2 Heartache and Love
When I came back after I secretly sneaked outside my room, justifying my rights as a human child to explore during the night, a room in the right wing caught my attention, I saw a woman screaming horse. Crying. She was extremely pitiful. Her room was gloomy, the people inside just observe her.
I once asked a very pretty sister that always visits and checks on me after I told her that story. "Why did no one helped her get better? Will I become like that one day?"
She looks at me, her eyes going soft. Then she hugged me and patted my head. She never answered me in the end. I came to know her expression later as I grew older and understood more.
Not pity, my mom would say.
Nobody would pity me, they admire me, she would always remind me.
Later, many pretty sisters wait outside my door, so I wasn't able to escape anymore. I promised to myself never to tattle my escapades.
For years, my monotonous life continued.
Test. Pain. Rest. Medicine. More Pain. More Test.
The cycle continues.
I once questioned my Dad after he prayed.
It was a warm Sunday afternoon. With lights streaming my big floor to ceiling windows that overlooks a meadow, the garden so enchanting that it always tempts me to explore it, vowing to myself that I will do so when I get big.
It was during this time of my escapade as I step into the lower level floor. I was so near to my goal, I told myself eagerly to carry on!
When I overheard a man screaming and cursing at God, about how unfair He was. How He made people suffer. Such merciless He was, said the man that not only did he lose their children but He wasn't satisfied and wanted to take his wife too.
That man was hysterical.
I found out his wife died that afternoon. He missed her death by five minutes. Her body still warm as he hugged her goodbye.
Does it matter if its five minutes before or after death?
Or is it the fact, that he wasn't able to hear her voice, even for just one more second?
I didn't tell my father that man's experience or any other like him. Because I found those experiences too precious to be judged by other people, even my parents. Or maybe, deep inside my subconscious child's mind, I wanted to protect my parents for any event that will trigger their anguish, just like that man, when my time finally comes. I
t's definitely not because I escaped without anyone the wiser. So I asked him, "Do you ever blame God, Dad?"
"Why would you ask that sweetheart?" the warm voice of my father filled the room, so deep and sonorous. Calming my nerves. He was a singer. Often sang me hoarse to sleep because I once told him, his voice makes me feel better.
"Because God gave you a daughter who is sick…" and can never recover. The rest was left unsaid as I saw my always smiling father's heartache. Unlike the pretty nurse, I realize his heartache was not as pretty but it's contagious, a pain so different from the normal muscle pains I've grown up experiencing pierces my chest. It was sharp and hot, and it twists the pain inside.
I was still an innocent child, they said, but I realized words can hurt even when it's the most innocent of a query when it concerned a person extremely important for you.
I once remember when I was much younger, my sweet sweet baby, my Mom had called me then.
I heard the pretty nurses talking one night as I was trying to explore the very first feasibility of an escape.
"The parents didn't have enough money, so the child's medicine cannot be created," The pretty sisters said.
I knew what the word "money" and "medicine" meant. Money is the thing that makes everything achievable. Even creating a cure, just that it requires time said, my handsome doctor. And medicine is extremely vital, it's our life, my doctor would say, "Medicine is your breath, baby girl, so if you want to always smile, eat and talk with mommy and daddy and everyone here, you have to always take your medicine on time."
Poor baby, he will be deprived of breath because of no money?
I then asked my parents that following morning, "Will Mommy and Daddy have enough money for Dessie to breath?"
They were so stunned. Their eyes going circles, just like those little oranges that my cousin Brent so liked.
My mother started, "Where did you…." When my Dad did something weird, holding her hand as he shook his head at her.
My head ping-ponged from one face to another, enjoying the peace as there was no pain that week. Not really understanding why I asked them, but that I wanted to just share my experiences with them.
Dad was the one who answered my question, "Sweetheart, you don't have to worry about anything. You are still a child, so be one, be happy with everything and be sad about everything as well if you like so."
"Daddy, you are so silly. How can you be happy and be sad about everything?" Their expression after that sentence also sent pains in my chest. I was alarmed then and called out in pain. My parents fearing my lapse called the doctor.
I later found that their expression was not heartache, but love, so, so full of love.
There is a fine line between the two.
One is sad, the other happy.
And indeed, that advise that my Dad gave me accompanied me for the rest of my life.