LETTERS TO A WOMAN IN THE FIRE

For Mrs Eleanor Pal-a Telva Mapangdol. I miss you everyday, mama. I love you so much.

It has been six years since the wastelands stopped burning. Its blackness is evanescent of the historic menace that made her life tragically a stole and its remnants gave rise to the barricades of my emotional isolation. From where I stood, the expansive ruins of an almost fulfilling life is almost bare, with only the crows hovering over the paralyzed shadows and the dead silence.

I continued to walk past the burnt barricades towards my sole refuge – the sleeping chambers. That’s where I’ve found the borders of sanity entwined with the power of confusion, that’s where the soul keepers come out of their hiding places to witness my sorrowful outbursts, and that’s where I resounded her story about the cause of my affliction and the eventual discovery of the medicine that can heal it all.

February 21, 2006

“I guess God must have been asleep that time your body was already infected. Looking upon you now, it seems that your suffering more deserves to be had by those people who are trying to put you down. They’re teachers like you but they put the profession’s essence into shame by being greedy. I could have gotten your illness and wiped it all over their celebrating faces but as much as I want to, I am just a powerless spectator watching you get weak.

Today, God doesn’t care anymore…”

It was she who lived the promising life fulfilling the nobility of teaching by relaying the light on the minds of this nation’s future builders. For eighteen years, she was full of vitality and inspiration that my idealisms are built around her principles. However, that unstoppable drive to educate the young was suddenly halted by a lump she missed hitting – a lump quietly residing in her motherhood for a long and unnoticed time. At stage three, she has yet to overcome another ordeal to merit for the zest she had with her vocation. It was in 2002 when she went for mastectomy. Two years later, it was called ‘metastasis.’

March 2, 2006

“…tonight I saw in your eyes exhaustion, sadness and tears. Tonight, it seemed that your strength has already waned. Looking at you, I can see that for almost a year now, all you ever had was pain. But I also know that a part of your struggle to survive is seeing us – your family and those people who care – hold on (my, with the soul that you have, even strangers came over to see you). I didn’t want you to look into my eyes and see the tears of hurt I have against your illness gush out. Tonight, all of my suppressions are broken and all I could do is to silently cry.”

On the second of March 2006, the stars died out. They left no trails of light and everything seemed to be in a very deep reflection. Even the fog had been still. That night, she spoke to me in a voice of heavenly surrender: ‘I’m tired.’ She called out to God: ‘enough!’ She told me to go to sleep after giving her a foot ‘massage’ (even a mild press would hurt her) and I did fall in a strangely peaceful slumber. All of us did and on the dawn of the next day, she left. She was forty – seven.

March 3, 2006

“So everything last night meant one thing: the fulfillment of my worst fear and conscious nightmare. Today, I can’t think of anything to do but to cry and cry and cry. Even if I scream, God wouldn’t hear of it. I don’t even know why He took you away. I’m so mad that everything you taught me to believe about Him seemed to be untrue now. If He cares, you could have been healed.

Today, Mama, you have gone to rest forever.”

I miss her everyday. There are times when I had to be with people and to stay out late at night just to lighten the longing I have for her. Sometimes, I just wanted silence to dwell upon my mourning and to cry alone. There are a lot of ‘unsaids’ and ‘undones’. There’s a lot of hate too. A hate I strongly carry against the Entity up above.

April 23, 2006

“Where are you now? I hope that at this time, you have found a way to that place where you will be peaceful. I also wish that you are walking along with your father and father – in – law towards it. I wish that the spirits of our blood’s predecessors are over you with some of them taking your hand and telling you that we’re all right. I hope that you saw my lost brother who ‘refused to see the world.’

Wishes, wishes. I know that you have found the way to the Father and I wish that you’ll help me find my way back to Him. I am longing to see a reason to believe.”

It was when everything in me was in perfect shape to be called Chaos that I found the way to my own self – healing.

May 14, 2006

“Happy Mother’s Day, Mama. Today, I recognize the lacking and regrets about the way how I’ve lived my life had borne. May I then ask permission to tell you some things I failed to say before you left? May I say I’m sorry? May I talk to you about me? May I hug and kiss you? May I say I love you? May I? Because I do, Mama. I really do.”

