Having a loved one working overseas, earning dollars is not really a rewarding and an ideal situation to me. Ten years of being a wife of an OFW has been a big challenge to me. It is a continuing journey of keeping the family intact despite the absence of a husband. My story is about my life as a wife of an OFW, my multiple roles in the family , the concerns of my OFW husband, and concerns for other migrant families as well.
What a Feeling!
I remember that day in October 1995, when we sent off my husband for Singapore. With me our daughter who had just turned two years old a few days back. At the airport, I saw sadness in my husband’s eye while cuddling and playing with our little girl some few minutes before he left. As if she understood that they will be separated for quite time, she cried out loud while trying to reach out for her father when it was time for him to check in. I felt a painful pinch in my heart for both of them. It was difficult but had to hide my own feelings and I tried hard to appear strong if only to lessen the heavy feeling that my husband has been carrying in the last few days.
I was silently crying as he entered the airport. Out of my sight, I feared for him in the outside world. Can he manage to cope up the homesickness? I knew he was hurting too. I sensed the same intensity of anguish as he walked away from us to live in a foreign land. I don’t know how I managed to leave the airport that afternoon with a heavy heart and empty feeling. That seemed to me the longest day in my life. My thoughts were full of “why’s, “what ifs”, and how’s”, yet these questions remained unanswered. I was in that state for several hours, until the phone rang and a familiar voice was on the other end. It was my husband’s! For the first on that day, tears flowed freely on my face. His voice was like magic that washed away the heavy feeling on my chest. I breathed out a sigh of relief knowing that he reached his destination safely, in the company of his Filipino co-workers.
What were my fears and anxieties about my husband’s working abroad? We got married in December 1992, both of us were employed receiving enough for our monthly expenses. However, his employment would always end up after six months to one year of contract. He was so frustrated because his 5-year engineering course and skills that came with it, was not guarantee of work security. As a young couple who had just started to build a family of our own, this unsecured employment made us worry as to the kind of future we can offer to our children. At that time, we knew of some friends who left the country for work overseas because of the same situation. But my husband having the conviction of not leaving his family and the country, he still tried his luck for a permanent job locally. Years passed and he continued sending out application letters to different companies, but he didn't get lucky. Contractual job was always the offer.
The year 1995 was very…..
...to be continued