Angel on earth
I’m sitting alone beside my little sister’s grave, looking at the sun setting with orange rays. I can feel the crisp chill blowing in from the nearby shore. The sense of tranquility is perfect. The calmness tells me that my little sister has found a new, peaceful home.
The cemetery lies on a hill where one can enjoy a panoramic view of the sea. The area is populated by a few mango trees, with their leaves and twigs always indicating a continuous flow of cool winds. A well-cut lawn wraps the entire graveyard, which looks like a lively leisure park for the departed ones.
I cannot help but wonder if my little sister enjoys the unlimited scenery—a clear blue sky adorned by fluffy cumulonimbus clouds, or an eerie night sky illuminated by the moon and the stars that she miserably missed appreciating during her lifetime.
I wonder whether she misses her old home.
For 15 years, my little sister lived with us in a humble dwelling in a quaint barrio. And in the span of her life, our home was her entire universe.
In her tiny universe, streaks of pain and torment incessantly grew, storms of melancholy persistently raged, and darkness reigned. Cerebral palsy relentlessly gripped her from cradle to tomb.
I consider her medical condition a severe one. Her subnormal physical and mental development rendered her incapable of speaking, walking, sitting, standing, and generally taking care of herself. All her life she was bedridden. She did not grow into a normal-sized 15-year-old girl.
Worse, her condition made her suffer occasional but prolonged epileptic seizures. We realized the inevitable pain she experienced: After every seizure, tears always flowed from her eyes.
My little sister was a mere entity devoid of any capacity to act.
As her family, we had no recourse but to try to cast rays of light into her gloomy universe. We tried our best to become her mind, her heart, her hands, her feet, the words on her lips. In little ways, we tried to make her feel that she was the most special star in the universe that we knew.
I miss the times when I would carry her outdoors so she could feel the cold morning breeze and the sun’s warm rays. I miss the times when I would carry her into our living room and we would watch cartoons together. I miss the times when I would keep her company in her room. She would stare at me as if wanting to say a word. I would pretend that I was having a conversation with a normal teenage girl. I miss the times when I would tell her that she’s the prettiest little girl in the world.
My little sister passed away two years ago and we still badly miss her as if she left us just a few days ago. Why wouldn’t we? Her presence defined our own universe. Her existence made our house full, a genuine home. Her life taught us that pain and torment have no room in a home where unconditional love is the only rule. More importantly, her coming into our lives showed us that quitting is never a wise choice. She taught us that in life, we survive and thrive in the company of people who truly care for us.
My little sister, our angel on earth, deserves to be in the grandest home in the universe. She lives in our hearts.
Kristoffer Gabriel L. Madrid, 26, works at the Office of the Solicitor General.
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