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Wednesday, May 11, 2005
HIGHLAND PARK, ILL.-- I did not work today. I said I will call in sick and will just stay at home and ride my depression. I am so depress and on the very edge of an anxiety attack and breakdown. I slept last nite at 5am and was not able to sleep properly. I kept on tossing and turning in the bed. I decided to sleep at the guest room so that I wont be disturbing my wife, who needs her rest also for work.

I woke up at around 1130AM and looked outside the bedroom window to see my apple trees are all blooming. I went out and sat underneath the trees with my dog Misty, trying to ride my depression and my anxiety attack. I wanted to call home and check on my kid brother, but my wife advised me just to calm down and wait for my eldest sister to just call. My wife thinks that if I call back home and found out the state of my kid brother, the more I will be depressed and will affect my Trigeminal Neuralgia, which will make me more depress and moody because of the pain.

The wind was blowing, the petals of the apple flowers are all falling on my face while I sat down in the lounge chair. I remember those times when we were young kids, at play at the big backyard of my grandmother, in our ancestral home. I was doing the clearing of the fence, where new vegetables plants has to be planted, while my younger brothers are both trying to catch some dragonfly and my youngest brother is following his elder brother. They were frolicking in the grass, and will start laughing when they have caught a big green dragonfly. they will put the dragonfly inside a jar, and I will tell them to cover it with holes to make the insect breathe. Then I go back to my chores in the veggie patch.

Then I will climb the Makopa tree and gather all the most red and plump looking Makopas. Then I will share it with my two younger brothers. Then the Mango tree and the Santol is the next to climb and to gather some fruits. It was very nice and so happy at Grandma's backyard. There is also the Tamarind tree and the coconut and the Chico and the Grapefruit tree. When I was growing up, and I look back at the old times, I always feel that--that was Eden for us when we were young then.

Then all of us has grown up, and all of us went on our separate ways.

My eldest sister, has her own company back home in the Phils. and both her and her husband is very successful in the shipping business. They have been in the business for more than 30 years now, having a big Japanese shipping company as their partner.

The second to the eledest sister, is running the restaurant and the cafeteria in the shipping complex and the training school for seamen and review centers for nurses.

The third elder sister, is busy with her house keeping. Taking care of her house and her three grown kids.My sister married to one of the three owners of Boysen paints in the Phils. She is one austere sister but not a stingy one, when it comes to spending money for her siblings and family.

And for myself, I decided to come to the states and settle down here with my wife and two boys, who both of them have already moved out of the house and settled on their own apartments. I work for a major airline and a cross cultural trainer for a corporate law firm. I have been in the States for 30 years now.

My other sister, younger than me, is in Canada and decided to stay there permanently, married to an electrical engineer and contractor, while she is working in hospice care institution, caring for mentally handicapped and physically ill senior citizen. She has been living in Calgary for more than 25 years now.

Then comes my younger brother, who is the 7th in the family. He is resideing in New Jersey and works as an Engineer for the Federal Reserve Bank of Pennsylvania, whose office is in Pennsylvania, PA. Married to an emergency room nurse and been in the States for more than 30 years now.

Comes now, the youngest among us three boys in the family of eight. Who works at the corporate office of my eldest sister, a trainer in the communication department teaching International Maritime Satellite system (INMARSAT) to the seamen of the company.

Comes now, the youngest sister, who is the secretary of my eldest sister at the shipping office and lives with my parents at the company's compound in Paranaque, where the corporate office of my eldest sister is located.

I was already smiling, trying to recall and reminiscing those times we were kids and having the grandest times of our lives, until this tragic thing has befallen my younger brother. I started to become depressed again and cannot accept the sufferings of my youngest brother. The pain that he is undergoing right now and the agony inside him, seeing his two kids, outgrowing him fast. One boy of 21 years of age and a girl of 19 years of age. I cannot close my eyes, because the only thing I can see is the features of my younger brother when I saw him last February of this year. He was still mobile that time, but now I was told that he is now bed ridden, with the cancer that has travelled to his spine and bones.

What a cruel thing to have --- what a challenge --- what a test of strength and faith.

I stood up from the lounge chair and took my dog and I drove towards the lake. I sat down in one of the benches at the lake, looking at the ripples and the waves of the great Lake Michigan.I kept on looking at the ripples and the waves over and over and over. In it I can see the young life of my kid brother -- slowly deteriorating, slowly being eaten up by the most dreadful disease called CANCER. Sometimes, one has to question one's faith on all these challenges in our lives that is happening,--- that is centering on the pain and hardships of my youngest brother.

Some of our friends said --- this is a test for me and my family.

And so out of deep frustration and anger, I asked:
"What kind of test, and why are we given this kind of test?
Is my family something that was given a stigma of suffering?
Is the religion that I have loved so much, full of test and hardhips and unfathomable questions that cannot be answered?
Have we been bad or been oppressors to other people to deserve such a test? "

WHAT TEST?... Isn't it a test -- when we call back home, our mother at times cannot understand what we are talking about and talking to her on the phone and when we come face to face with her -- she does have a clue at times where we came from and why she does not see us very often!! Mother is in the fist stage of her Alzeihmers. 84 years old.

WHAT TEST?... My father endured the brutality of the Japanese during his incarceration in Tarlac as a prisoner of war and tortured by the Japanese, loosing his ring finger to the horrid torture! My father is 84 years old, does he deserve this test also?

WHAT TEST?... When my youngest brother, dying of cancer -- also has two children who are both Autistic? What will happen to them when my brother pass away? Will they understand the disappearance of their father? It has not dawn to them that their father is ill!

WHAT TEST?... Do we have to etch in blood the answer in the suffering of my kid brother? -- do we have to face the pain and agony, everytime my brother will cry in pain and gets rushed on and off to the hospital and being given the dreadful CHEMO and RADIATION!!!

posted by infraternam meam @ 12:34 AM  
  • At 8:32 PM, Blogger cathcath said…

    Sometimes, the Lord calms the storm; sometimes He lets the strom rage and calms His child.

  • At 5:06 PM, Blogger aa said…

    in times of great distress, one can hardly control oneself, or balance one's logic and faith. most of the time, we lack the best words or the best course of action to console friends or acquaintances with our sincerest efforts. in fact there are no words. in silence, i wish and pray for God's enlightenment, wisdom, strength, courage, fortitude for you and family.

  • At 1:20 AM, Blogger infraternam meam said…

    cathy....i have done my struggle and share of so many storms. i am hoping there won't be any further ranging stors to take me.

    aa...tks for ur comforting words. nice of u to visit.

  • At 6:55 AM, Blogger Cathy222 said…

    I wonder how you are today, how you rode the storm

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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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