A few years later, having remarried again, my mother asked if we wanted to migrate in the US. Having been a rebel in my teenage years, I chose to stay behind in the Philippines and let my mother enjoy a life of companionship with my stepfather. After all, it meant a lot of "gimmick nights" (I don't know if teenagers still use this term though, it might be something new already), out of town escapades with my then-boyfriend and independent days without any restriction on what I can and cannot do. There were no more chores to do and no more checkin on what time I came home.
L-R: My brother, Mama, me and Kazee (almost my sister!)
Looking back at those nearly ten years that I've been living away from my mother, I realized there were a lot of changes that surfaced. For one, I did not waste any more time in trying to form alibis of where I've been the past night of who I was with. In a way, I have gained her trust, too. Often, she would tell me, "Malaki ka na, anak." (You're a grown-up already.)
Most times, I revel in the freedom, of learning things I had to because quite frankly, no one else could do it for me. When my friends complain of having strict parents (moms to be exact), I felt like my times with such experiences were a distant dream. I always tell anyone that it will be entirely different not having your mom around, even if she was just 18 hours away. When everyone else had their mothers beside them during trips to the emergency room for gastritis (or whatever illness), I had my then-boyfriend who was even more panicked than I was --- and that made me
Truthfully, in so many ways, my and my mother's relationship have flourished over the years. Whereas before, I only told her highlights of my day up to a certain level (never the super secret ones!), now, I tell her every single thing, well 90% of the details of my life, albeit through Skype or YM. Sometimes, when I cannot help it and in nowhere near a laptop, I call her on my mobile and the moment she answers with a sleepy "Hello, do you know what time it is here?," I realize we are on opposite timezones. It's true how they say you will only realize how valuable a relationship is when you're far away from it.
So thank you, Mama, for despite the distance, you've never failed to remind me to stay humble and grounded. To always pray and thank the Lord for all the good things that have come to my life. To never burn bridges (does it apply to dating? I hope not.) and treat everyone with utmost kindness. For sending me all the coolest links ever because I always remind you of so many things. For still shopping for things you know I will love (books, makeup, clothes, luggage and cute knick knacks). For teaching me how to cook over Skype. For telling me that bad boys will always be bad boys. For letting me go out on my own and trusting me fully. For being the sounding board of my mundane worries like "Should I go to this date or this other date?" "What outfit should I wear for this occasion?" For giving sound advice to my friends when they are confronted with breakup issues and how to win the trust of their parents. For giving me liberty with your credit card and trusting that I will never go overboard with it. For making my friends laugh and wish you were their mom. For always making me talk positive and praying for the things I really, really want. For being the coolest mother ever for giving me dating tips [i.e. "Anak, sometimes, you're just playing too hard to get. Ease up a little."] For helping me find a job when I hated the one I had years ago. For marrying a man who became a great father to me and my brother. For being the person I am most eternally grateful for.
I think I already have my lesson and sooner or later the gap will be fixed. But for now, my mother and I are having a temporary solution and that is me flying out to the South America to meet her and spend more than a week with her. Damn, I'm excited!
Happy Mothers' Day, Mama.
Can't wait to see you.