honest to her with the fear of being judged and scolded by her most of the time. I tend to keep every issues and problems in my life away from her knowledge as our distance allows it. She is in London and I am here in the Philippines. Whatever happens with me is something I cannot just divulge or pour out to her and expect that she will listen. It just scares me to do so. That’s how I see our communication.
I don’t know if any children of an OFW like me feels the same way just like this towards their parents. Whenever my parents, who are both OFW’s, tells me that they are going home, I feel this sudden fear of them knowing what exactly has been going on with my life as I have not been totally honest to them. I get that feeling of not wanting them to come home. That loud noise in my head saying that I am much better if you are not around and if I could just scream it out loud to say to them “Don’t ever go back home! I am okay without you here by my side. Just stay where you are so I can stay where I am.”
I can’t remember the many times I felt this way and awkward moments of being with them, weighing my emotions when they are around with me and my family and looking for that day when they would finally have to go back to London. It was always a relief on my part when we accompany them to the airport knowing that everything will be back to normal.
For some people who might be reading this, I know you might find it in your heart to judge me with the way how I feel towards my parents. But I’m sure there are some of you who are children of OFW parents who knows how it feels to have this kind of animosity towards your parents who have been gone in your lives for such a long time that distance and communication has played its part on loosing that tie that binds a parents to his/her children and a children to disconnect from his/her parents.
For such a long time, I was in such a condition of mind that it has made my heart to believe that it was exactly how I feel towards my parents.
But God is just so gracious not to allow me to be in such situation that does not glorify Him at all. I know the commandment to “Honor your father and mother.” I just knew it though, I stopped doing it the day I decided to rebel and hate my parents for so many pains and sufferings that I had to endure for the decisions they made that I had been a collateral damage according to my father. But God spoke to my heart, “If I love, I will always be polite. I will think about what other people want. I will not think only about what I myself want. I will not get angry quickly. And I will not always be remembering the wrong things that other people have done to me” 1 Corinthians13:7.
Through knowing God and what His son, Jesus Christ has done for me, to die on the cross to save me from my sins because God loves me so much, I found forgiveness in my heart. I found the strength to forgive myself and my parents for what they have done and for what I have done in the past.
So many of us who have been left by our parents to work abroad and as a cliche, to give us a better life, often fail to see the good intentions they have for us as their children. There might be other things that we feel our parent’s have done to us that has given us so much pain that we just can’t let go of it. I, too, felt the same way and it has caused me to rebel against them and ultimately hurting more of myself in the end. But God says do not just think of myself if I will love.
Being a mother now, God has been showing me how a parent can love a child but only from Him will I have the strength to love and care for my children the way He wants me to. I cannot speak on behalf of my parents but if there was one thing that I have learned from what they were not able to do for me is to do what Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
Last Friday, we accompanied my mother to the airport as she was flying back to London. I knew in my heart I wanted her to stay with us and enjoy her days with her grandchildren. So I prayed to God to allow me to prosper and bless my businesses to provide more than enough for my family and for both of my parents to allow them to come home with us and stay for good here in the Philippines.
To God Be The Glory!