I’m currently on a trip I wasn’t prepared to make. Left Manila in a rush. Flight bookings were made in the morning. Flew out in the evening. Crossed over eleven thousand miles to be with a loved one. Now in LA.
I hate cancer. It comes worse than a thief in the night. It just comes and disrupts and claims, without any regard for anyone nor time. Friends have battled with it. Some won, some lost. A sister is fighting it now. A sister who is half the bookend of the family, myself being the other. In our family of eleven, she’s #1 and I’m #11.
Mortality is becoming so real. More than a handful of friends have gone ahead. At a time when the world seems to have turned upside down. When the strangest of things have become a regular occurrence. When the world is turning into a more dangerous place than it was before. When in my country, one wakes up to news of killings, mostly of the young – their hopes and dreams snuffed out in one night.
In our youth, we get preoccupied with living and chasing dreams. The notion of Death is too farfetched. As one gets older, it becomes a reality that slowly starts to creep in. Sometimes, it jolts one to remind – it’s just there all along, waiting. When it comes close to knocking at the door, one’s instinct is to shoot it down even before it takes a step, especially if it makes a move for a loved one. When it stares you in the face, you either stare back, let fear overwhelm or accept and make peace with its inevitability.
With acceptance, there is also that option to fight. To bid for longer time. I’m seeing that right now. My sister is a fighter. Her condition when she was wheeled in gave us all a scare. The medical team wasn’t very encouraging. However, the will to live is a strong counter against giving up. When one is surrounded with loving family and friends, it boosts that resolve to want to live. It also leaves one in awe and a believer in miracles.
Each day she is with us now is a gift. A miracle in itself. Seeing her smile and light up when her grandkids or friends visit her is a miracle. Hearing her talk and tell detailed stories despite difficult breathing is a miracle. All the unexplained happenings and things falling into place, are miracles. Indeed, life itself is a big miracle.
This is a different journey from my usual. But I am here because this is where I should be.
Whatever happens, I am grateful. 🙏🏻