I haven’t blogged in two years for myself. That’s what happened. For everyone who personally knows me and for those who just follows me on social media they know that I left my two kids and migrated to Dubai. It was on the 14th of August 2014 the most heartbreaking day of my entire life. And time flies it has been indeed two years.
I had a money making freelancing business in Manila, Philippines as social media strategist and content writer working from my home. But raising an autistic child the money would often go so fast plus my high school teenager. Two years before this, I had an offer from my brother who has been living in Dubai for a long time to migrate. Because he knows that people of my skill set are in demand and are paid lucratively in Dubai. But that knowledge (because I researched it as well!) did not make me accept it right away. It took me another two years to finally take it. What was stopping me was the notion of leaving my children whom I was never been far away since they came into this world. That would break my heart into million pieces. After carefully thoughts, seeking pieces of advice from closed friends, relatives and of course my own research, I have accepted the offer. Immediately, my brother processed my papers.
My visa and my plane ticket came by courier approximately two weeks before my planned departure; which was August 14, 2014.
It was the most hellish two weeks of my entire life. Preparing all the things I needed. I wanted to put my home into automation like I do for my social media content. It was not easy to leave a home where I was in total control of the management. Saying goodbye to close friends and relatives. Meeting them taking stuff they want my brother in Dubai to get, preparing and buying all the things on my brother’s list to bring to Dubai. At work, making turn overs to people who was replacing me and training them . On my main job at WebSavvy with Mike Rhodes, they didn’t want me to resign, they gave me two weeks leave to weigh things between Dubai and my rockstar job at Australia’s premier Google AdWords agency. So I was still working and literally advancing my work until a day before my flight to cover for the two weeks that I’ll be gone.
The most difficult of all was leaving Santiago my youngest who has Asperger’s Syndrome. Children who has this condition rely on patters and routines. Thus, when this pattern or routine is broken they have some issues. And in our case, “Mama always with me” was a pattern for him. A simple stay over of a few days with his Dad we had some issues. This one is a major pattern break up when I fly to Dubai. But through the help of his certified therapists, we were able to slowly change this pattern until the day of my flight.
For my eldest son he won’t definitely take it with me leaving him; so he went to school as normal and that he said that, when he comes home from school to find out I won’t be there, he will just think that I was at SM Center. So, on the night before me and my eldest son Bruce had a heart to heart talk saying goodbye. It went very emotional before I tucked him to bed for the night. It was a very rare not the usual school night tucking to bed. I had to give it to my first born, how mature he was taking life, how responsible and most of all how strong he was. He had tears flowing from his eyes but I always thought him that crying was not always a sign of weakness. That night, I knew that God has truly blessed me with Bruce. If I wasn’t blessed with a husband, God put them all back by having an eldest like him.
My next ordeal was saying goodbye to my youngest. I was hoping he would still be in school when I leave for the airport. Unfortunately, he will come home 45 minutes before I am scheduled to go to the airport. On this day I asked their Dad to stay with them to go through their first few days after I leave. As usual, he was late.
My ride came, all my bags are packed, Santiago on the computer upstairs. I make a few more quick calls to my sister and to my two brothers for one last goodbye. I go upstairs to make the most heart wrenching goodbye of all. I sit on my heels to be at his level in the computer table. “Santi, mama is going to fly to Dubai now. We have talked about this, right? Why mommy is leaving.” He replied, “Yes for a better job. I want to go with you to Dubai” and he stood up from his chair. I checked my notes from his therapists mentally, this was not supposed to be happening! So, I told him that he can’t now because he has school tomorrow and that he can’t be absent. He replied, “No, I want to come with you…” He wasn’t crying but I began to cry.
He repeated what he said about two or three more times but I felt like it was a hundred times. I felt like being stabbed in my chest whenever he said he wants to go with me. I called my sister to ask for an advice because at that very moment I wanted to cancel everything and I wasn’t thinking straight. She told me to be strong and repeat it over and over that I was doing this for his future. And where is his Dad when he was supposed to be there now? I kissed Santi one last time and I said I was going and he was already busy with his computer game.
I heavily removed myself from the front of my apartment where the driver was waiting and had put my luggage in the car. I look at my apartment one last time and I said goodbye to their nanny. I was deeply touched as my neighbors for many years was standing in line with their eyes filled with tears as well and bid me goodbye. My feet, my arms, my head and my chest was heavier than my baggage. As I hop in the car and crying like crazy to the airport.
I reached the airport and told myself, this will be just another test to strengthen my faith and to prove that we single moms will always take on any challenge to ensure the future of our children. I never traveled outside the Philippines, this will be a first time. One of my favorite cliches, there is always a first time. So, Dubai here I come let’s see what you have in store for me to provide a good future for the angels I just left behind.