"If I can see the moon here and I also saw it while I was there right where you are, why does it feel like you're so far away?"
My six year old daughter asked and I didn't know how to answer. She was sick and she's asking me to go home.
I had to send my kids to Mindoro because it was not possible for us here in Riyadh to sponsor a maid anymore. It was one of the hardest decisions I had to make in my life. Being far from those you love is sad but not being able to be there when they need you is heartbreaking.
Many times when I think of them, i could only cry. Helpless, homesick, restless.
When my eldest had to face difficulties at school, I wanted so badly to hug her and tell her that everything will be okay. But I couldn't.
When my baby got sick and was rushed to the hospital, I was crushed. I wanted to be there for her. I just wanted to hold her tight and tell her that angels are watching over her and she'll be alright. But I couldn't.
The most painful consequence of having to work abroad for your family is not missing reunions or weddings or birthdays or anniversaries but being away when your loved one needs you most.
Sometimes my kids refuse to talk to me, saying they miss me more when we do chat. My eldest always asks me how many days are left before she could see me again. She tells me how hard it is to have parents away from their kids and all her friends' moms and dads pick them up from school everyday. I feel her.
My little baby keeps asking me to go home for her 7th bday and she says she has no other birthday wish other than to see her parents.
My sister says she finds my kids crying sometimes from missing us. I wish I could tell her I cry all the time from missing them. I always have to keep my self busy and tire myself up so I could just be normal.
No one told me it would be this hard. Nobody did.
I know I have to think positively. I have to be strong because our sacrifices now are intended for them to have a better future. Whenever I pray, i thank God for the passing day because I know it becomes a day closer to the time I'll be with them again. I pray that God would bless my daughters each with a heart that loves and a mind that understands more. I pray that he would bless my sister and my parents with good health and patience while they look after my children.
I stare at the moon tonight and imagine my daughters doing the same. I close my eyes and whisper how much I love them both to the moon and back.
It really is far, but hey, one day is almost over again. It's a day closer to the time I'll be with them but sadly, it's also a day away from them that I could never get back again.
What makes me happy?
People. Everyone around me who believes and inspires me- my family, my husband, my two beautiful girls, my friends and colleagues.
Life itself is a happy experience. The world is a happy place.
I had my own share of struggles, life was not easy for us back then but my Dad taught me how to believe in myself, work hard , be kind and to be strong. He inspired me to go out of my comfort zone. He used to tell me that the possibilities in life are endless and so I believed him.
l Iost him quite a few years ago but he has left me with so much inspiration to follow my dreams - to visit places I have only dreamt of or have seen in the movies when I was little and to do things I thought were only for the privileged few.
Wherever I go, I always remember my Dad, wishing he could see me from afar and somehow be proud of me as I have always been so proud of him. Life is short and I promised him that I would make the most of mine.
Travelling makes me happy and in all other things, I choose happiness. We all should- always..