I am back again here on blogging, after days of not writing anything. I am already in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia but got sick maybe due to change of weather or because I miss my family so much already. Now that I am able to compose myself and organize my thoughts, I am ready to start the ball rolling.
On the evening of July 15, 2011, the night before my flight back to Riyadh, I had some last-minute instructions to Mama on her medicines and her oncologist’s appointment on June 18, 2011. We were not able to meet with her oncologist after the radiation that day because he was already on his way for an out-of-town trip.
Mama was lying on her folding bed (she prefers to sleep and rest there than on her bed as she feels comfortable on it) tired, sick and a little in pain. This was her last day of the 20 cycles of radiation therapy for her bone cancer. I was controlling my emotions while talking with Mama. After sometime, I again saw pain in her eyes while staring at me, trying to hold her emotions.
A slice from our talk.
Me : Ma, don’t forgot what I have told you, drink your medicines and go to your doctor’s appointment on Monday. My flight will be tomorrow, so, no one’s going to remind you every now and then.
Mama : (She just nod but you can see the sadness in her eyes). Can I go with you to the airport tomorrow?
Me : Ma, you are still weak, you cannot stand the heat, it will just make you tired. Just stay here and rest, I will be fine.
Mama : I will be ok, I just want to go and send you to the airport.
Me : Ma, don’t be hardheaded, you just stay here and rest. Krystal, Oliver and Aireen will send me off tomorrow, don’t worry.
Mama : (Gently rubbing her chest (sternum) where the radiation was done, trying to ease some pain and then, that look in her eyes, again) Weng, it’s like I am going to get more sick. It’s like now that you’re leaving, I feel so weak and sick. I will not be here for so long.
Me : (Uh-oh here we go again. This time, I am really trying to control my emotions and my tears from falling – really trying hard. What came to my mind was, not this time Ma. I am about to go to go back to Saudi. I was thinking that we might bring her to the hospital anytime) Ma, there you go again. Don’t think about it. You will be fine, just take your medicines religiously. I am going to Saudi tomorrow, I don’t want to leave you like this. Don’t make this hard for me Ma.
Mama did not say a word but just kept on staring at me. I don’t know what was on her mind at that time as I see the tears start to form. To hide from mama my own tears, I made some excuses again.
Me : You will be fine ma, don’t worry. I will go to my room and start packing my things as I have not done even a single shirt. (I patted mama’s shoulder). You will be fine, Ma. Everything’s going to be fine.
I hurriedly left the room because I can’t hide my tears anymore. There, I cried. I don’t want her to see me so weak and in tears. I always try to hide my tears and my being weak from her. I want to show her that I am strong, when truth is I am not.
Morning of July 16, 2011 – Mama woke up early and prepared my breakfast. She again asked me to let her go with us to the airport but I insisted she stay and just rest. When time for me to leave the house, I hugged everyone, my dad, my grandmother, Nanay Turing who is 88 or 89 years old cried and said, Weng you will go again, we will not see each other anymore. I asked her why she said that? Nanay replied, I am old already, my time is almost over. I might die while you are not here. I tried to calm her and said, Nanay, you will still be here when I have my next vacation, we will still see each other.
Last but not the least, I hugged mama so tight while reminding her again of her medicines and doctor’s appointments. This time, I let my tears fall freely as I hugged Mama. I did not let go. I just hugged her. Mama cried too. Out of nowhere, a voice said, Nang (Ate) you know how to cry? My brother Oliver teased me.
At the airport, my daughter hugged me so tight. Again, emotions rolled but it was a silent one, no loud crying or whatsoever. Haller??? I don’t want to make a scene at the airport, I have seen too much crying there. I reminded my daughter of the advises I gave her. To look after her grandparents, to check that the medicines are taken on time by Mama, the oxygen of my father, that she should take care of herself also as she is already a teenager, never to trust someone whom she doesn’t know, to study well, be a good girl, etc. Well, what else can I say?
While writing this, I so miss my family so much so I called up home, talked to Mama and my daughter. Mama was resting when I called up. She was not feeling well as usual. She said she feels so tired, exhausted though she did not do anything much today. Her shoulders feel weak and her back was painful also. Well, I was not able to control my feelings, I cried. Mama asked me why I cried, I just told her, I miss you so much. She gave a weak laugh and said, we miss you too. If you feel alone, just pray to God. If you miss someone, just pray to God. (I know who she meant by this but I just did not comment). I ended our conversation with, I love you, Ma.
Yes, always and always, God is my companion. It seems that God sent me to Saudi so that I can be near Him and talk to Him every time. It’s not that I did not have time with God when I was in the Philippines but being here and alone brings me more closer to God. When I miss someone so dearly, I just talk to God and cry my heart out. God is my strength when I am weak.