September 23, 2011 – So tired and exhausted from the day’s activities and the lack of sleep since I got back to Cebu from Saudi for an emergency leave to see and be with my sick mother. I can’t sleep so I decided to open my laptop and check my emails, FB and my blog sites. Unfortunately, there was a problem with the provider so internet and phone connections were disrupted.
To pass the time, I did some laundry. Instead of using the washing machine, I opted to hand wash the clothes. I was thinking of just washing 5 pieces of the dirty clothes but I end up finishing 2 large basins full of dirty clothes. I felt I’m releasing my emotions, the pain I felt every time I knead and wring the dirty clothes. I started at around 11 p.m. and was surprised to know that I finished my laundry at 2 a.m. the following day. My hands were a bit sore and swollen from hand washing the laundry. Still can’t sleep so I decided to fold the clean clothes in my room.
After all the laundry and folding, I went to check my mother in her room. There, I saw my dad still awake, sitting on his favorite rocking chair opposite mama’s folding bed.
Mama’s breast cancer has now spread to her brain. Most of the tumors were found on her right brain. Fortunately, Mama have not yet experienced the excruciating pain most brain cancer patients did. Doctor’s advice is to keep her awake ’cause there is a tendency she will be in a state of coma if she gets into a deep sleep.
I asked my dad why he was still awake at 3:30 a.m. His oxygen was not attached so I guess he was alright. My dad is a stroke victim and can’t speak properly or have slurring words as his speech was the one affected. He just pointed at mama with some murmuring sound. I understood why my dad was not yet sleeping. My dad was fully awake the whole night and did not go to sleep because he was watching over mama.
I felt pride when I realized the gesture my dad did. Even with his condition, he wanted to let mama know that he cared. He may not tell mama in words but he showed it in his actions. They fight every now and then but that night, I just witnessed an unconditional love from my dad to my mama.
When mama got hospitalized, my dad doesn’t want to eat because he was used to having mama around, taking care of him and his food. On the other hand, even if Mama’s at the hospital, her mind was always with Daddy, thinking if he was able to take his food on time and had his oxygen on time too.
My parents went through the normal marriage ordeals and trials but they were able to overcome all the challenges in life. Yet, they are still together, through thick and thin.
I always dreamt of having a companion, my best friend who will be with me with the rest of my life. I envy those couples in the prime of their lives who still manage to hold hands, laugh at each other in the public. But never did I realized, that the picture perfect couple I wanted to have will be witnessed by me at this time through my parents. Perfect gestures are not always seen in public but more in the privacy in our lives, away from the eyes of the people.
I am a living proof of my parent’s roller coaster marriage and the family they built. A family they made and kept for the past 40 years. A test of time and love.