My father passed away when my two siblings and I were still toddlers. My mother, a nurse, became an OFW in various hospitals in Asia and the Middle East the next 20 years. We only saw her three times in all those years. We were not wanting financially, but still, we would have wanted her to see us more often. Our grandmother cared for us growing up.
When she came home last year for a two-month-long vacation, we were surprised when she arrived with a younger man whom she introduced as her friend. They work in the same hospital where he is an engineer.
While here, they traveled around the country with other friends to see the sights which was just as well as we siblings were busy with our own jobs. We were so used to not seeing her that we weren’t upset when they left.
After a month, I received a letter from abroad. It was from the guy who came with my mother. He was friendly and asked how the family is doing. It was followed by more friendly letters, which I rather liked because he was funny and entertaining. It baffled me, though.
When he finally called on the phone to talk, it started to feel awkward. He said he had not stopped thinking about me since we met. We are more age-appropriate and he is actually likable but I felt I’ve betrayed my mother.
He wrote a long letter telling me about their relationship. He said they are close—but more like mother and son, nothing more. I verified this with my mother in a roundabout way, and she confirmed it. Still, I felt uneasy about it.
I’ve started to feel something for him, but my notion of what was going on between him and my mother was a problem. I couldn’t tell anyone about his letters or his calls and what was happening between us.
I actually felt guilty about it. I was also afraid to be judged by my family. I just stopped all communication with him without saying why. It was becoming difficult to bottle all this up.
It must have felt good initially to be wooed by someone you found interesting. But sadly, your conscience couldn’t escape the shadow of your mother.
There is neither a crime being committed here nor shame to feel for that matter. You are single as he is, and he as well as your mother have confirmed that they are not a couple. Unless you require more verification about their statements, you’re actually free to continue communicating with him if you want to.
It’s great to know how much you value your relationship with your mother, as well as appearances. If you believe there’s a future with this guy, get to know each other more and be open to your family about it. Your mother may even appreciate it, considering they’ve known each other longer. She’d definitely be your first line of defense should she have any qualms about him.
Be gentle with yourself and give yourself a chance. In this day and age, it’s becoming more and more difficult to find someone who can actually be a friend.