When My Mother Broke Her Promise…May 13, 2017
When I was still studying, my family had financial problems. Good thing I had earned some money through modelling so I had enough to pay for the final installment of my tuition. But a few weeks before the due date, my parents had borrowed the money, promising to return it on time.
They broke their promise. I ended up missing the tuition deadline and filing twice for an extension. If I didn’t pay this time, I wouldn’t be able to take the final exam.
I remember standing outside the school cashier, very irritated with my mother over the phone. I needed the cash before 5pm, or else I would not be cleared for that school year.
Eventually my mother was able to bring the payment to me at 4:30pm. I was relieved but still very irritated. They borrowed my money. They broke their promise to return it, and it took pressure from the school to make them pay up!
Two months later, my mother asked me to drive her to a pawnshop in QC. It took a while for her to admit to me why.
The day I got angry about my tuition, she was having problems of her own. A storm whipped through our farm in the province causing so much damage and depleting a lot of their resources.
My dad, who was at the farm, needed her to do important errands Manila – from finding extra cash, to contacting suppliers for repairs, etc. She was braving the heat and traffic as she travelled from Makati, to Ortigas, to QC when I called her that day. But I never heard a word of complaint from her.
Aside from her other extremely urgent goals that day, she was determined not to break her promise to me again.
Without a peso left to spare for my tuition, extremely tired and emotionally drained, she hurried to the QC pawnshop and pawned a jewelry set my father gave her for an anniversary, not knowing if she would ever get it back. Then she took the money to my school in Manila to reach the 5pm deadline.
We were driving to QC to give a partial payment to the pawnshop. The farm had still not recovered fully, but she shielded me so well from the pressure and pain of it all.
I wanted to hide my face under the steering wheel in shame. Had I known what she was going through that day, would I have been so irritated with her? And how noble was my mother, not even mentioning her hardship to me that day so that she would not be a burden?
My parents are not perfect. They broke a promise to me that almost resulted in me not finishing the school year. But I also forget how hard they work to keep me comfortable (providing food, shelter, care, etc.). I mean the world to them and they are just doing the best they can.
I apologized to my mother for being so harsh over the phone about my tuition that day. She answered in her usual cheery voice, “It’s Ok, ‘nak!” as if I did not need to say sorry at all.
Thank you, Ma for every sacrifice that I never knew you did. I can’t wait to greet you “Happy Mother’s Day” in person when I visit you in the province soon.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!