private wars

The morning my father died I woke up to a flurry of white cloth. My brother and I were sleeping when momentarily I woke up and saw nurses swarming around my father’s bed. My mother was beside us, telling us to go back to sleep. She was crying.

Then we were alone in the room again. The room was now quiet. I don’t remember waking up. All I remember was us three, my mother, my brother and I, standing before my father’s bed, looking at him ---- eyes solemnly closed, white sheet pulled up to his chest, and on his left hand he clutched a rosary. She told us to kiss him for the last time. I leaned forward. His skin was already cold.

The only time I cried for my father was when we got inside the car that very same morning. I got in and suddenly I found myself clawing my nails on the seat and screaming.

For the next two weeks, we spent most of our time surrounded by relatives and friends. I met some of my half-brothers and sisters for the very first time but of course I wasn’t bothered at all. Our mourning would only kick in two weeks later right after the funeral when everybody has left.

I was reminded of my father when I was inside the bathroom this evening. I wondered if I were to die today would I miss anything.

Bathe the dogs
Buy food for the dogs
Cook tinola
Clean the house
Prepare for a meeting on Monday

These are my plans for tomorrow.

Revised a line from a script to be edited
Revised a treatment for a shoot on Tuesday
Made chicken sandwich for dinner
Cuddled with the dogs
Made love to my boyfriend
But mostly played a stupid game on my cellphone

These were the things that I did today. If I were to die tomorrow this is how I would have spent my last Saturday.

Not exactly the kind of ending that would befit a Hollywood movie. But then I have been doing much of the same thing for the last thirty three years. The dramatic scenes and the big moments, if there were even any such moments, have been few and far between. It’s not that I’m aspiring for a heroic death or even a dramatic one. Right now I’m even tempted to say that I would rather die while thinking of cooking an egg than die with my head besieged with worry and fear. After all, we don’t wage wars of epic proportions everyday but every day we wage wars with our selves. Our biggest battles are never the ones witnessed by thousands of spectators. They are the ones that are waged within. I just find it a bit funny how we sometimes plan our day with the same arrogance of an immortal. Who knows maybe death would strike not after the period but in mid sentence?


Sabi naman ng artist na si Keith Haring:

I am not a beginning
I am not an end
I am a link in a chain.
The strength of which depends on my own contributions, as well as the contributions of those before and after me.

November 7, 1978


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