I Will Grow Without You (On Being A Parent 2)

Nobody reads my blog and it’s facilitating my writing need to expose what’s truly in my heart and mind. I want to be able to document my history, my present circumstances, my feelings, my thoughts. I’ve no time anymore to worry about any co-blogger’s judgment as to what I write here; it’s been more ideal.

Barely five years ago, a talented female blogger I looked up to narrated the heartbreak she was experiencing when her son kept his silence and put a cold distance between them. Her narrative, as a consequence, inspired a post from me over my gratefulness for still having my son at the time while basking in my confidence on our strong bond. She somehow found out about my post – and though she was kind all along, she said something like “I had thought it wouldn’t happen to me, but it did.” Deep inside, my response was “Heaven knows how hard I’ve tried to do things right. I wasn’t perfect but I tried hard indeed. What happened to her won’t happen to me — not with the love my son and I have for each other.”

Well, fast forward a few years to reach to this day – that female blogger had been accurate in her prognosis. I was such a fool. I’m still trying to muster the courage to write to her and tell her how much of a laughing stock I must have turned out to be.

There’s nothing more humiliating than people thinking you’ve failed as a parent.

How can you even function when the person you’ve devoted half of your life to has done the unthinkable?” My sister perplexedly asked during a conversation on the phone one day.

Unthinkable…. yes.

My answer: “You should understand –- I’ve done my best for the boy. Haven’t I sacrificed enough? He might not see it that way and I doubt he ever will. My conscience is clear, nonetheless. Never was I remiss in doing my job as both his Dad and Mom in the twenty two years we were together. He left on his own. There’s nothing he could need from me now; That I’ve got to accept.”

Don’t get me wrong: It was a shock to me initially. Tears have been shed, but I’ll be honest in saying it hasn’t matched the tears I’ve shed for losing my father. Why? I had neglected my father for many reasons; one of them was attributable to my struggles as a single parent. As a mother, my best, if not all, had been given. Yet my father — whom I owe my life to — was in my life longer. But there was nothing I had given him; nothing I had done for my dearest one.

And what right do I have to chastise my son when I have not exactly been a model daughter to my parents either?

I treated my child so much better than my parents treated me. Having no other children could have been a factor. Still, I didn’t completely turn my back on my father. My devotion to him lingered through all those years. As to my mother, I still manage to talk to her every now and then.

I asked my son repeatedly what went wrong, he wouldn’t say. Was it because I went ahead and spent for the vacation trip (out of my own pocket) that he refused to join following his successful Engineering exam last year?

I asked for his forgiveness repeatedly as well for whatever I might have done that he couldn’t make allowances for. It didn’t save our relationship. He simply wanted to live his new life – without me.

So, you see, my conscience is clear.

That it has happened at a time when I still have my health and the grace of, hopefully, several years left to get on with whatever good that has remained is a blessing. The uncertainty of what lies ahead ought not to plague one’s mind. The future will somehow take care of itself.


I will grow…even without you.” Those were Rosie O’ Donnell’s words after her recent controversial falling out with her daughter.

How quick it is for people to cast verdict against Rosie O’ Donnell. As the parent, she gets the flak for everything that has taken place. Even though we aren’t so sure of the true score.

She is reportedly broken in heart and spirit these days. May Rosie carry on through this tough period in her life.

On Being A Parent

My son and I – together we stood like a castle of tender hearts under soft sun rays. We flew with gossamer wings through simple ways. There’s much you can rhapsodize during the course of bringing up your child. Who would have thought of that when as a young girl becoming a mother didn’t even factor as a gem in my destiny. But turn of events engendered motherhood to dominate my landscape, setting my life off to eddy around raising my only child — who has become the brightest star in my adult life.

He has blossomed into a wonderful person. Yes he has. And I want to believe I had something to do with that — for having raised him singlehandedly. Still, no relationship is immutable. Fate doesn’t always sync with our hopes. Perhaps because there is no essence that doesn’t fade with time. Or could I simply have been so wrongheaded into thinking my framework for responsible parenting would ensure me of a permanent place in his future?

Exquisite joys and exquisite sorrows stroll hand in hand. Staggering mistakes could have been made. Pardon had thus been sought. I wish I had been more faultless; I wish I had done my job with lesser flaws.

The question remains: Have I really been a good parent to my son?

With confident stance, the answer is yes. I wouldn’t be able to say this if it weren’t so. I might have bungled on certain areas in my life but motherhood will go down in my history as something I can look back with reverence.

No matter what, he’s my child. Wherever his dreams take him, my heart will follow. Our shared moments have already been stashed lovingly behind me. Parenthood now belongs to my constellation of good memories.


I was in gradeschool when I first listened to Kasey Kasem’s log of this song’s crab-like ascent into Billboard’s Top 40 – a song which reportedly stayed in the charts for a record-breaking nine months.

More than three decades later, I’m still crazy about this ballad that discloses of a man’s thoughts upon coming face to face with the woman he once loved.

I learned only this week Paul Davis already passed away in 2008. As my tribute to the songwriter who wrote the tune that continues to be my all-time favorite, I’ve included here his last live performance (in his much later years) of his finest piece. Whether performed live or on record, both the man’s amazingly smooth cool voice and the beauty of the song remain memorable to me.

The Father of My Son

This one I’ve been meaning to write for a long time for the benefit of my son who never knew much about his father. It’s been more than 10 years since we last saw him. I believe I owe my son this post. He’s 20 now and perhaps, if he’d come across this piece in the near future, he’d already have acquired more awareness to discern some of life’s complexities and thus be able to understand more or less what happened in our past.

