I have mentioned this many times before, I chose to live in the Philippines and raise a family, rather than come live in the US permanently with my parents and siblings.
As a compromise, I came and visited them as often as I could. My mother (+) would always say “Ang hirap ng layu-layo”. It didn’t affect me at that time although what she was saying, my mind retained.
Now, I am like my mom. I always say “ang hirap ng layu-layo”. It breaks my heart thinking that my small family is layu-layo. It never fails to induce tears and more tears thinking that we live away from each other. I only have two children and they are magkalayo pa.
The reason why I made it a point to bring my two kids to the US every summer was for them to bond with their cousins. I wanted them to grow up close to their cousins like brothers and sisters. We went out of our way, traversing the Pacific to achieve this. Tapos ngayon, dalawa lang ang anak ko, magkalayo pa sila.
When Oyen was leaving for New York to attend school (14 years ago na yata), my son suffered from anxiety. A few weeks prior to Oyen’s departure, my son was affected. But in his young mind, he was just quiet although feeling sad. He didn’t vocalize his emotions. On the day Oyen left, Nyke cried na talaga. I knew that his sister’s absence affected him in many ways. My mind was very focused on sending her abroad to get the best education possible although this is debatable, a good experience to be away from home, to be independent. The experience would make her stronger and tougher. However, I didn’t realize that my son would be affected by her absence.
While she was working at Goldman Sachs, I would give her a call so she could say hi to Nyke but she was at work and couldn’t really attend to personal calls. I wanted her to speak to her brother to cheer him up because I knew that he was missing her although he was not really expressing his feelings. But I knew it. I felt it.
Times have not changed, only circumstances.