I had started writing a post last Friday which had gone pretty far but which I had left unfinished. Now that I was trying to put an appropriate ending to what I was trying to write about, I feel I need to rewrite it so off to the trash bin it goes.
The weekend was a little more hectic than usual as we tried to get ready for the window replacements being done by our co-op management. While I have put away a lot of things, I still have a lot to cover and protect from the onslaught of dust and debris, as they hammer out our old windows and put in the new ones.
So I caught up with my Pinoy soaps in the midst of chores. I didn’t pick up the jewelry making tools, though, and I have been unable to post any new items to the shop although I have around 5 new pieces I had successfully photographed. I did manage to sleep longer this past few nights — probably out of exhaustion as my body gave me a reality check. (No longer can I withstand day after day after day of hardly any sleep.)
If there is anything that aging has helped me to work better with, though, is a more relaxed approach to life — and a calmer demeanor in dealing with what would otherwise be life-jarring events or news or what have you. So my attitude has been to “go with the flow” and not to get too rattled. I keep getting reminded of a favorite quotation I came upon many, many years ago in my teens – something to the effect of: “Be still and be quiet. Listen to the silence. The answer to your question is hidden in your heart.” It’s a little melodramatic when you’re thinking of bopping someone at work in the head, or when you’re desperately trying to stop two crazy women from grabbing at each other’s hair. But it helps me to step back and think better which usually lands me a solution if not close to one.
Last week, I received an e-mail from my sister that my father is in the hospital (again). I don’t know what caused his confinement, but at least we know that he is not in the ICU. (Looking to the heavens in thanks.) We weren’t even informed by his second wife — we found out because one of his favorite anak-anakans, a cousin of mine, hunted down my brother who, unfortunately, is in Iligan.
Twice, in the last twelve months, my father had medical emergencies that had us preparing for the eventuality that his time was up. And yet by the good grace of God, the miracle of medicine, and the generosity of friends, we pulled through and saw him back in his home. We offered to have him come back home to us where he could be better cared for, but he said he will let us know when he was ready.
So many things happened during those two occasions when we thought that his time was up. And so many things have happened and have been said since. It feels like we are in a different world now totally disjointed from all that.
I had started to sink into a light depression thinking Dad was on his deathbed. It seems that there is just too much pain right now for me to process things rationally. I would sit and my mind would wander, and I tried to stick to the happy times and the good memories, but the painful ones were much too recent and painful to just shut out. I am comforted by the thought that he seems to be okay anyway. THey are due to release him any day now.
Although I had said goodbye to my father twice already, I don’t think I’m ready to do that if the eventuality comes. The sadness comes with an awkward feeling given our situation right now. I used to think things like this only happened in the movies. Yet here we are in our very own live teledrama playing out on two continents. Broken family.. financial woes.. properties that are being fought over.. first family being unduly oppressed by the second family.. if the patriarch dies, as Sharon said, “Bukas, luluhod ang mga tala…” — although people think we are the ones up there, and the second family are the ones we look down upon, not many people know how this is so untrue.
Oppression need not be in material things. I think the more painful type of oppression is emotional — when one is robbed of the chance to have a father who cherishes you as his child. I can almost hear people chiming in, no one said life is fair. Indeed. Sometimes I think Dad’s passing would only create more problems and emotional aggravation, then I pause to think about what’s happening now that he’s around.
I don’t wish my father ill. I love him dearly even if as I would say in my eulogy, he was not a perfect father. But who is? I hope he doesn’t suffer if it should come to that. I hope he finds it in his heart to find true reconciliation with us, his children. I had blindly believed that all would be well after he asked for forgiveness froms the last time around. There were tears of joy over those words, and it felt as if a load had been taken off our shoulders. And he hurdled that obstacle and as he said, he’s better now and thinking more clearly. So all that reconciliation was forgotten.
“Honor thy Father and mother,” so God commands. We have honored him despite the pain, and we have never forgotten who he is in our lives. So we bow our heads and just take it all and say Amen.