A doctor and a mother of a 16-year-old boy had a hard time balancing her life between work and family. Being always on call, it makes her guilty at times missing her children’s important events in life. If the chances permit her, she would give everything just to spend most of her time with her children and husband.
But the sad reality was, those chances are rare. Most of the time, she busied herself in the hospital full-time, having unpredictable hours. But she was grateful that they understood the nature of her work. Though, she assured them to join with them during weekends or on her occasional vacations to make up with them.
She always does her best to make efficient use of her time. Thankfully, her manager gives leeway to moms like her whenever she begs off requests from double shifts. She also finds ways to go around errands, such as paying bills payments online to maximize her time.
Still, there are times that the inevitable happens and work gets her in the way of family time.
Her son, 16, had a huge basketball game last month. It was do-or-die and the team that wins makes it to the finals. She adjusted her shift and promised to be there after my rounds. But during that day, one of her confined patients needed an urgent check for a sudden change in his vital signs. Responding to a life-and-death situation, she knew that she could not make it to the game. She called her husband and informed her situation with a heavy heart.
About an hour and a half later, her patient had been stabilized, and so she went to check her phone. She opened a message from my husband which wrote:
“72-71. They won!”
She felt overwhelming happiness upon knowing the news jumping a couple of times yet she was also sad for she was not there for her son. To make up with her sin, she thought of giving something for her son to reward his accomplishment.
Making things fast, she went to GCash and checked out how Send Ang Pao works. Thinking that this might surprise his son who uses the app to load his phone.
While inputting the amount, she felt sure that her son would need new sneakers for the championship game.
She typed in the message: “Congratulations son! I am so sorry Mama was not there. I had an emergency. I am so proud of you!” I pressed send.
She then received a text from her son while driving home. It said:
“Thank you for the Ang Pao Ma. You didn’t have to. I understand how your job is. But thank you. See you when you get home.”
The overwhelmed yet wretched doctor then shed tears from her eyes upon knowing how considerate her son was.