Monday, July 22, 2013

Drifting Again

Four years ago we began. I suppose we never really ended, chasing the cancer cells through surgery, the terrible promise of Tamoxifen, and hospital visits again and again. Mother found her own way around the cancer there. The journey changed. The path became less clear and more muddled. It's strange in a way. Side effects of breast cancer. The trouble is dealing with that, with knowing it and living in it, walking around each day with that settled on your soul. The adjustment is not pleasant.

In many ways, I'm not sure what to expect.

A day when the thoughts are closer to the surface, when my memory of her good health is more easily accessible and the road to recovery is a little clearer. But it's still just a day. I cried, but not as much as I might have. There is no clarity, at least not anything new. Some days I feel strong, some other days even the shallowest drama on TV would bring me to tears.

She is in a hospital again. Doctors extracted the fluid out of her right lung. No big deal. Root Canal would have been longer. And more painful I guess.

But the day passed on too slow. Again. I’m counting of all the days until she is out of the hospital.

I know better to expect revelations. I know better than to expect anything at all on a schedule. It's been four years and I know that there will be more years to come. I know in the end it will settle. Not settles in the sense that it's ok, or not horrific in some way, but settles in the sense that it is not actively debilitating when it happens. Loss of any kind, especially the loss out of order of someone you love, is not a wound that heals. Closure is an impractical and misplaced goal. Mother is not a torn ligament or a broken bone, something a surgery and a few months of rehab will set right without further ado. You live with it. Your only choice is how you choose to do that.

Some people don’t know any better. Once they knew about mother, they give us the "cancer eyes." These were the eyes people, from hospital staff to strangers, would give us when they found out mother’s breast cancer. Pity, mostly. The looks I get from these acquaintances are very similar "condolence eyes." Like cancer eyes, I have little patience for them. That's not to say I do not appreciate people feeling bad about what happened to her. Of course I do. But pity does not interest me. To me, that undermines the experience. I prefer sympathy, or empathy. If people want to talk about her, I'm happy to do so. People have told me they were sorry and added something, talked about it. If they're just going to say the words for the sake of saying them though, I'd rather we skipped the formality.

I know this may sound harsh, that people just want to be kind. I know they're trying and do not mean anything by it. Still, I think it's important to recognize what's good to say and what's not. So I suppose I'm trying to say that. I am glad when people talk about her. What I am not interested in is people saying something just for the sake of saying it. Or mocking it. I did not notice it before, but I do now.


Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

That Was Never a Comedy For Me

I broke down in tears Sundays ago.

In front of my church friends; was literally sobbing and was crying my heart out.

I came to church in my old self. Living a normal life and just trying to work stuff out, be present as a parent, a sister, a friend while holding my self together, doing the very best I can. You know, finding beauty in things.

But things were not good lately. We have been stressing out due to mother’s condition.

I wasn’t in the best frame of mind, but I did come anyway. We’ve been MIA for 2 Sundays already. Sometimes if I ignore how I feel and just do the things I need to do, I come good.

But there was no coming good.

Between his and hellos, I told them that mother is not doing good, water was leaking in her lungs.

And then came the singing, the hand-shaking and the preaching.

The last thing I remember, the preacher, whom I know personally, told in the pulpit, in front of many, that people gets easily downed and depressed

“Because their mothers are sick”

In a mocking, amusing and comical way.

I thought I heard a few laughed with what supposed to be a joke. What is more difficult, he said the same joke one more time.

But that was never a comedy for me.

I was hurt so badly that I wept.

I came to his wife crying. I told her I was hurt. Said it was not a good joke.

I've never felt so scarily low, for such an extended period of time. I unravelled to the end of the string. It was such a relief to not pretend anymore. But then people can be so insensitive sometimes, they don’t know.

I don’t know too. It was 2 weeks already. My head says its time to move on. But my heart tells it needs more time to heal.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Selfies, Anyone?

Now on Instagram and Facebook, and probably any where else in the social media.

Selfie photos.

A singular image where face is at the center, and an outstretched arm amputated by the edges of the frame. That, and the perennially awkward gesture of pointing your camera/cell phone at a mirror.

You can say many things about the Selfie, a.k.a auto-portraiture, or better yet, ego-photography: that it is the ultimate symbol of Narcissism. You assume that people are so desperate to see your face.

Now, everyone’s an artist. Everyone’s a photographer. In the same way that everyone’s a filmmaker, everyone’s a chef, everyone’s a goddamned food critic or movie reviewer. Everyone’s doing selfies, from Justin Bieber to the Obamas. We’re all guilty of it.

Twenty to thirty years, it would have been unthinkable. It would be deemed a waste of precious Fujicolor or Kodak film. Certain generations remember how they would weep upon seeing a number of damaged/useless/out-of-focus-blurry frames at the photo shop.

But today, there fly mindless shapshots of anything: Lunch plate, shoes, toes and cuticle, dogs, starbucks cup, etc.etc.

Now, let’s sample on our selfie celebrities and tell me who is more vain and desperately insecure.

Mirror on mirror shot: "Jeez, crazy bad hair day, but I am still cute"

Duck Face: Suddenly, I got embarrassed at the thought of a selfie picture. 

Photo-op with another celebrity:" undeniably a fan"

Posing with a boyfriend looking very much in love:"Still not over your ex.."

Ad-lib Shot: "I-am-so-busy-and-cool-I-can't-be-bothered"

Staring at nothing: "How deep.."


Do you do selfie too?