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Friday, March 9, 2012

My Up & Down Moments Today: My Bearable Cross

Hello, everyone! How's life treating you nowadays? How's the weather in your area? Over here in 757, it's a "shady", rainy Friday, my friends! Yes, we have lingering showers over here. I consider that a blessing, still. (I've kept on using "shady" when I mean it's "gray" or kinda "gloomy".) But, that's alright. Once in a while the sun has to hide from us. It's just a way of telling us not to always expect a bright day in our life.

In life, we've learned that we have sunny days. We have rainy days. We have calm days; we have windy, rough days. It's not always smooth sailing in life, at times. That's life. And, it's just up to us, folks, how we deal with it. As we keep on living, we learn to adjust to all situations that take place in our life, right? That's very true. It's really up to us what kind of day we can have, even if the weather outside is uncomfortable or pleasant in our sight.

This early morning, I have experienced my "cross." Where, why, how come? Let me explain. As a retired person, I don't usually wake up early. I'm not used to since I retired from working. But, this morning, I have to rise up early because I accompanied (or gave a lift to) our young adult daughter (still on "early" Spring break from college, I mentioned this in my previous blog post. Thank you, if you're following mine.) to her follow up appointment in the hospital at 8:00 o'clock. The fact is, I've been going back and forth to clinic/hospital the previous days, accompanying our daughter in her periodic appointment, i.e. dental, medical, annual physical check up. It's timely that she's on spring break so she's time to take care of these things.

Thanks to God that, despite the rainy condition over here, we didn't encounter that heavy traffic on freeways, as it used to be, especially in the morning rush. And thanks to God that I found a parking spot quickly at the groundComfy with my black raincoat (mind you, it still fit me, this U.S. Navy-issued gear that I have for almost 27 years!), with my Wrangler blue jeans and Navy blue round neck long-sleeve cotton shirt, I breezed through the catwalk that connects the parking garage to the second floor of the hospital. And, thanks to God that I found a parking spot quickly at the hospital's parking garage.

Upon arrival at the clinic (in the hospital) where my wife and I, and our daughter are usually seen (she's still considered or qualified as my "dependent" because she's still in school, eventhough she's a young adult already), I happened to see one of our "friends" who works in the Commissary. I told or let my daughter to join the outpatients falling in line to check in while I did engage a small conversation with this middle-aged female friend of ours, married to a Caucasian retired U.S. serviceman. (I didn't see or haven't met her husband, though.) I learned from her that she has had an abdominal surgery a week ago and that's probably she's there for a follow up. She mentioned she was recommended not to work for a couple of weeks or a month. I told her to take it easy and to really have time for herself, to take care of herself and not just work and work. (I know that she's trying her best to work and earn or save money so she can share or help out her family back home in the Philippines.) I told her to take it easy as I found my way to the waiting area or lobby of that clinic. In a few minutes, my daughter was called in. I just lounged there in the waiting area where there were three or four outpatients waiting for their turn to be called.

As soon as I got settled, I started to pray my rosary, while the TV set, mounted on the wall, was on to CNN. I tried to stay focused on what I was doing, praying silently/quietly, despite an environment that has some distractions. But my attention was then shifted to this baby who was being carried by his mom and being  with his grandpa. The baby and I made connections because he was smiling at me a couple of times! That moment to me was wonderful. (Thanks to God that I brought with me my camera. Unbeknownst to his family, I took a couple of shots of that moment when the baby was making connections to his grandpa and one with his grandma. Such a poignant moment. So candid and wonderful those fleeting moments! I'll see if I can upload them and/or embed them with this blog post.)

I was on my fifth Sorrowful mystery, which is the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, when my daughter was done with her follow up appointment. I asked her how did it go and she started telling me about the results of her blood tests. She told me she's got a little high cholesterol as she showed me her lab results. Likewise, she mentioned about low thyroid thing and that her female provider, a nurse practitioner, wants to follow up with her thyroid. In the course of our short conversation, I noticed my daughter to be irritated and kinda rude the way she answered me or talked to me and I felt hurt at that moment. OMG! So this is how kids nowadays are! They're inconsiderate and they don't seem to know or realize that the way they talk or respond to question can sometimes hurt feelings. Sometimes, I'd rather be quiet and still. But, the fact of the matter is, they still "bother" me---my immediate family members. They can't leave me alone, in peace. And yet, when I opine or share my views, they react negatively. They seem to conspire as if I'm the bad or fall guy. So, I feel dejected, that I don't matter, as if I'm the underdog. That's when I feel hurt deep down inside. That's when I feel frustrated, too. That's when I self-introspect, asking myself what/where did I do/go wrong? As a parent, trying to be a good one, to please everyone, I feel, at times, taken for granted, that I don't matter. (Who wouldn't be, if it's obvious that my wife, their mom, always seems to tolerate them---our two young adult children to not grow in responsibility! It's hard to deal, at times, when they, all of them, don't want to take or are not having responsibility in life, even if I let them experience to do things on their own, i.e., cleaning their respective rooms, getting involved in preparing food, washing their dishes, laundry, such that they should learn to be responsible and not to be depending always on me or others. That's why, at times, I just let go of things. It's not worth preaching responsibility. They will learn on their own as they go on living their life. I. for one, don't want to spoil a child, because I learned life the hard way. I hate to tell you this but I learned to be responsible at a younger age. I was a self-supporting student when I started school. I know, I live in a different world far from where I learned responsibility at a younger age. And I'm proud of who and what I became and attained. Good morning myself, but I have to be frank, folks, out of eleven children in my family, I was the very first one to finish college. Even though we lived through hand and moth existence, I was able to earn a college degree. And, I'm proud of that. But, children nowadays, especially those who've never experienced hardships and sacrifices in their life, don't know fully well what life is, on a global scope. Yes, they still have to live it and experience it in various ways. I know and am very much aware of my strengths and limitations. I know there are lots more to learn while I am still alive. But, at the same time, I do believe that experience is the best teacher in life.)

That very moment, my good and pleasant feeling, a while ago, was changed to feeling down as if today I have my "cross"---something that I have to bear temporarily! (That moment, I just tried to contain myself, to control myself from freaking out or getting upset or angry. I was telling myself, this is how kids nowadays treat their parents, as if their co-equal, that they become disrespectful and insensitive. I can't help it, at times, to be feeling down when I noticed or felt like being taken for granted. I feel that I deserve to be treated with respect. Despite having physical "disability", I still try to be helpful and to be good to others, my family included. Even if I wanted to be left alone, I still have myself ready to get involved with other aspects of my family life because, I know, that my immediate family members, still need me, to help them out financially in their undertakings, i.e., education, livelihood, etc. Being independent, most of the time, God knows, there have been moments when I want to be left alone such that I don't want to mind others' business just like I don't want others to mind mine. There's obviously this personal relationships dilemma in our family, especially involving kids, in-laws, etc. It's hard, at times, to deal with these issues.) Ah, life is! So simple yet complicated, at times! Especially when you're married for a long time!)

There, folks, was my moment of  encountering my "cross" today. But, I can adjust and adapt to such situations. As I have said, it's up to me to make my day sunny and bright or rainy and sad and down. I thank God for having given me the opportunity to share His Son's suffering on the cross today. After all, life is still wonderful, as I remember that very moment at the clinic with that smiling baby. Yes, I encountered Jesus today. Thanks to God!

Well, my friends, this is all for now. Thanks for sharing your time with me. Until next time around! Have a wonderful Friday, everyone! TGIF! Thanks to God, It's Friday! Have a blessed weekend, too! Take care now.-chris a. quilpa, 09March2012

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