Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Survivor

"Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." (Matthew 7:7-8)

"Be careful with what you wish for... you might get it." That's the latest catchy phrase from the February 2008 season of Survivors [The Fans vs. The Faves] commercial.

After college, I worked my way to the corporate jungle with ease. It was a jungle out there, so to speak but I had the time of my life. I was able to do the things I was dreaming of when I was a little girl. The city life... the independence... the parties... the do-whatever-you-want-to-do-because-mama-is-not-around kind of things... and the oh-boy-where-is-our-next-trip moment... were all part and parcel of my dreamland turned dream-come-true-land. It was chaotic but exciting. For a while, I loved it. The experience equipped me with the necessary tools and skills that work to my advantage when I moved on to the next level.

But then, as expected, I get sick and tired of the monotony. The corporate jungle was indeed a jungle, literally and figuratively. I became restless... exhausted... and drained. I needed a change. I wanted something else to happen to my life. So I dreamt another dream. I dreamt about the so called "the-next-level-dream". I drew up a plan. I role-played. I envisioned it. I prayed for it. I wanna to go back to my hometown. I wanted my old life back. I wanted that small town-ish life... the dependence... the party-less existence... the do-the-things-that-mama-told-you-to-do kind of things... and the oh-boy-let's-just-stay-home-and-just-hang-out moments... they all became parts of my "new season" dreamland. And I did. Oh well, I got it. I really got want I wanted and my prayers were answered. I finally headed home. I went home but not to do my plans... but to take care of my ailing mother.

The CALL - came early that morning. Dad told me to come home because mom was in the hospital. She had a stroke. I was dumb-folded. I hurriedly packed my get-away luggage, took a quicker than quick shower and took the first bus available that stopped at the bus-stop homeward bound. I was home at last. My prayers were answered.

Mom passed away almost 8 years ago. But she lived 8 more years after her stroke in 1994. And she lives in our hearts... forever.

God moves in mysterious ways. We may not be able to comprehend how He works but we know that He knows what is best for us. At first I felt I was cheated because it was not the kind of homecoming that I wanted. But for the span of 8 years that I spent with my mother.. taking care of her... changing her diapers... giving her a bath... cutting her hair... clipping her nails... fighting with her over her favorite litson (roasted pork)... all those things made me realized that she was indeed worth every effort because I do love her. I was able to appreciate her more. We were able to reconcile whatever differences we had in the past especially when I was growing up. It was the most crucial stage of our relationship. We were able to communicate in different ways possible because she can no longer speak. Half of her body was dead and can't move around without help. Of course everything was not all rosy. Trials, desperation and frustrations set in every now and then especially when my dad had a stroke too... and didn't make it. We were suddenly left partially orphaned. It was the time of my life when I took my 360 degrees turn. The paradigm shift was worth the trouble. I was a new person then on.

Well, I was still able to accomplish my plans that I set for myself more than 2 decades ago. Though there were some revisions here and there, everything turned out fine. The experience gave me a chance to work on my relationship issues with my mom and her situation made me stronger, if not... a survivor. The experience also made me a more compassionate... more understanding... more patient... and more loving person. It gave me new meaning to life and to appreciate it without reservation.

I still miss her most of the time but I don't grieve for her lost because I know that she was able to live her life to the fullest until the time she had to leave us... and be with my dad. I know she is happy now. And I am happy too because she is now with - the Grand Planner of all time.

Me and Mom during our Pilgrimage in Manaoaog, Pangasinan.

Me and Mom during may College graduation.

Me and Mom. Our last Christmas together.

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