In Between Hospital Curtains
I remember I laid my head on the floor. Putting a soft blanket I brought from the house at midnight. I didn’t have any expectation or feeling that my mother would get sick, nor get numb in her lips. She was bright, radiant, and full of energy every single day. She woke up and chose to take care of my family, or else, the kitchen. She’s always the one who will look deep into us, caring, and no matter what time it is, she’ll get home and do her thing: tidy up the room, watered the plants, and organize our clothes. That’s why half of my family takes her as a full leader in my household–she was strong and happy.
This is where I came to realize–right on the time when I couldn’t let myself sleep–you will never expect what’s coming next. To be fair, disease is indeed a thing, it’s inevitable, but to have one’s life entirely disrupted when you’re in the middle of a golden age. That sucks. I’ve been thinking about that time in your life when you were still a kid, you didn’t have to worry about taking your parents to hospital, preparing their needs of essentials, their food, their wallet, or going to the front office to pay the bills. These things were none of your responsibility.
And then I came to realize that the demand is changing. Turning 20 was not only a life milestone, but also a step in your life where you have to assume the burden. Meaning that you should know what’s coming, or don’t try to run away from reality–because what happens, happens. There’s no turning back. But again going back to see my mother laying on a hospital bed–I felt sick. It’s not easy for a person that’s not used to expressing their emotions very well, looking at their closest ones struggling: calling for help.
Believe me there will be a moment in your life where all you could wonder was how you can’t provide comfort for them, a glamorous service. This is all partly because you are a grown up, you’re in a position of being able to find money, but you couldn’t. Worse, I’m getting to the thought of thinking that to experience growing old and sick is just merely fate–as much as you want to have your life settled and well, it’s still going to happen.
My mother said that one of the worst parts of being a parent is watching your kids grow up. You’ll come to this longing of wanting your kids to graduate, married, and having grandchildren. However It wasn’t a one-sided story, but rather two. We as kids have our own struggles to face, even the smallest things of being financially stable, and hoping that we won’t disappoint our parents by not being ‘successful’. This part of the story always remains. It’s a mystery that is buried in our excavation of life.
As what Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote in her poem:
Guess now who holds thee?
“Death,” I said. But there
The silver answers rang
“Not Death, but Love.”
Think with a heavy heart, leave with no force.