My Mum Sacrificed so I could Go to Medical School
Change is never easy. Between moving to a new house and starting University, I couldn’t choose which one was the hardest.
Ever since I was little, I always wanted to be a doctor. When kids my age would be grabbing fashion magazines I would go for the nearest Readers Digest. All through primary school I remember my favourite subject was science. Doctors were my idols. I loved everything from their job to their lab coats and stethoscopes.
On the other hand, I loved our old house.
I had made friends, some whom I even thought of as siblings. The thought of moving made me sick to my stomach. The fact that we were moving to Syokimau made me even sicker. I didn’t know anyone there. The distance to town is terrible. I didn’t think I would be happy.
When I told my mother I wanted to study medicine, she just swept it under the rug.
To her I was just a form-four leaver, who didn’t know what she wanted. But I was determined. I knew what I wanted so I kept on insisting and reminding her that I wanted to study medicine. Hoping that one day it would get through her head.
‘You will have to find another career Helga: I don’t have the money for medical school.’
That’s what my mother said to me. Everyone knows medical school is expensive and this is what she was afraid of. We couldn’t afford it. It hurt a lot but there was nothing that I could do. I had two siblings behind me who were fully dependent on my mother just as I was.
My mum didn’t say or do anything. She seemed a little distant during the weeks following our discussion about medical school. I never knew what she was up to.
I had to embrace the change that was thrown my way. Even though it hurt that I couldn’t pursue my dream, it was comforting that she still wanted me to get my university education. So I decided business management was the way to go. I didn’t want to study business but it was one of the subjects I was good at in high school.
A day before I was to hand in my registration forms, Mum called me to her room. ‘Turns out you can go to medical school after all.’ I didn’t know what she was up to or whether to believe her or not. Of course I was the happiest girl in our family that day. I could finally achieve what I had always wanted all through my childhood.
I registered and joined medical school. Settling into a new environment was pretty easy, probably easier than I expected.
I had to struggle with catching up but it was worth it.I was so consumed by school work that I forgot about the whole moving to Syokimau project. So you can imagine my surprise when my sister told me we weren’t moving anymore. ‘I heard mum saying she sold the house because she needed the money.’ That’s when it hit me. My mother had to sell the house we were to move into for me to go to medical school.
To this day she still doesn’t know that I found out what she did for me. I don’t have the courage to ask her. But I will always appreciate that she gave up all she had to give me what I wanted.
Related: A Letter to My Mother