Maria Caitlin Periabras

Maria Caitlin Periabras

I’d be late to school if I took the bus. So you’ve made it part of your mornings to drop me off during the rush hour. I don't know how to make genuine, Filipino, home-cooked meals. So you always have a plate ready for me when I come home. I’m not the best in academics. So you do your best to help me with homework even though you have papers and e-mails to fill out for work. I was so young when we immigrated to Canada, and all of our immediate family are everywhere else. So you make sure that we have enough to travel to those places once in a while, so that I won’t lose touch with my culture and heritage. I get anxious in social situations. So you make appointments for me, accompany me in public places, offer to walk me the short distance it takes to get to the entrance of a building, and even stay in the parking lot for a bit longer (just in case). Some days I find harder than others; some days I find it hard to get out of bed, and to push away the intrusive thoughts plaguing my mind. So you reassure me, lighten the load on my shoulders so I can hold my head high and get through the day. I stumble. I fall, I make mistakes, and I get stuck. So you're always there. Always right beside me to help me get back on my feet, to give me that extra push I need to conquer that hurdle. My mind is so filled with self-doubt that I can never, truly believe in myself. So you encourage me to aim higher than my own expectations because you see the potential that I can't. I struggle to love myself. So you take it within yourself to love me enough for the both of us.

I'm your only child. So you sacrificed tooth and nail and your own happiness just for my sake. You handed the world to me on a silver platter — hiding the calluses on your hands, the blisters on your feet, and the weight of the long hours of work on your shoulders. We came to Canada with barely a penny to our name. So you worked. You worked, you worked, you worked, and you worked. And now we don't have to scrape or rely on others for our necessities; we can afford to invest and we can afford to splurge on the joys in life once in a while. You have a dream for me. And with my post-secondary acceptance, I'm so proud that I can finally make it a reality for you because this is only the least I could do.

God has been so kind, to have given me this life with the ability to call you my parents. You, who have supported me, made fun of me, and loved me unconditionally. (Literally and figuratively,) You have made me the person I am today. I don't deserve a lot but you've given me all that and more. So for that — and everything else — I am so, so grateful for. I hope one day I can somehow return everything back to you in tenfold.