“What is predictable in life, is that it is unpredictable.” I came across this quote sometime last year, and since then, it has left an impression in me that in no way, not a single one, can I contest to the truthfulness of this, because after all, life really is unpredictable.
Life is full of surprises, the good ones, and of course the bad ones. Good ones made us happy, brought smile to our faces, but more often than not, easily forgotten. While the bad ones, because they leave the greatest, the heaviest, and sometimes the most unbearable impacts in life, whether we like it or not, we seldom forget about them.
Exactly three weeks ago, I received a text message from my mom telling that my Tita Edith passed away. As initial reaction, just like everybody else, I felt the disbelief starting to mount in my line of thinking. I even tried to reread the message hoping I have just read it the wrong way. But no, the message was right according to how I read it, my Tita passed away.
Tita Edith was one of my closest Titas from my mom’s side. Whenever we go to Cadiz, we usually stay in her house. As I aged, I’ve grown this bond and close relationship with her.
Around 5 years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I blame it to the heap of stress and problems lying on top of another that she was facing. Back then, their life was ok, everything seemed ok, I guess, not until his stupid, stubborn, and douche bag husband, Tito Ogie, left the family to go rot in hell together with his “other woman”.
Despite all of those, Tita Edith remained a strong woman and tried to bring up her children, two of them, in the best way she could. She has not undergone any chemotherapy because of the lack of money, and the only armor she got in her battle, was her strong faith to the Lord. Last year, when we visited her, she was already starting to become critical, unable to get up from the bed, because I believed the cancer cells have already metastasized and had affected some of her physiological functioning. Again, despite all of those, she has remained to be a woman of strong faith. Up to her deathbed, she remained to be steadfast in her faith, she prayed until her last breath.
We had seen this coming, but we didn’t expect to come so early this year. The event gave us somehow a relief because the agony that she has been experiencing for five years came to an end, but it left us hurting as well, because a loved one left us. She was still too young, and at 51, she went ahead of us.
We ushered Tita to her final resting place last Monday, January 16. After that, everyone was moving on.
(Tita, if you’re reading this, thank you for giving us the paho/s, ilonggo for mangoes, that were supposed to be for your consumption back when we visited you last May, because of that, we were able to make home-made mango shakes everyday )
Monday of the week that followed, I received a text message that another relative, Tito Elorde, was in critical condition. Tita Nenette, wife of Tito Elorde and sister of my Mom, was constantly texting me to help pray for his safety as they were enroute to Bacolod to have him checked. Tito Elorde has been diagnosed with kidney problems and just this year, I learned that his kidneys are starting to fail which is why they he has been constantly undergoing dialysis in Bacolod City.
Thursday of that week, I was told that Tito was in a coma stage after an incident of internal hemorrhage in his brain has occurred. I immediately communicated with my Tita Nenette asking what the doctors were doing, if they were trying to give him blood thinners for the possible clot, or if they were doing any intervention at all to have him revived from his coma stage. She just told me that the chances are slim. What pinched my heart was her text that followed, “James, please, bulig pangamuyo, sayang kung mapatay siya, bata pa siya”. (James, please help praying, he’s still too young to die).
Just yesterday, I received another text that Tito Elorde had passed away.
(Tito Elorde, if you’re reading this too, it was in your dining table that I first tasted duck in 2009, and those small octopuses last May that had caused me to throw up that night)
If there’s someone in the family who is hurting so much right now, I believe it is Tita Nenette. The demise of my two relatives to hers was like, stabbing her heart twice in a row. Why? First, she was the tower of strength of my Tita Edith. Because she’s one of the closest, proximity-wise, to my Tita Edith back then, she looked after her. She bought her medicines, she constantly checks on her even sacrificing sometimes her job, and time for her own family, she always monitors, and even during the time that Tita Edith was hospitalized, taking into consideration that the hospital was a bit far, she doesn’t forget to visit her. She treated Tita Edith as if it was her husband.
And since she’s the wife of Tito Elorde, it is but expected that she’ll look after him also. She accompanies Tito Elorde to Bacolod and goes to Tita Edith as soon as she gets back to Cadiz. She also constantly checks on Tito Elorde, if he has taken his meds already, if he took some time off to rest, and all duties a wife must do, to her husband and her household.
Tita Nenette, if you’re reading this, you have always been a strong woman don’t let this break you. I know this is just a test, and seeing how faithful you are to the Lord, I know you’d surpass this one. You’ve been through a lot before, I know this might be the worst of all, but remember, the Lord wouldn’t give you something you can’t do, something you can’t survive. I hope you continue to be a strong woman for Kuya Jimjim and KC because they need you.
Imagine? Losing loved ones in less than two weeks? Honestly, it made me question, why in the world did this happen to our family? Was it not enough that Tita Edith was taken from us? But then again I realized, I have no right to question, as this has been part of the plan. Losing both of them may be hard, or even so hard for us, but this has a purpose, and we may not see that for now, but surely, we would realize it later. Lord, whatever it is, I know they are in a better place right now.
Truly, life is unpredictable. You may be alive for today, or be dead by tomorrow, healthy today, and be sick hours later. And no matter what we try to do, we can never see anything coming. We can’t prepare for we don’t have a clue on what to prepare for.
But there’s a single thing we can do, pray.