When your plate is filled even with stale food, it’s very easy to forget everything else. Time. Friends. Yourself. You live by the moment, with no thoughts for the future because if you think about what’s ahead and not see an end, the ounce of drive that keeps you going will just vanish. And whatever that is, you have to kindle it like an invisible flame illuminating the darkness in your heart.
I have been struggling to understand the proverb—Everything happens for a reason. And I think God wanted me to fully fathom this in a way I am hesitant to accept. Soon after my Lolo Philip recovered from his respiratory ailment, a series of unfortunate events unfolded. It was then that My Lola Nelia suffered from a cerebral infarct—stroke. And since then I have been seeing death eye-to-eye and neither of us wanted to blink. But he knows I am growing weary, and tired, and I sometimes feel that my heart is going to give in to the pressure, to the lack of sleep, to everything. His stench never left my nostrils and how I wish I could sneeze him out of my system.
My world has been in chaos and the circumstances are taking their toll on our family but I can’t afford to break down and give up. I am clinging to the hope that there is still so much to live for in spite of everything. After a month and a week (and counting), after two cardiac standstills, two surgeries, being tended by twelve doctors, a gazillion medications, a thousand needle injections (and counting) and she’s still here. We’re still here inside this hospital room, breathing the same sterile and forbidding air. But the fact that we are still able to breath in air into our lungs is a realization that we’re still alive.
There is very long road ahead and I have to muster all my strength to wade it even though I am not sure if there’s a good ending to it. Fear licks my heart and the feeling of inadequacy is always on my doorstep. But I think the lesson here is to learn how to keep those things at bay. There are so many ways to endure in the middle of an ill-fated reality, and sometimes it just includes closing a door to everything that will feed the gathering clouds of despair and hopelessness.
I think God wants me to appreciate all the good things when the world seems to crumble down before my eyes. He wants to teach me that hope can be found even in the smallest of things; that it can be in a form of a good urine output, or well coughed-out sputum; a spontaneous eye-opening, a contorted smile or simply a beating heart. God is training me, and disciplining me, because he loves me. He is bigger than I am and I couldn’t help but wonder what plans He had set for me. And I think, to see the end, I have to brave the troubled waters and traverse the ominous paths. I have to walk on, in the hope that a beautiful journey awaits…