I was lying in bed, staring point blank, when I saw a fluttering rosary by the window. A little light has gone an extra mile to hit it straight and make it visible to me. As I looked at it, I realized that since I let hate towards God be my company, I felt so empty. My father was mourning too. I felt alone. Then I remembered how she taught me to pray. I got up and took the rosary in my hand. I gripped it hard and cried. I lost an Anchor once and now that I’ve found Him again, I can see my mother smiling, I felt a little better, and I found the strength to move on.

The next morning, I woke up still holding it. I remembered that night, since she died, I prayed for the first time.

August 19, 2006

“Mama, thank you so much for directing my life while I was growing. Everything I am is because of your guiding wisdom. I might have missed out on those Palliative Care concepts but I thought that I don’t have to use those to show other people that I am your son and that you are my mother for in my heart is where you are.

I love you Mama. So much.”

She may have died but I know that there is an eternal experience of happiness for her. In that place where she is, there’s enduring peace, there’s no sickness to make her cry and there are no people to bring her down. As for me, I am ever lucky to have discovered that the greatest manifestation of the miracle cure for emotional ruins is the one offered by prayer. That’s the legacy she left me. It led me to the knowledge that a special reason is at work that’s why her story turned out to be like this.

November 20, 2006

“Happy Birthday. Today’s the first time I felt how it is to sing The Birthday Song without the celebrator. On this very special day, I have only one wish: to see you.  I just want to see how you look like smiling again after a long time. Please visit me in my dreams. I really want to see you. Would this be an indication that every mother’s soul who doesn’t reveal itself for the longing of her son is on board the trip to the Heavens?”

Perhaps I was looking for clues to clear my mind of the complexity of acceptance and letting go. Perhaps the rain implied cleansing after all because somebody up above heard me pray and soon the sky started to cry. One by one, its tears started to fall. I stood and stated to walk. As I did, I smelled her perfume: the Forest Interlude. I smiled, enjoying my mother’s grace as the rain poured heartily to wash my wastelands and to finally break my barricades down.

January 1, 2007

Dear Mama,

As I watch the ambers of the remaining campfire last night, I asked the wind to whisper a Happy New Year to you. After those months of denial and mourning, I came to accept that Eternity is between us. Your life has inspired me and your teachings have moved me in a way that nobody will ever know how our relationship was like. This year, I have in mind a planned endeavor to somehow make you and Papa proud. Wherever you are, I hope that you will join me in my journey. Because of your great love for me, I have found a very deep reason to believe.

Thank you so much and I’ll always miss you.

I love you so much,

Bridge

***

     It will no longer be a mystery why the things we yearn to express at the right time rarely come because it is an elusive prayer concealing, inflicting and remembering what we wasted away. When we finally feel it, it’s over. So we feel regret – the most primitive form of remembrance about something that should have happened but it was given a thought to wait until tomorrow. Point is, when we feel like saying something to the ones we love, we should never have tomorrow in our plans. If it happens that readiness escapes us, we must remember to be in touch with the timeline and see that in every day, a simple expression of gratitude, apology, happiness, and most of all, love, can mean a lifetime’s memory.

This article is for all the people whose lives are in the fire. My mother never said it’s over until it’s really over. The everlasting promise of hope is indispensable and you must know that. It should also be the same reason for you to keep on living. Keep believing and be strong because He is always at work, He does exist and He never sleeps.

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “LETTERS TO A WOMAN IN THE FIRE”

  1. I envy how you articulated how you felt. I lost my dad to cancer too, I was too young when it happened that I wasn’t able to understand what I was feeling and what I lost.

    Emotions, realizations, regrets, hatred, love, and understanding came in my adult years. I didn’t know how to handle them or if I should even mind them at all.

    Your mom would be proud of you Bridge. It’s….wait for it…sad that you had to leave but I’m sure you’ll do go in hwatever you decide to put your heart on. goodluck. Keep in touch.

    Like

  2. God, you made me cry especially the part when you said about “Eternity being between” you and her…and I cannot help my tears from falling…like Aiza, I hate you too, hehehe..

    Such a heart touching story Bridge…thank you for this. God bless you Booger 🙂

    Like

Comments are closed.