Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Worst of 2009

I’ve been seeing a lot Facebook statuses with the sentiment that 2009 wasn’t one of the best years.  It’s pretty obvious why.  On top the personal challenges that people had to go through, there were the typhoons that destroyed communities, the passing on of some famous icons, and the economic downturn.

It depends on how you look at it.  I’d say 2009 wasn’t the best – but it also wasn’t bad.  It didn’t start quite right for our family – in January, we went through the most harrowing 24 hours of our lives when mom was rushed to the hospital and was declared dead on arrival.  Thankfully, she was revived after 3 long minutes but then she stayed in critical condition for the rest of the day.  We waited and prayed and consoled ourselves without guarantee that she’ll be okay.  With her condition, I’ve pretty much accepted the fact that it’s without cure and I thought I was prepared for anything.  That experience taught me that no amount of acceptance can ever prepare you for the moment when you’re about to lose a parent.  There was fear, anxiety, depression, frustration, stress, pain plus that I willed myself to stay strong for my father and sister who were both very panic-stricken.  I knew that if there was any amount of hope and positivism, it could only come from me and I wasn’t going to break down.  By then, Mom couldn’t talk. She only made gestures with her hands. 

I can still remember that moment when mom was in the emergency room with all sorts of tubes connected to her body and one tube bigger than a Zagu straw inserted in her mouth which went down through her throat to directly supply air to the lungs - it was a scene that reminded me of an episode in Grey’s Anatomy where any minute the doctor is expected to call a code (red/blue/black) and all the nurses would rush to the bed and use the defibrillator on the patient.  My dad was holding her feet, crying, and my sister was holding her left hand while tearfully staring at the machine which monitors the heart rate.  I wasn’t at her bedside. I was standing afar, looking at her chest and counting the times it would rise and fall, rise and fall, rise and fall, trying to distract myself from thinking about the worse that could happen.  My eyes wandered and met mom’s. She was staring at me, too, and her eyes were filled with tears.  So I went up to her right and then she slowly raised her hand and waved as if saying goodbye.  She then pointed to my sister, then dad, then me and then patted her chest where her heart is.  I can’t describe how I felt at that point but I managed to put on a brave face and hold my tears because my resolve was strong: it’s not yet goodbye.

That was the worst of 2009.  The best part of the whole experience was that my mother survived.  That incident brought our family even closer together.  It made me realize that it doesn’t really matter that my mom and I often disagree about random things or that sometimes she can make life difficult for me and I for her because that’s just how it is for most mothers and daughters.  If there’s anything that I could do, anything at all, so that my family would never have to suffer, I’ll do it.

EDIT: One more regrettable thing: I didn't get to see Nine Inch Nails... but I'm over it. Haha