It’s one of those days when I would’ve preferred to take the express bus from Manhattan to where I live, but it’s UN Week and Alan warned me that traffic in the city is horrendous — I was better off going local. I thought it would be a good time to get some fish from the supermarket in Flushing where the seafood is freshest, but my body isn’t up to it today. (Time of the month, you see.)
This Monday has been a challenge. I opened my e-mail early this morning to find a call for help from Manila. An S.O.S. never comes unless I am the last resort. I wanted to help but I had to figure out how to do it. So at 5:45, just before leaving the office, I scribbled my calculations down, wrote a proposal and I sent off my own S.O.S.
Earlier in the day, I had some crazy fantasies about slapping someone silly in the office a la Eula Valdez, or throwing a glass of cold cooler water ala Cherie Gil as Lavina on my next cube neighbor’s face for irritating me no end with her stupid requests and queries. She went home unharmed so you can see I managed to restrain myself.
But it’s been an emotionally taxing day. I’m thinking perhaps it’s the fact that it’s because my hormones are running out of whack, or because this new crisis has cropped up amidst the chaos I’m already in.
Perhaps it’s because I know the new issue will affect my Mom — and I find it doubly depressing knowing she’s worrying herself sick. If I had the power to make things right for her, I would. To this day, this woman is giving me her love 200%. Why else is she taking care of my son and helping me with what to her, is too heavy a housework load. I am, after all, one of her babies. If it weren’t for my son, she wouldn’t be 10,000 miles away from the rest of her brood, leaving her livelihood behind.
I was standing in line waiting for this bus to arrive earlier when I found myself reflecting on how no matter how life has dealt us so many blows one after another, we have always found guidance and strength in prayer. So there I was talking to Him in my head. Nothing formulaic — just a quiet conversation in my mind. And although the problems keep coming, it has somehow become easier. Despair no longer visits my heart.
I still find myself closing my eyes in surrender from time to time, but I don’t walk with my head down low even when I feel weakest. There is always a solution, I tell myself. I have always been blessed with the foresight to find the proverbial “window” when “the door closes.”
I’m the eldest of the brood and although there are times when I wish my brother would step up to the plate and be the head of the family, I’ve been the “Ate” (Elder sister) all my life. Picking up the cudgels for the family is still second nature to me even if I’m now 10,000 miles away. I can imagine my siblings trying to find a solution on their own, and how, out of dire necessity, they decided to call out for help. In one form or other, help is on the way. “I know He hears..”.. Amen.