Awakenings | Inquirer Opinion
In the Pink of Health

Awakenings

# 92. “I am 92 and ready.” This came from my aunt, the eldest of four siblings on the occasion of her birthday two weeks ago. As expected, this announcement elicited a chorus of comments with one of her nieces boldly standing up and saying, “Tita, maybe you are, but we and those around you are not.” Her son-in-law, a pastor, had this to share: Only those at peace and who feel they have contributed their share to the world would be brave enough. He followed this up with plenty of food for thought. How many of us can really say that we are ready?

With the celebration over, I asked her youngest daughter what triggered the statement. She managed to shift both our gazes to the two women, our mothers whom we love, respect, and hold so dear, and went on to say that when she heard her “Inang” utter those words, she chidingly reminded her that God knew better and she must not preempt Him. In hindsight, it should not have come as a surprise for they live their life showing us how to be women of faith.

#Kalbo. “Will you allow them to swim?” We had volunteered to be the big sisters for cancer camp and were singled out for an opinion primarily based on specialty. Knowing their susceptibility and vulnerability to infections, my answer was a fat “No.” He could have easily overruled me being their attending but chose to engage in benefits versus risk analysis which made me reconsider. It was a privilege to be asked and invited to place my input on the table. To say that it was a long walk down the mountain to the pool is more than apt. Keeping me company were thoughts of what-ifs and why I had given in so easily. It was eating me up.

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“Sinong gustong matuto lumangoy?” Three bald little girls, one with a missing arm, eagerly raised their hands. An hour and a half into the teaching session, I was finally at peace with the decision. If you have ever been witness to such uninhibited joy, count yourself blessed to have played a supporting role in being the giver.

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#Champorado. She would have been 57. My cousin was an ”open and close“ case. I was the first to receive the final diagnosis that she had colon cancer and it was stage 4. The dilemma back then was how to break the news to the family. I must have on several occasions been the bearer to patients but never to a relative. I gave her physician the space to be the one to deliver. Her foremost concern? “Would I be able to give it to my children?” Selfless, unassuming, never asking much of anyone, that was how she was. We survived her chemo treatments together and savored those out on pass tickets when she did crave for pandesal or a treat from a favorite nearby café. She was a foodie. Little did I know years after, that on those late night trips, she would always have a date with the restroom. On the morning before being called to her final destination, she asked to have cheese with champorado. She never got to savor it. I know she is happy. In my dream which coincided with her 40th day, the hallway of heaven looked like something out of a ‘60s movie and she had long shiny hair, lush eyebrows, and unbelievably long lashes. When asked how she was, she gave me a serene smile and said, “I am okay.”

Each and every person must have their own awakenings and whether it comes in major or minor spurts, will always manifest in how they choose to live their lives and how they choose to surrender.

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Maybe exposure, age, and experience are contributory. Time has a way of smoothing the rough edges and preparing you to catch, with grace, challenges that get thrown your way. Maybe God gives us enough time to have those moments, to let life teach us a thing or two and pass it on. Trust Him to give you your blessed and Happy Easter.

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timgim_67@yahoo.com

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