August 9, 2011 § Leave a comment
It seemed like a gloomy morning as my mother and I waited outside the operating room today. She kept quiet at her seat while I tried to busy myself by solving math problems. I did not notice that an elderly woman was at the chair opposite us until she asked my mom what she was there for. I listened passively to their verbal intercourse while writing. The lady, whose name I will later learn as Lola Rosa, told my mom that she was waiting for her son who was undergoing a cyst excision. In turn, my mom told her a few details of her own case and Lola Rosa responded by saying some remarks that appeared somewhat insensitive to me at that time. Here she was telling my mom what to do when she didn’t know what exactly what we were going through. When it was time for my mom to enter the operating room, I closed my book and briefly pressed my mom’s hand for goodluck. I lacked the words to say. Lola Rosa then approached me and I realized I should probably put the book down for a while and talk to her. She seemed like someone who needed someone to talk to. I listened to her intently as she narrated the sad highlights of her life. She told me how she lost 2 siblings and one child to cancer, and the trials she had to go through with her father’s lung cancer and her husband’s bypass. I realized I judged her too quickly, and here in fact was a person who probably knew even more than what we were going through. At one point, she told me some advice as a mother, and as a person who once got angry at God for being unfair to her, and her realization that everything in life happens for a lot of reasons (not just a reason). It was at this point that I felt the unfamiliar urge to cry, and as much as I wanted to avoid the feeling of being vulnerable by crying in public, I wasn’t able to hold back my tears from coming out. For a long time now, I had been bothered by my own immovable emotions. I felt like in my desire to appear strong, I had instead become callous of the endless developments with my mom’s case. Often times, I wonder why I don’t feel like crying anymore when a normal person probably should? And suddenly here was some stranger, who I just started talking to, who managed to finally strike the elusive nerve and actually make me cry. At that moment, I knew God had sent me an angel in the form of Lola Rosa. Who else would have told me the exact thing that I wanted to hear and actually hear it as plainly as it is: that no matter what happens, everything will be alright. We talked for around half an hour, until my dad came and Lola Rosa had to go down and settle her hospital bill. My dad asked me why I was crying, and I felt the impulse to be evasive and succintly told him “kinuwento po ni Lola yung buhay niya”. I opened up my Math book again and continued solving. I realized I just didn’t want other people to see me weak, especially my parents. And it left me amazed at the fact that I cried in front of a complete stranger.
Lola Rosa told me other valuable advice that I will remember (but won’t mention here anymore). Times ahead may be rough, but I somehow feel better. For that one brief moment at the hospital, I felt the assurance that indeed God is always with us. Silent but omnipresent, revealing Himself only at the right moment.
Thank you Lord for the angel you sent today and for the ones you’ve given me for every single day of my life. :’)