Friday, March 27, 2009

A Sister's Act

Last night, whilst the rain poured hard quite strangely to start the summer and quite ironically here in the middle of the desert, I, too, gave myself a good cry. Hours before, I chatted with my sister over YM. It's been more than five months since I last communicated with my family after I lost my job. I wondered they might have thought that I was already dead. But no, it's not that I have turned my back on them, it's just that I don't want to call them without any good news at hand. Though I know letting them know that I am okay would be enough for a news, I believe that I owe them more than that, that they deserve something more tangible and fruitful to look forward to than just knowing that I am fine.

My sister buzzed me first. I could have avoided any further messages from her by logging off immediately like what I usually did but this time I took it brave to respond. I thought I could never escape the reality that life sometimes could be so cruel and preachy.

She asked me first how I was. It took me a moment to figured out what to say, "okay lang naman, nakakaraos." Then I apologized for not letting them know how I have been since I have lost my job. They were doing fine, too. Though I know they were not. Tears begun to scroll down my face. I could not hold them back. Relentless. Incessantly. That's why I hate family conversations. It's just so punishing. I told her that I was trying very hard to recover and that they would have to bear some time in tight conditions before things could be over very soon. That's the least I could do, made some sanguine statements though in reality my hope is overwhelmed by worries that has been consuming my thoughts in recent weeks.

I haven't sent money since January. My sister told me they already closed down the sari sari store that they have opened last year. For her OJT in Boracay, my mother have to borrow heavily so she could attend and finished her 2nd year in HRM. But what's eating most of my comprehension was my 150k bank loan that I need to repay by end of March. I could have repaid that last year but who would have known that recession is going to happen. NO time for regrets. Enough reasons to frown. I just couldn't stand the rain anymore. I was breaking out, like a helpless warrior injured in a furious battle. I could no longer pretend that I was okay. Then she said, "okay lang yan, kaya natin 'to, makakaraos din tayo." She told me not to worry about them and to take care of myself cause that's the important thing. She likewise told me not to think too much about finances as my older brother is now working and she, too, would soon start a summer job in a call center. Regarding the bank loan, she said that mother have already renegotiated for its terms and I am no longer obliged to repay it by month end. I should have been ecstatic to hear that. But I wept more, maybe for the last time and for joy.

My family is now surviving on their own. I felt relieved all of a sudden. Well, not that I don't have to care about them anymore, at least I could spare some days and nights without having to think about family obligations. They have needed me before and I was there. Now, that I need them, they are trying to show that they are there to support. But more than the negotiations, what almost broke my tear glands was her goodbye words, "mahal ka namin Kuya, huwag mong pababayaan ang sarili mo." My heart was bleeding. I was floating. My eyes were red.

It was the first time that I have heard such so comforting words from someone that I could never doubted. My friends have been sharing the same encouragements but it felt different when it is your family that is showing their support and understanding. From the words of my sister, I felt so accepted despite my failures and that I could lose everything in this world and still has something to come home to. I went out of the Internet shop deeply touched and highly spirited. For the first time in a long time, I felt I was loved and cared for by the only family I know. Till bedtime, I was still struck by her words and thoughts. All the time that I was thinking that they have already forgotten and forsaken me, all the time that I was thinking wrong. My family loves me, more than I have ever known.

From where I was lying, beyond the white painted ceiling of my hotel room, I could imagine the stars singing with me in bittersweet melodies of unspoken bliss and gratitude. Then I closed my eyes, with tear stain in my pillows and a huge smile in my heart.


  1. The message penetrates through to the heart.

    Don't despair...keep the faith...God will never leave you nor forsake you. He cares for you...Hold on... He will see you through!

  2. Magkaiba tayo, ako kapag may mga nangyayari sa buhay ko, lalo na kapag mahirap ang nararanasan ko, ang pamilya ko ang unang nakakaalam. Kasi mas naku-comfort ako kapag sa kanila ko sinasabi. Tulad nga ng nangyari sa 'yo, gumaan ang pakiramdam mo di ba?

    Hindi ko alam kung anong ia-advice ko sa iyo... Whew! Nasabi ko na kasi lahat dito sa comment ko noon pa ang mga kailangang sabihin.

    Huwag kang mawalan ng pag-asa. Sabi mo nga sa sister mo, makakaraos din kayo. [Parang sasabog na rin ang aking tear glands, totoo.]


  3. sabi nga ni Anthony Brandt:

    "Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family."

    Asan ka ngayon? Nasa UAE ka na ba o nasa Kish (or Oman)? still jobless? pasend saken ng CV mo... i'll help u the best way I can.

    Pray. Pray. Pray.

  4. one thing i've realized as an OFW, our families are resilient. it won't really be alright, but i guess it'll still be fine. ;)

  5. iba talaga pag pamilya ang nagsalita ano? iba talaga pag pamilya ang may concern. at sa kalagayan mo ngang ganayan at lalo pat ofw ka, lalo mo lang mararamdaman ang kahalagahan ng pamilya dahil malayo sila sayo.

  6. i couldn't imagine myself in your position right now. because i know i could never understand that unless i have experienced it.

    just keep the faith. your sister is right. take care of yourself so you could take care of other people, your family.

    God bless you.