Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I like friends who, when you tell them you need a moment alone, know enough not to stray too far.

It's true what they say: you'll find out who your real friends are in times of need. I am grateful to be surrounded by a bunch of people who genuinely love and care for me as I grieve the passing away of my mother. These are the people who rushed to my side on the first night of my mother's death even when I told them I'll be fine. These are the people who, without thinking twice, took a 45-minute joyride from the north to have coffee with me at 10 pm on the first night after the burial because they know that's when I'm going to start feeling the brunt. They know me too well. They know me well enough to know that the thought of them nearby would be enough to comfort me.

These are the people who went out of their way to be with me even if I wasn't asking for anything. Even if I couldn't sit with them at the wake, they would be there each night, for 2-4 hours to show support. These are the people who thought less of what a hassle it would be for them to make an extra effort for me. I feel so loved. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Lord, for these people.

On the other hand, there were also some people who I thought would be at my side through most of the ordeal but were not. I had a wrong impression of my value to them. It manifested in the things they said and did and didn't do. The sad thing is, I make an extra effort for these people. I go to them, even if it means driving far away from the south, because I know that they'd need someone to hang with. Someone to be there for them no matter how trivial the conversations turn out. One of them even pointed out that he/she will go if there's beer... Or if there's a new restaurant to try, just to make the trip down south worth it. Really? I'm not needy. This is a rare period in my life and one of the few times when I also want it to be about me, and not just the beer.

You see giant proclamations are all very well, but love and true friendship are louder than words. In my world, expensive, material things easily get trumped by the simple gesture of just. being. here.

And I'm grateful to know how much I matter to most of the people who matter to me.


Only the Dead Have Seen the End of War

Three nights ago, we laid our mother to rest. There is pain, grief and sadness but at the same time, there is that sense of relief and liberation. Finally, my mom's six-year battle with a terminal illness is over.

It was painfully long and excruciating. There were so many harrowing nights of uncertainty and helplessness, but we were never hopeless for we knew that our mother would never give up without a fight. Before her last hours on earth, our mother faced death five times throughout the six-year ordeal and each time, she emerged triumphant. Wounded and scathed but nonetheless alive.

Mom fought so hard and we knew it was because of us. We knew she wanted to rest. She was going through so much pain that she wanted to die but her resilience betrayed her. It even got to a point that she was apologetic - sorry that she may not survive the next time her heart stopped beating or lungs got congested. But she never gave up until the end.

I couldn't begin to express how I really feel. There's a deep sense of loss, a void that will never be filled. Our home will never be the same. Our family will never be the same. Life will never be the same without mom. But I am comforted by the thought that she is free from pain. It's over. And I'm just grateful for the time we spent with mom. Grateful that she prepared us all for this moment. Grateful that she left us in peace. There's no unfinished business. True to her character, my mom had it all sorted out.

I was able to say sorry for all my misgivings as a daughter. That I will miss her and everything she does for us. That I love her for all her imperfections - for all that she is and for all that she isn't. I couldn't have had a better mom.

I'm grateful for having spent almost thirty years with you, Mom. I am what I am because of you and daddy. When you passed away, you took a part of me with you, but you also left a part of you with me.

It's over, Mommy. You can rest now. It's going to be tough, but we will be ok.

I love you.


Friday, February 08, 2013

Checking In

It's been four months since I last posted?! Sorry for neglecting you, blog, but I've been too busy doing all sorts of stuff.  Plus, I went to the beach often last year so that was good enough as a form of release.

And it's been 2 months since I last saw sand and sea. Needing the beach again, but for the meantime, I'll write.

But I'll get back to you later.