That is her birthday, my mother’s birthday. I never knew that.. for some reason, my whole life I thought she was born on the same month I was born. I just talked to her on the phone and I was fine while talking to her. I was calm, nonchalant, talking to her like a normal person, as in talking to the clients I’ve worked with, a stranger on the phone…I greeted her with a late happy new year and a belated Christmas. She asked me how I was doing, if I’m working, what I was doing, where I am living now… And also how Rod was, how my grandma was, dad, aunts…I asked her about her divorce, how she was doing, about my other siblings. She mentioned her divorce, how her mother was, her other kids, my siblings (Sarah, Willena, Francis, and William).
She asked me about my fiance and my upcoming wedding. I told her about it. I told her about dad and how he was upset of the distance and drive to the wedding site… Why I had the urge to tell her that, I don’t know. Maybe it was cry for some norm, some connection…Honestly, it probably was that. Speaking to her on the phone, felt weird.. it felt so foreign. I think the past 27 years of my life, I have only talked to her on the phone for a total of 4 or 5 times, I don’t even know.. I only know and can recognize her voice as of now.
I could sense her hesitance on the phone, her fear, her agony, her pain, her struggle, and urge to hold back her words of forgiveness and tears. I would like to think I made it easy for her, with my calm, sweet, soft, voice and thoughtful statements. I mentioned to her about my new job, how I currently am working for Child Support Enforcement Services. Since she had mentioned about her bankruptcy and I knew of her struggle (from Frances) and could somewhat sense her embarrassment and shame… of applying for bankruptcy.
And I tried to help, tried to tell her about child support services and the assistance she can receive, since she has 2 children who are still under the age of 18 and that she does not have to be doing it all on her own.. A single mother, working 7 days a week on minimum wage. She insisted, “they don’t have that in Guam and that it is different.” I continued to tell her to just try and check. But she just let it go..
Towards the end of the call, when there was no more to be said… no other things to discuss, I mentioned I had to get back to work.. She said, “Ok… I love you.”
I then proceeded to say, “Take care.”
As I hung up the phone. I could feel it again. The welt deep inside my inner being, it all began to rise again. I was filled with so much emotion, so much pain, so much heart ache, so much wanted love… The tears couldn’t help but fall. I cried. I wanted to cry longer, to just let it out, to just let it go… I knew it was alright for me to feel this way, that it is what I needed, that it is what I wanted. I’ve longed for her to say those words.
But I restrained myself, I wiped my tears away, splashed my face with water, cleaned myself up. Then headed back into work. The irony is, I work 7 days a week, just like my mother.