Saturday, February 3, 2007

Small Steps Back

Faith said I should try writing about simple things. I could take off from there.

No, it’s not writer’s block that I’m fighting. Any real writer wouldn’t admit to having writer’s block. Otherwise, writers would be out of regular, good-paying jobs. We wouldn’t want that to happen, do we?

I was told to not to show Nichi how I felt about his recent situation. The last thing we want to happen is for my brother to succumb to depression. If he sees any of us in the family sad or sorry for him, he’d be sad and sorry for him. By doing so, we’d take away what could be a major ingredient in his being healthy—his laughter.

Well yes, maybe I have been holding back since I’ve learned the not-too-good news. I lost it for a minute though, while beside my kumare. I had to share my thoughts to someone. And I couldn’t help but cry. You’d be amazed how I broke down. I went, “teka lang naiiyak na ako.” Then I covered my face. It would have been liberating if I cried for at least an hour but as I have said, I let go of my troubles in a minute or less. We were in the office and I didn’t want to make a scene. I am not too big on making scenes, especially dramatic ones.

I don’t know who would believe that I am in control because I know that I am not. I manage to hold back my tears but it comes with a price. It’s turning me numb. Which is in no way good for writing, thus explaining my loss for words for more than 20 days.

But I am taking small steps back. I’ll be retracing my path to return where I left off.

A day or two after learning the initial findings of Nichi’s doctors, I did something which probably is silly. There is a possibility that my brother will lose his eyesight—at least the one in his left eye. I wanted to see the world through his functioning eye so I covered my left eye and observed how the world would be. It didn’t last long—my little experiment. A few seconds later I was throwing up air. I was afraid it wouldn’t stop.

Normally I’d be fed up upon knowing that something bad which I thought was over isn’t over at all. Somehow I’ve come to realize that I am in no position to hate anyone or anything that never seem to get tired of challenging my little brother’s life.

In my high school Chemistry class, Ms. Tiambeng, after explaining the topic on nomenclature of chemical compounds, asked us what we will do to be able to name the example she had written on the board. Eliot, my classmate answered aloud, “Pray.”

My family and I are somehow reduced to Eliot’s solution. Pray.

They say that prayers are powerful. I should stand witness to that, after all I’ve seen Nichi succeed over a series of serious clinical threats to his life. Lots of people prayed for him and I unquestioningly attribute his salvation to those prayers.

And yet I seem to doubt the power of prayers by thinking that praying may not be enough. I am expecting more from science, really. Maybe I am praying that science be used to make my brother’s life normal again. As my dad had stated, Nichi deserves a full life, something better than what he is getting right now.

I’ve been avoiding any discussion about Nichi’s vision when he is around. Hence when he tried telling me what he felt, he stopped.

He was holding a core of what used to be a roll of tissue paper. He peeped through it the way a pirate would with a telescope. Nichi must have used his wrong eye. He said, “hindi na talaga nakakakita ito.” I replied, “wag mo nang idikit yan sa mata mo. Baka masundot pa.” He closed his eyes.

I guess he didn’t know that he was not the only one suppressing tears at that moment. I went near him and said, “embrace na lang kita.” He didn’t move. I tried to shake him and insisted, “Nichi, wag ka ganyan. Hug na lang kita.” He held his breath and pinched his nose. “Nichi, ano ba? Wag ganyan!” I wasn’t angry. I was afraid.

I think it was Wednesday night when he brought up the topic again. I caught him staring at me with his sick eye. This time, I had the guts to listen to him. “Hindi na nakakakita itong mata ko. Minsan nga feeling ko nakapikit sya yun pala hindi.” I didn’t sense any fear in Nichi’s voice that night. He was a child discussing the changes in his vision. He really is a brave kid. I silently promised to be just as brave.

Nichi remains to be his happy self, preoccupied with playing and eating. Other than rare moments of thinking about his eye, he is generally fine. Right now I don’t feel much, meaning I have not been keeping my promise. If I were any bit brave, I’d be able to allow myself to be emotion’s slave even for the weekend.

A good reader will sense how constipated this piece is. I apologize.


Ganyan talaga. I guess in life kanya kanya lang tayo ng burdens. But we go thru it all. Problems, worries, thinking abhot how we can make things better for someone we love. Pero as long as you have love in you, for your brother, you will never get tired nor be weak. Because his strength is your strength. And Im sure he feels the same way. Lets just keep praying. Ako minsan feeling ko di ako malakas kay god dahil parang pati si God naka-ipod di ako naririnig pero siguro naman he does, hes just thinking, weighing things for us para we get what it is thats truly for us.
Odba, makata ba? Keri lang yan talent, kaya nyo yan!
Posted by: Christmas | February 4, 2007 08:21 AM

Salamat, Manager!
Touched akong tunay!
Posted by: Tyrene | February 5, 2007 03:43 AM

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