After super typhoon Haiyan killed thousands of my countrymen in the Philippines on November 18, 2013, I started thinking how long I would be working as a staff nurse at the Ministry of Health in Kuwait.
I cried sometimes because I missed seeing my loved ones, especially my wife in the Philippines. As much as I wanted to be with her, I couldn't do anything right now for I must earn a living for us.
I looked down on myself sometimes. I felt lonely because I was far away from my family. It seemed unfair. But when I thought about the situations of other people, I realized I was still blessed to have a stable job and wonderful friends around me.
I asked so many questions. Perhaps, I was just scared what happened in wake of deadliest storm that hit the Philippines, which slaughtered so many innocent lives. It crossed my mind, "Why this is happening now?" I didn't have an answer, but I thought we should be prepared at all times.
Despite everything, I have seen the kindness of people all over the world. Many countries (US, Canada, UK, Germany, Japan, India, UAE, Norway, etc.) donated relief goods and sent their best medical teams to help the survivors in this tragedy.
Of course, I never blamed God for this. It helped me realize there was so much more I could do in life. I knew life was too short. In just a blink of an eye, everything you have worked for, will be gone forever.
Yes, that's what life is all about.
I knew I'd miss a very important opportunity of my life if I wouldn't spend it wisely. That's why I made up my mind. I would devote my time entirely to my family. They were my joy and success.
So next year, I'm planning to quit my nursing job. I've been thinking about this for a very long time. Sure, I would miss everything that I do right now. But I have to do this for a better change. And hopefully, my US immigrant visa would come out soon.
Money was important for me. I could buy things I need, but I couldn't buy the love, time, and chances that I had misspent. My family was my life ever since. So, if I have to choose between the two, I would save my family, which kept me from breathing.
I could find opportunities, but I couldn't turn back time I've wasted without my family. I didn't want to grow old alone in this world just like most Overseas Filipino Workers. It took a lot of courage and sacrifice for them to do these things for their loved ones.
I believe I have my own reasons. However, I must admit that I truly admired most foreign workers. They've sacrificed themselves in order for others to live a good life. Now for me, they are true heroes not only for their families, but for their countries as well. Indeed, they've earned my respect.
Therefore, everyone has a choice, either to be alone or be with their loved ones. I'd say my family would always be my first pick. At this point, nothing would make me happier than a glimpse of my wife's face.
The truth is, the more I thought about her, the more I forgot about me. She was my life and everything to me. I couldn't ask for more. And if you've made a right decision, you'd never regret it.