Monday, August 19, 2013
Questions. And Answers.
We came with questions in mind ready to be imparted to one another. As to the level of honesty to self and others, however, I could not exactly assess. I have my own biases and reasons to keep certain truths to myself. Yet one thing I'm sure of: we were all carrying something in us. A burden, a challenge, angst, anxiety, guilt-feel. We had questions we ought to answer.
The ball began to roll. What makes you wake up each morning?
Family. Dreams. Beloved, special someone. Upcoming events.
Megan shared a story about a colleague who passed away due to a blood clot in the brain. She said it was so sudden, that her friend's death hugely impacted her more than that of her mom's. She lost her mom to cancer earlier this year. Like any other stories in cancer books, they knew they had to face a day when they had to bid goodbye to her mom who fought the Big C very badly after remission. But her friend's death was, indeed, a thief in the night. "Kausap ko pa siya last week lang. Tapos biglang, wala na. Ambilis." It came to her that a life could get away in a blink of an eye.
Which led her to the second question for the night. What would you like to ask: yourself.
Am I ready to die? The question seemed to have unleashed a ball of fire directed at each one of us that we couldn't help but look down and utter an "aw" altogether aloud. It struck one of our friends most: Patty, who is now fighting cancer on her own.
After a nearly perfect and very blissful summer of travels and getaways, she found herself suffering from a dysmenorrhea-kind-of-pain which, after a quick check-up, was found to be the Big C. Like death, cancer was like a thief in the night which could hack your joy, hope, and love for the world.
But Patty was a different kind of cancer story. She admitted breaking down after learning from her parents that the mass taken from one of her ovaries -- which grew terribly big that we wondered how it fit her system -- was malignant. Nevertheless, her larger-than-life faith overpowered her fears and pains. Instead of sulking in the corner to wallow in misery, she sat with God in prayer and spoke with Him in silence. She asked Him, "Why me?" With which, she also answered herself, "Why not?" And that made all the difference.
How are you? It was what Patty would always hear from people, with which, she would respond with, "I'm OK." She admitted, however, that it was a question very hard to answer, because she wasn't sure if answering with an "OK" will spell the truth, or giving an "I'm in pain" would just make people bend with pity and sympathy. She said she's not in pain. But she was not completely fine. She said she was just happy with the overwhelming love pouring in from friends, acquaintances, and colleagues.
Where am I headed? Are we prepared? Uncertainty is one of the spices of life, yet if it was a taste-booster, it would probably be a bitter gourd, sea salt, or pepper. It was a query Ate Lissy asked herself -- bearing in mind that she and her boyfriend are now headed for the altar sometime next year. Good thing, though, she had already ironed out issues with her mom. The issues became matters-of-the-heart that her mom was completely unaware of. She and her mom have begun with a clean slate for another mother-daughter drama etched in the book of human history. Tabula rasa.
How bad do I want this? I asked myself as I prepare to knock on a door I've been wanting to hardly pound on for the past years. I couldn't quite express my thoughts downright. At that moment, I couldn't find the right words to say: I've seen myself doing that all these years, that's what I'm born to do (or has been shaped to do).
Will you fight for it? Ate Lissy spotted the confusion in my heart.
And at that moment, I became honest. I knew all along, I wanted it badly.