Ever since I was a kid, I was never close to anyone in the family. I always played outside. I liked spending time in a friend’s house cause I enjoyed it more than staying in the house. I honestly can’t remember any memories with tatay when I was a kid except your fights. I don’t know if this is right but I think your last fight was in our room, and I heard it all. I was pretending to sleep. I was also 5 then.
Lola took care of us most of the time because you went to office early in the morning and go home late. It actually became an inside joke to us then when someone asked where you were, we’ll just say “Diyan lang sa tabi.” cause that was what you always say. I knew you knew that I cry at night whenever I woke up in the middle of the night and discovered that I was alone.
I grew up too fast, I think. At 5, you go to school with me because it was on your way but I go home alone. I know it was just a short walk but seeing my friends being picked up by their parents made me sad for a while. I got used to it though. So when I was in grade school, I knew how to do things on my own. I did my own homework. I joined clubs without telling you. I went to competitions, and I’d just inform you about it after. You were there a few times and I appreciate it. It was also around this time when I became a rebel. I don’t know why but I did. At 12 years old, I learned to drink and smoke. My homeroom teacher caught us and told you about it. When we talked, you cried and hugged me so tight. I won’t forget that moment.
High school was actually a blur. I think I had fun during those times. You woke up every morning just to prepare my lunch. I know you aren’t that much of a good cook like lola but your fried stuff were awesome! You were so proud of me when I passed ACET and UPCAT.
Then it came. I have to leave far from you. I was also worried actually. I didn’t do any chores at home, how can I live alone? You bought me groceries then. When it was time for you to go home, I felt sad. But then you called me that night to ask if I already had dinner and how I was doing and I thought that it wouldn’t be so bad. But it was the first and the last time you did that.
On my second year in college, I lost so much weight because my allowance wasn’t enough to cover all of my expenses. One relative asked if I was eating well, I said that I wasn’t. I couldn’t even afford to buy a rice meal and I heard you say, “Kawawa naman ‘tong anak ko.”
But I still think we became much closer. When I opened up about my depression, you were so supportive. Now that I’m delayed, what you said was “Okay lang yan nak. Take your time.”
You may not be the perfect mom, but I love you the most.