Yet again, I said my prayer of praise and thanksgiving in the wee hours of the morning after my birthday celebration with my family (twas actually a trio birthday celeb with my twin uncles). Though sleepless and emotionally cried out for the last couple of days, I struggle to find sleep or it can’t find me; and so I reflect…
37 years of living this amazing life; 37 years of strength and weaknesses, ups and downs, struggles and peace, love pain, happiness and sorrows; years and years of discovery and rediscovery, mistakes and realizations; lessons learnt, laughters, tears and everything good and bad, still hasn’t prepared me for the biggest sacrifice I have to give – being away from my children and my husband. This is the the first birthday away from them and it is altogether bittersweet coz I still have my sisters and few good friends to relish this day with and I am thankful for all these blessings but my emotions overflow because the very thing that will fill the void and complete the celebration are my boys. This longingness only makes me want to settle for good with them all the more. But that’s part of God’s plans for me after all.
I say a prayer of blessings for all the people who wished me this day especially those who never fail to make me feel loved even on Halloween, easter, Christmas or just another one fine day. I am truly and utterly blessed and loved by our Lord without a doubt. From hereon, I will myself to realize that blessings do not always come in big bundles, it comes in its smallest particle and in tears and sufferings…God, indeed, moves in really myterious ways and if at times, rather most of the time, I could not have fathom these, I will always leave it at that. Having said so, my ultimate birthday prayer then is that Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name; Thy Kingdom come and Thy Will be done, Amen.
Goodbye is indeed the hardest part of hello; especially, seeing my kids cry and cling on to me was the most excruciating – feet are heavy from taking a mere step away from them. Worse, re-booking my return flight to Abu Dhabi placed me in a much much cheaper carrier of Sri Lankan Airlines (flight affiliated with the new Mihin Lanka). I know 4 and a half hours is much preferred than the 9 hours to fly between Manila and Abu Dhabi but for a melancholic soul like me who can never sleep in planes, without entertainment to keep me by, this will seem like eternity. The e-books on my phone would have sufficed but we were unfortunately prohibited from using devices even on flight mode. I would have also asked for reading materials from the cabin crew but then found a pen and a piece of paper (where my ETA to Sri Lanka was printed) inside my bag so I hand-wrote this entry (typing it up now that I am reunited with my laptop and an unlimited data package from Etisalat). I am so glad that the baby of the passengers in the next seat has fallen asleep; finally, some peace and quiet after an hour of wailing cries; I am also glad that the air-conditioning has started to fill the cabin with cool air and I stopped using the menu as a make-do fan; I also could not be happier that the passenger behind me is no longer stomping his big foot against my chair so I have avoided an argument in case I would not have been able to be patient no more and told him off. I guess, in the midst of all these petty things, I was just swaying with my loneliness and homesickness from being away from my kids and husband – the loves of my life, next to God and myself. I can hardly breathe and find myself fighting the tears every now and then but it will get better – it always does get better.
I am blessed to have shared this wonderful vacation with my boys by the grace of God with the bonus of having my parents come over for a visit – an unexpected visit I am so thankful for as they get to spend another month with their grandsons. As for me, I will be happy to see and be with my sisters and their families back in Abu Dhabi. That is another silver lining; most overseas workers leave their family without having anybody to help ease the pain of separation from loved ones. I guess there is really no rhyme or reason for me at this point but one thing is for certain – I will journey back to SL to be with my own family very soon.
UAE has been good to me for over a decade but I can’t help the truth that it also presented me with so many rooms for errors and temptation to commit them. Not that I blame it but I did make a lot of bad decisions and mistakes in it. A few good things it offered me was the opportunity to bring my parents, siblings and families over; it offered me good career growth and learning; mostly, lessons learnt from implicating circumstances that I wouldn’t have thought I will be in – not in a million years. But this is because of the mistakes I have made. But more importantly, I got married to a kind and loving man and he gave me 2 beautiful sons.
It is never too late to correct this mistakes and live a life of love, forgiveness and with God in the midst. This time, priorities will be in order, prioritizing a must and setting priorities is my mantra now more than ever. I came back to work with the same professionalism and dedication to my company but my ultimate priority is my family – more but no less. I will see how I can realize all these, threading a long path, which will lead me back to them at the end of the line.