“Mama, please don’t go away again.” – Niña Elisha (10 years old)
Niña Elisha, ten years old, was only six when her mother Elena Verzosa left to work as a Migrant Domestic Worker in Hong Kong. Although Elena kept herself busy as an active member of the migrant community, and as a PathFinders Ambassador, she still felt guilty having missed a part of Niña’s life. No matter how often she used to call Niña during the day, she said “it’s still not enough.”
Now back home in the embrace of her daughter, Elena is making every moment count with her daughter. They are both going through the process of learning and knowing more about each other. Elena took this opportunity to speak with Niña and asked about her feelings now that her mother is home.
Elena: What did you feel when Mama was still in Hong Kong?
Niña: I felt sad and I envied my cousins because I was the only one without Mommy beside me. My other cousins also kept telling me that my Mommy was away.
Elena: Now that I’m finally back home, how do you feel?
Niña: I am happy now. Mama takes care of me and cooks yummy food for me. I can confidently say I have my mama to my cousins and neighbours.
Elena: Do you have any likes and dislikes about mama?
Niña: I like that mama always kisses and hugs me. (Niña turns silent, perhaps she was too shy to share her dislikes about her mom!)
Elena: Would you allow mama to go back to Hong Kong to work again?
Niña: No. (in tears) I don’t want to feel alone and sad again.
Sharing from Elena:
When I was talking to her, I was really fighting for my tears not to fall. But I cried in the toilet after we talked. I am very happy that finally I am with my family.
When I was in Hong Kong, all I wished was to, at least, visit my family back home because I had never been home for almost four years. But we don’t miss video calling everyday, 3 times a day. But I still feel guilty about the time I missed in my child’s life. Because I know no matter how often we video call in a day, it’s still not enough.
Now that I am back home, I get the chance to talk to my daughter. To be honest I’m the one who’s doing [making] more effort to reach out. Because she is a bit shy.
And at this point we are still in the adjustment period, and at the point of knowing each other because she is more grown-up. She has also acquired habits and mannerisms that I don’t like (which I am trying to correct). Now, I am letting her be more involved in household chores. I let her help me prepare things when I’m about to cook lunch or dinner. We also go for a walk after she finishes her school work.