i am not ok after seeing my daughter cry, in front of me, alone, huddled in a chair, looking at me with pleading eyes, longing for an embrace. we could talk for hours over cyberspace, play hide and seek, read, spell, or just make funny faces, sing silly songs (like, 'kulangot ka ba kasi? kasi? you're really hard to get...'), or before this crying moment, just scream. scream to death as in! but perhaps these are just pure substitutes to being close physically and just embracing, while watching tv or just lying down the sofa, doing nothing. i could do no more in cyberspace but relate to my child but i could not get through her, not the way that embraces and physical touch do. my daughter needs me physically too.
i have been to justifying all along. justifying why i should be away. justifying my ambitions. justifying why nurturing my self is necessary in my journey of being me. but i have not admitted yet, till now, that i feel guilty all along. shadowing my confidence is guilt since i made the decision to take the phd now that i'm already a mother. now that someone else, my daughter awfully needs me. but like a bridge that has been crossed, i am too far away now from that bridge to ever make back on time, to embrace Yaman. i could only go back after going through so many hills, good that now, today, i am only several hills away, these hills to be crossed in only 30 days to get to the penultimate bridge back to my Yaman.
i am so filled with guilt as pushing towards my ambition entails a lot of personal sacrifice. personal sacrifice that i may never know how, is taking a toll on my daughter. for what would a 4-year old kid be thinking? looking at me with those soulful eyes, and later brimming with tears? what is she thinking? what is she feeling about our separation? her loss of me? is she thinking i'm abandoning her? is she thinking, how could mom leave me here, all alone, with no one caring enough to embrace me? so silly as it may look, i was hugging tightly the laptop screen while she was crying, all along, imagining that it was her. this is all i can do to let her know how much i want her too. i love my daughter so so much but this is a different kind of love i'm giving her; a love that perhaps could not be understood by a 4-year old because it entails a lot of leaving and un-physical love. it makes me feel very very guilty.
so tonight back in bed, i will be deep in thought again. wishing that i was rich enough to bring my daughter here. wishing that i will win the lotto tomorrow so i could have enough show money for her and my mom and we won't struggle financially while they're here in case. wishing i would have been an ausaid scholar who could enjoy family privileges and raise their families here in subsidy. wishing that i was in a different world. back in our homey bedroom in naga, with rats occasionally scurrying up the ceiling and lizards still on the windowscreen. putting to sleep my Yaman as she lies on my left, content on her pillow and secured that her mommy is just beside her. perhaps, i could also wish away this guilt too, find assurance in a future that has yet to form in this cold, white concrete in front of me.
Thanks to www.123rf.com for the pic.