I’ve been having a recurring dream, no—more like a dull and numb nightmare. That I was to bury the rest of my kin: my mom, my brothers and my sister. That’ll I’ll be the last one here and I’ll have to endure seeing each one of them die.
Being the youngest in the family, I’ve already figured that it’ll inevitably play out like this. But it was just recently, when one of my brothers was rushed to the emergency room of Makati Medical for a condition that’s relatively hard to pronounce, that the severity of this reality has sunk in. Everyday feels like all of them are drifting far away from me, that I’m losing time with my family that I’ll never ever get back… and I’m it seems like I’m desperately trying to hold on to what little time I’ve got for each of them.
It’s especially hard given that my career has taken me to another country. That most of the time it’s almost impossible to ‘be there’ when shit like these happen. I remember the first time I’ve felt this way, ’twas when Bob died. A couple of months earlier, he was already diagnosed and declared terminal with cirrhosis and had already signed a DNR. I’ve just joined a new company in Singapore and couldn’t immediately come home. All I could do was email and chat with Bob everyday. He promised me he’d wait for me to get home, that he wanted to see me and say goodbye before he goes. You see, Bob was my brother’s lover and my mentor. I grew up looking up to him like a dad of sorts. He’s always offer me fatherly advise which I wouldn’t have otherwise got if not for him. I learned a lot about American and Japanese culture from him, as these topics would make up a huge chunk of our afternoon siestas. I can still remember how he’d call me up four in the afternoon while I was at work “Where the hell are you? I’m here at Friday’s. Get your ass here, your gin and tonic is getting warm.”
I can still remember how I cried so hard, probably the hardest I ever did in my life, after my brother called me five in the morning of a work day to tell me that Bob already passed away. I was two weeks too late… I never got to say goodbye.
God I miss him. Every single day.
And now either due to old age, years of abuse their body has taken or just plain stupidity from thinking that they’re immune to whatever shit they’re down with; they’re all dealing with something that a ‘normal’ person would consider ‘serious’. Maybe this dilemma is what I have to deal with for being the only one spared from experiencing the gravity and the pain of losing our father. I was only four at that time, and I could vaguely remember how’s it like when he was still around. For years I’ve heard my siblings bitch about how great our lives would’ve been if our dad was still with us. How they used to study in exclusive International Schools and have our dad buy them everything that they wanted. I don’t remember any of that. The only reality I have of him, is that he laid down his life to protect us. And he’s gone, and that my mom and siblings are broken because he’s gone. And I feel guilty for nor sharing the same sentiment because I was to young to remember how it’s like to have him around… to have a dad.
I’m sorry but I don’t really remember. The only conversations I had with him that I can recall are those of sad days where I’d cry on his grave and pour out my soul to him. Because he had all the time in the world to listen, because I knew that he’d never scold or judge me. That never getting a response didn’t matter. That I knew he was listening was enough.
I pray to God that I wouldn’t have to deal with untimely demise from any of them. Just thinking of its reality is already too cumbersome.
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