I Miss My Mom and Dad So Much!

It’s been two years since I’ve seen them

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I know what you are thinking. No, my mom and dad aren’t dead. They are very much alive and living in beautiful Tucson, Arizona. I happen to live in Iloilo City, Philippines, which is about 8500 miles away.

We haven’t been talking as much as we used to.

Back when I first came to the Philippines, over seven years ago, we talked almost every day. Now, it is sometimes weeks between chats.

Most of it is my fault. I get busy and forget to send a message asking how they are doing. They are in their seventies, and I should be a better son to them.

I do, after all, love them with all my heart.

Vernal and Kathleen

Before my brother and I came along, my mom and dad didn’t have an easy life. Mom lost a baby (who would have been my oldest sister) and almost died. It was probably a scary idea to be having more children. But we came out fine.

We had a hard time growing up. Dad was a baker and worked long hours to make ends meet. I remember him working all night and day making donuts. He gave the best years of his life to see we were taken care of.

He passed his work ethic onto my brother and me.

My dad has MS and had problems throughout his life. He was sick often, and I remember him being in the hospital. He went into the hospital a skinny man, but they pumped him full of Cortizone. When he came out he was a very heavy version of himself.

I remember dad being big for most of my life. But no matter how much his legs and back hurt, or how sick and heavy he was, he worked his fingers to the bone.

I remember as a child, seeing him come home from the bakery and collapse in bed. I felt so bad that my dad was in pain. I used to rub his feet and legs until he could finally fall asleep.

My dad never complained, but at times he was short. I knew he was irritable because he didn’t feel well. My brother and I both idolized my dad and loved him as much as kids could.

My mom held things together at home as best she could. At times, money was tight, but we always ate and we always had everything we needed. My mom made up for what we didn’t have materially with as much love as she could give.

My mom was a gentle soul. She was the soft side of my dad’s hard side.

I have nothing but good memories from my childhood. I know there was bad, but we were loved, and that is what matters in life.

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Coming and going

I know my mom and dad didn’t always agree with how I’ve lived my life. I know they wish I had stayed a Jehovah’s Witness like them. But, I took my own path, and I believe different things now. I know it must be hard to have a son who left the fold and forgot everything they taught me as a child.

It must have been hard losing two children at the same time. My Brother died in late 2011, a few weeks before I was to leave the country. I was moving my life to the Philippines, and it must have been hard for them to see me go. I was reeling from the loss of my brother, but I decided to go anyway because I needed to change the way I was living.

It took years of hard work, but I can say I am happy now. My parents have been nothing but supportive and loving the whole time. I know they don’t agree with everything I do, but they stand back and let me find my way.

They allowed me to be the happy and fulfilled person I am today. Even though I took a path they would not have taken, they are happy that I have arrived.

Mom and dad live alone. But, they have their congregation, and they have each other.

I worry that I’m not there to take care of them. Every time my mom tells me that she is sick or that dad is in pain, I feel guilty for not being close to them. I know they will say I am silly for worrying, but I love them and want to be there in the golden years.

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Right now, I can’t be with them, but there will come a time when they need me, and I will be there. I will take care of them like they took care of me my whole life.

My mom and dad are the best, and they deserve the best I can give.

Writer | Essayist | Video Content Creator | Future member of the two-comma club | Dreamer - I am doing it my way and it might take a bit longer. Don't wait up.

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