Halu-halo ang emosyon na naramdaman ni Jackie Forster nang makita niyang muli ang kanyang mga anak kay Benjie Paras na sina Andre, 22 at Kobe, 20. Ibinahagi naman ni Jackie sa PEP.ph na nagsimula ang kanilang komunikasyon noong January.
“I got a phone call last January 22 at 6:30 am from Kobe. I was in London and he was in California. We had an overwhelming 40-minute conversation.
“Of course, I was overwhelmed with happiness, just the fact that he was calling me, and as a mom, you’re happy, right?
“But I was confused... like I was waiting for him to tell me that there was a problem, because all this time, you feel like that’s the reason why he would call me, you know what I mean? So I was just waiting for something negative after.
“I would like to enjoy the moment, but I was waiting for a punchline na there has to be something… He said, ‘Ma, it’s me Kobe,' and he said, ‘How are you?’ Naiyak ako, sabi ko, 'I’m better now because I’m really happy with my life, but I’m just tired.'
“I’m just tired 'coz it’s not easy to take care of kids in different countries, traveling all the time with no family or friends to help. So when Kobe called me, parang a lot of weight came off my shoulders.”
Ikinuwento rin niya na namalagi siya sa Los Angeles ng isang buwan at “one on one” sila ni Kobe sa loob ng tatlong linggo. Hindi naman nila agad ipinagsabi ang kanilang pagsasama dahil sa pakiusap na rin ito ni Kobe.
“I promised Kobe I wouldn’t tell anyone, and that was something important to him that it was private first ‘coz he didn’t want other people to know. Ayaw niyang may makialam, ayaw niyang may manggulo.”
Nang umuwi sa Pilipinas si Kobe, nakapagkita na rin silang mag-ina kasama si Andre. Hindi naman agad nakabisita si Andre sa Los Angeles dahil sa kanyang trabaho.
“Si Andre naman, from the beginning, he’s sending messages to Kobe, so Kobe would tell me, 'Andre said hi,' 'Andre said he misses you,' 'Andre said he misses you but because of work, he couldn’t come to L.A.'
“And Andre didn’t want to do things on the phone. He wanted to see me in person but we’ve been in communication since end of January.
“It was nice, obviously, it was his first time to see me in a while. so there’s a lot of nervous energy but it was very positive and it was a good first meeting."
Sa huli ay sinabi ni Jackie na gusto na nilang mag-“move forward.”
“We are all happy, we are okay but we wanna move forward and we just wanna move on in peace. We don’t wanna talk about the past, especially the kids. Everything needs to be positive from this point on ‘coz, you know, if you keep on going backward, it will just open more things.
“And the last thing the kids wanna do is to be put in a place where they have to choose and it’s not healthy. And being their mother, it’s my right to protect them. That’s all that I’ve been doing this whole time so that’s what important to me, that nobody would question them anymore.”