Tuesday, July 24, 2007

In The Midst of It

Nichi is going to die.

Nichi, my 13-year-old brother is going to die. Soon.

The doctor said that it will be a matter of time before he leaves. I heard it myself. Besides, I have to be blind and deaf not to realize that Nichi wouldn’t last for long.

Somehow, the thought of Nichi dying gives a tinge of consolation that his six year bout against leukemia will finally be over. At last, he can rest. He’d be free of the millionth needle that will puncture his young skin in the doctors’ attempt to save his life.

However most of the time, it is impossible to see the good in his impending death. Especially since it would mean that Nichi will be losing a battle he so courageously fought for six years. It seems that all the pain he had to endure at that long a time were futile.

I don’t know.

It crushes my heart to see and hear him in pain. The last time we rushed him to the emergency room, I felt the urge to run away or throw up while he was screaming, “Aray ko!” I ended up popping two mint candies in my mouth after telling the doctor who acknowledged my presence, “I’m afraid.”

Actually, I was not just afraid afraid. I was freaking afraid—probably beyond-words afraid.

But when Nichi called me to hold his hand while a doctor inserts a catheter to him, I knew I had to be strong. If there’s one best thing I can do for him at that moment, it would have to be to stay there, be there, and push my weakness aside.

I caught myself holding back my tears, feigning a pathetic attempt for a smile. It was the most conducive situation to go numb. It was indeed tempting to detach myself from the torturous situation.

As much as being desensitized may save me from being forever damaged by Nichi’s suffering, and even death, I would hate to succumb to it. Otherwise, whatever Nichi had to endure in his very short life span would be two times more futile than it seems to be.

Where Nichi is concerned, “feeling” will most definitely be like being in a rollercoaster ride. I am aware that I am not big on such rides. I normally turn my back to it. But in this circumstance, I would much rather buckle up. I would not settle with merely feeling for Nichi. I choose to feel with him. Perhaps in doing so, he’d live longer, maybe not physically but in some more special ways.

I am not sure if you can accuse me of complacency when I say that what may happen on the coming days may be for the best. In other instances, I would fight for those that matter to me. If I had it my way, I would cling to Nichi and would strongly refuse to let him go but I am afraid that the inevitable is beyond me. So this time, I will allow myself to go soft and accept that sometimes “the best” may also mean losing. Losing something or someone.

Yes, I’ve asked people to pray because there is hope in praying. When all else fails, there is our faith that will shed light to our darkness. But as I have told someone no too long ago, “however this thing about Nichi ends, whether he survives it or not, the thing would have to take place, that will be our miracle.”

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