My knees wobbled while I stare blankly into the unknown.
I cannot see the stars, only the remnants of them as they were being spewed out of the outer confines of this black hole.
And the dread itself is dragging me into it, sucking my body and soul slowly but rather harder than my local gravity can pull me back to where I lie my balance.
Never had I felt so powerless than how I feel today.
I got the news a couple nights ago. But my mind wasn’t ready yet to process the information received but instead it set itself into a mode of hibernation. Nothing serious, and everything is as it should be. I just had to keep myself busy. Everything was alright. The sun still shines and the earth is still off its axis.
Then all of a sudden, my knees weaken.
At that instant, my mind finally realized what had transpired. And it’s like information overload that I fear of a major shutdown. It felt more than like the sky had fallen. It’s more of a blackhole sucking the entire galaxy I’m in. And every second it pulls me into it feels like death over and over. I literally felt like the man who turned spaghetti while I get dragged into the abyss of event horizon. I felt like my intestines have gone missing. My mind screams into oblivion while my body kept still.
This is my own consciousness in hell, if there ever exists such a thing.
Seldom do I pray. But now, minute after minute I had to utter a silent prayer to whoever lies above for fear of passing out. Never have I so grieved deeply than how I do today. And I never knew that I ever would.
Being the youngest of a huge family, I always wanted a family reunion. Last Easter there almost was one. Everybody came home to the Philippines except me and our big sister. All was there except the youngest and the eldest of ten siblings. While we both loved to be there, certain things about our jobs, money and schedules prevented us from joining. One sister even asked me that the next time we have a reunion, I needed to make sure to be there.
And ironically, a reunion is now again in place. Indeed, I will be there. I will not miss it for the world, even if they finally take away my knees. We will all be there to complete the circle, the cycle of a generation that have given us so much hope, so much courage, so much love. A generation that is now… gone.
Our beloved Mama died on the 13th of May at a Manila hospital. She came home to the Philippines a few weeks ago for a vacation. But her vacation turned out to be several painful stints at the hospitals. She fought hard. But her fragile body eventually gave in.
With all the pains she had, with all the sufferrings she had endured, she still had the grace of God to apologize to us that she cannot make it. She was ready to be with Tatay. I wasn’t.
With my knees still wobbling, I’m now headed to the airport, on my way home to attend our long awaited family reunion.
And to embrace and feel the warmth of my Mama, one final time.