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.”
“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.