My son and I never talked much about the man who was once a huge part of our lives. Vague and hazy memories are all he’s got. We reckon we’ve got more important things to do than talk about the man who extricated himself and took the easy way out by totally disappearing in our lives. Nonetheless, I believe he deserves to know some things about his Dad, and our history together as a couple.         

There have been more than fine memories I still keep of the one I married and loved for ten years. We met at work when I was still hacking it out in the accounting field of the international firm Data General Philippines. Quiet and reserved like me. Practical minded. Unassuming. Passionate and sweet. That’s my ex-husband, whose personality isn’t different from the shrinking violet that I am. And somewhere between our 20s and silly eccentricities, we fell in love. Once upon a time.

Apart from him, I’ve never been loved as much by any other man or received as much romantic ardor and affection. I remember the heady days when he’d call to ask me to meet him up so we could simply take a stroll around the neighborhood hand in hand.

He could cook and was the one who whipped up various dishes for our meals (I never liked cooking by the way), and he took care of me at certain times when I got sick.

I also remember during a particular lean time in our finances when we met out of the blue one morning outside my parent’s house. I told him I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet so I was feeling hungry. He proceeded to search for the last remaining coins inside his pockets to buy me pieces of bread that I could munch on from a nearby store. I believe the bread got tastier then because of that particular display of caring he had shown me.

We’d also hang around inside the mall until late at night when the movie clerks stationed outside would finally go home and we’d run and sneak inside the movie house, giggling all the way, to watch the movie for free.

Certainly a few memories I’ve treasured of our simple fun and sweetness as a twosome.

Every weekend, we would meet in his sister’s rest house located in a peaceful suburban village and spend the whole day basking in the glow of our love for each other.

Good times, good times..                  

Months of passionate trysts on end went by until one day I mysteriously got sick. It was aggregated by a high fever for a couple of days, some vomiting and just feeling terrible.

My sister asked me pointblank, “Are you pregnant?”

“Of course not!” was my quick and bewildered reply.  Honestly, that probability never entered my mind but I soon rushed to him and together we proceeded to the nearest maternity hospital for some test.

Result: Positive. OMG..

We had been careful and did our best to follow the calendar method. How could it have happened?  

We weren’t ready for anything like parenthood and responsibility yet. We weren’t even sure we were truly the Right Ones for each other.

In the end, we decided to have the baby and got married in a civil ceremony. The officer who performed the rites joked about my ex-husband’s cold hands after shaking hands with him. Only his brother and aunt had been present to serve as witnesses. Oh by the way, he belonged to another religion.

Looking back, difference in religion could have factored considerably in the demise of our marriage. I am a Catholic, though not a practicing one. His family had been generations-long members of the second most powerful religion in our country that has been considered quite clannish and tribal by many. They have repeatedly asked me to join their Church. All I managed to do was attend and sit out at some worship services and that was it. I guess you all know by now, I can’t possibly bring myself to do or join anything that doesn’t feel natural for me.

In the course of time, he managed to make one thing quite clear. His mother and siblings would always come first. My son and I could only come second. He reasoned they needed him more. I guess he inferred his immediate family was more of a sure thing in his twilight years than my son and I combined. He could have also realized I was capable of bringing up our child on my own after all. That fact apparently granted him the audacity to pursue his own goals that don’t include my son and me.

He worked in the Middle East intermittently as a contractual electrical engineer. But everything he earned went to his family, that is, his mom and siblings. I’ve always been capable of earning my own money so I didn’t ask for his share, though I got increasingly frustrated that he didn’t make any attempt to pitch in. How come there was no way for me to detect these ominous elements earlier in our relationship?

As time went by, our stark differences took a more profound shape as well. It’s like we each belonged to disparate worlds. Our dissimilarities in choice of leisure activities became more pronounced. He branded my tastes in TV programs, movies, reading and music as being uppity and was never able to relate much to the literary leanings I had had.

I guess he had wanted me to share in the glee with the things that gave him amusement. I tried but couldn’t be genuinely upbeat doing it. A huge stone of discontent had come to lodge in our relationship as it slowly dawned on both of us how different our preferences were in many ways.

There could have been recognition too on his part that I’m not that much of a wife material, the kind that he needed in his life. Perhaps I might have been the wife that made sense only on paper but not from day to day in its domestic essence.

To his credit, he had been faithful in the years we were together as husband and wife. I never had to confront with the perils of infidelity or grappled with a skirt-chasing husband during our union.

Before our marriage completely came unglued, we got to see less and less of him until he drifted away for good. There was not even a final farewell from him.

That was a little more than ten years ago, when my son was barely 10 years old.

My son’s idiosyncrasies and occasional flash of outburst now is sometimes reminiscent of the man I once loved. Whenever that happens, I can’t help but go “Oh, it’s his father alright” in my mind. A father’s blood will run eternally in his child’s veins.

This is my side of the story. My ex-husband’s side will never come to light because I have a feeling we’ll never see him again. Whatever reasons he might have had for his unconscionable deed of turning his back on his son carry no weight upon me anymore. Besides, we’ve fared just fine.

 Maybe he’s in a very far away land now or, for all I know, he may already be in another dimension… There’s a chance I will never get to know for sure and frankly, I’m fine with that.

And so is my son it seems.