Being Independent was Never an Option

But I would not have chosen other way even if I could.


I hugged mom for the last time at the airport as my flight was boarding in an hour.

She apologized. She always apologized and cried. On our texts, on Facebook, on the phone, even on my last day home after not coming home for two years.

We have talked about this many times. She is sorry, for, basically, thinking she hasn’t done a good-enough job raising me.

She is sorry for not giving me a ‘complete’ family since I was raised without a father. Sorry for never home to take care of me when I was little since she was working a full-time job. Twenty two years later she is still sorry for not being able to fund my college tuition, or giving me allowance like most parents do. She is sorry because I wasn’t privileged. She is sorry for not being able to give me choices or directions about many things in life.

I had my moments. I had to learn how to ride bicycle all on my own whereas other kids were led by their fathers in the park. Whereas other kids slept early, I spent my childhood nights waiting for mom to come home from work and I would not sleep until she did. I ended up calling my aunts ‘mother’ too, because they took care of me as mom was at work. Once I had to excuse myself to the bathroom and cried for five minutes when I was invited to eat supper at my best friend’s house with her family, because I realized I never remembered eating with my father and I hardly ate supper with mom on the dining table. I had my moments too.

But if it wasn’t because of her not being able to pick me up from school, I would not have been brave to take the public bus on my own to go home; I would not have been brave to fly to foreign lands and chase my dreams later on. If it wasn’t because of her brave decision of divorcing my father, I would have been raised traumatized by an abusive father. If it wasn’t because of her not able to fund my education, I would not have believed that I could stand on my two feet finding ways to fund my education. If it wasn’t because I wasn’t privileged, I would not have been so eager to realize that money is never a measurement for respect; but knowledge and intelligence are. If it wasn’t because she never gave me choices and directions, I would not have been eager to find out what I want and create my own choices; I would not have grown up being confident to make decisions and stand for myself, I would not have had realized that I could, as long as I would.

I have told mom so many times but it seems that it’s never enough. She has done a terrific job as a mother, and a father- raising me on her own. To me, it was never an option to live independently, but to her, loving me was never an option either.

U.W.

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