I remember vividly it was early morning 8 a.m., all set to go to the University with my all white uniform. My mom hailed a taxi and said goodbye to me. It did not set in to me that day, that she would be gone for years.
She braved through tiring flight and landed in Los Angeles on July 4, wearing a sweater to hide her bruises and a fractured rib. She traveled far from us to give us the American dream.
Most of us Filipinos celebrate July 4, the Filipino-American Friendship Day or Philippine Republic Day. While most Americans celebrate it as Independence Day. It is also Liberation Day for Rwanda. For us it is the day when Philippines commemorate the official recognition of Philippine independence by the United States of America. The irony is after my mom left for U.S.A, this day just reminded me how many OFW’s are suffering with loneliness and other things just to give their children a better life. Each year, I hope that it would finally be our year to see her. The immigration has not been on our side. This year is our 8th year that we did not get to see our mother. She has been through a lot from accidents to operation and we could not do much for her. It pains me being halfway across the globe with my sister, both nurses, and yet we could not be there for our mother.
I pray that this will be the last year that we will celebrate July 4 wishing and that finally we will be with her. July 4 will always be reminder of sacrifice for love, love of freedom, love of better life and love of family.