For a Second, I Forgot That She Passed Away

I forgot that my mom died for a second. And when I remembered she did, I wailed in a fast-food restaurant.

The conversation went like this:

“I am thinking of finding a new job. My skill set isn’t aligned with the company’s,” I said.

“What do you mean?”

“They require 3,200 words per hour, I can only edit around 1,000 to 1,200. I could put quality on my work while still submitting on time, but I would have to sacrifice my personal time, which tires me out.”

“Burnout.”

“True. After one year, I’m not as fast as I should be. So I guess it’s not mine after all. I’m considering a new one.”

“What would you want to do next?”

“I don’t know. I only know teaching and editing. What else do I know?”

“How about administrative?”

“I would like to, but Mama will be sad and worried again.”

And right there, I stopped . . . and realized she couldn’t be sad and worried again because she just passed away.

My mom is ambitious, a goal-setter. I wish I had that quality of hers. She would usually wait for me until I get home, even if it would take me midnight or morning. I have told her my concern of wanting this job but not being able to fulfill their required skill set. She was just as frustrated as I was.

I knew she didn’t approve of me taking jobs far from the course I took in college. She would always convince me to apply in private schools for privileged people (benefits + salary + stable job) and take masters, but my heart wasn’t into it yet. I would tell her that if I would go back to teaching, it would be in public schools, but I had to sacrifice my other “raket.”

Amid her disapproval, she cared for me. She asked if the company I was working for had benefits. She would say that the company I would be applying for should have benefits. She’s the HR head of a school after all.

She would text me at 6 p.m., asking if I would eat dinner at home; at 8 p.m. on what time I would go home; at 9 p.m. if I were okay and if I was about to go home; at 10 p.m. to tell me that she’s about to go to sleep and that she loved me dearly. But at midnight, upon going home, she would wake up and ask if I had eaten dinner.

And at 3 a.m., when she would find me awake, she’d tell me to rest.

While I am not as ambitious and organized as her, I inherited her “workaholicness.” Oh god, this blog is so hard to write without shedding a tear. 

Recently, I found myself doing extra just to forget that pain of April 12, 2018. However, when I get home, expecting myself to be so exhausted that I would only sleep, I would think of her and how she’d tell me, “Pahinga ka naman, anak.”

I wish I told her that when I saw her working overtime for several times years before I knew she had cancer.

Sigh.

2 thoughts on “For a Second, I Forgot That She Passed Away

  1. Take your time in grieving. It never ends, but it then subsides to a point that you can accept the reality of things around you. May this time, you mom would have said, “Hurry up, my child. The world awaits your awesome return. I will always be with you.”

    Liked by 1 person

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