Monday, January 16th, 2006 at 1:00am…my parents plane took off for the Philippines. It’s for real, they’ve moved back to the homeland, leaving me with Power of Attorney for their affairs and the responsibility of taking care of my siblings. That’s quite a lot of responsibility to swallow…added onto the fact that I’m about to have a child of my own in four months.

The weekend was filled with laughter, reminiscing, prayers, and tears from every pair of eyes but my own. My mother cried, my sister cried, my father cried, my grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins cried, friends of the family cried…even my husband cried! I smiled, I played board games with my mom and relatives, I laughed, I relived old times, I met with the lawyer and signed papers, I organized the family gatherings and arranged to have everyone fed…I did whatever needed to be done…as usual.

I’ve always seen myself as the strong one in the family, not suceptible to public emotional displays. I don’t cry at sad movies, weddings (not even my own!), funerals, goodbyes…I generally just don’t cry. My sister says this makes me cold…it’s also been said that I’m dead inside. I feel sadness, I just don’t cry. Is that so bad? Besides, everyone around me was already a dishevelled mess of tears…why should I add to the turmoil? Someone needs to comfort everyone else, it just so happens that someone is usually me.

So anyways, the entire family spent the weekend together. Typical of my family we had a last-minute “lost car keyes” crisis just as we were leaving for the airport. (You’d think they’d be sitting on the table with plane tickets and passports…but no.) We borrowed another uncle’s car and packed 3 carloads, then we all gathered at the airport late Sunday night to see my parents & brother off. We spent 2 hours waiting with them at the airport foodcourt after their check-in, did our hugs and said our goodbyes and then they were gone.

It wasn’t until I was alone and in bed that it really hit me…then the floodgates were opened and I cried pretty much the whole night through. I realized then that by the time my daughter saw my parents again, she’d be talking and in her terrible twos! My poor husband didn’t quite know how to deal with the emotional train-wreck I was for the rest of the day.

So there you have it, I’m not your superwoman, I’m not dead inside…I’m just…well guarded. Or am I?