Life sometimes caught us off-guard. It would offer unmeasurable joy then suddenly, just suddenly, it would pour intolerable pain. Of course, parts of it are goodbyes. Maybe once you have experienced saying goodbye to someone in your life. And yet, I can also guess that you regretted something that time–that something which should’ve been done or should’ve been said.
It was the fifth of March. Yes, exactly four years ago; nearly less than a month before my supposedly cheery high school graduation. It was like any other typical Tuesday morning, or so I thought it was, when I and my younger siblings had to prepare for school. I lazily get out of bed and maybe a couple of minutes later; there I was blandly eating my breakfast. The thing was I had a small argument with my mom about me going to where I want for college. We already agreed about it the other night but apparently she changed her mind because of reasons I didn’t understood. I was saying nothing, just like what I usually do; however there were many thoughts that went through my mind and part of it was the assumption that I was wrong about everything. That I was wrong when I thought she cared about my dreams. I was wrong when I thought she believed in me. I was wrong when I thought we were a team. I was wrong. I became upset. And so that morning, I did not even look back at that spot where she used to stand to send us off to school. No, I didn’t. I did not waive back at her. I missed the good luck kiss. I just left. I left.
That day, we only had a half-day meeting in school. And even though I decided to finish some school works, I was still able to head home earlier than usual. I was ready to talk to my mom. That is why she’s the first one I looked for upon reaching the door of our house. We may feel upset for a while but later on, we’ll go on like nothing happened. We’re like that. A hug will be fine, I thought and I prepared a warm one. But instead the news from my grandfather that my mom was rushed to the hospital welcomed me. Shock! What happened? She’s just fine this morning. I was flustered. Yes. But you know what I thought? That it was nothing serious. That she can definitely bear everything. She could survive as she was a very strong woman. I knew and saw that. And so the worse didn’t really occured on my mind.
I was preparing the things that will be needed in the hospital. I was still acting all positive about the situation. My aunt on the other hand, was in a phone call. That phone call went on for a couple of minutes. I could hear them from our room. First there was a need for room transfer and of tests. They said we have to hurry. And just when we’re all ready to leave, the call abruptly ended. But before the line has been actually cut, I thought I heard a cry. Fear started to embrace me. I didn’t said anything though. We drove anyway and arrived at the hospital where I saw my grandmother so pale and weak. She’s been with my mom. Not long after that, we received the news. That news which I couldn’t and I thought, I should not believe. I don’t know but from there, everything seemed to be blurry. Everything stopped moving. There were cries that followed. I didn’t realize that I was crying too until I felt that my face was all damp with tears. The desolating truth slowly appeared in front of me. She’s gone. Just like that.
I didn’t and would never ask for it. All of it just happened so quickly as if an unannounced storm came to bring destruction. And I guess of all the goodbyes, those that are so sudden that they were left unsaid hurts the most and carve the richest scars. I didn’t even had the chance to tell her how much she mattered to me. I wasn’t there for her. For months I questioned myself and even God. Why does it have to be her? I couldn’t grasp the fact that she will never be back.
She was more than a mother to me. She’s also a friend. There was no day we didn’t have those little chats. She simply knew everything. I told her when I got a perfect score in a test, when one of my classmate treat me for an ice cream, when I broke my teacher’s mirror or even when I stumble over a stone on the way home. And those stories made us share ample of laughter. She’s the only one I can fully confide on without doubt of judgements. Now, I realized by the exact words she told me that morning: “Don’t go. It’s too far. I won’t be able to take care of you. Who’ll be there when you got sick? I won’t be by your side. I won’t be able to see you every day” that I am loved. In fact, I am very much loved. So, how dare of me to think that she doesn’t support me when she’s all I’ve got ever since. How shameful of me to think that I was not trusted when she did. How foolish of me to have those thoughts. I was totally wrong. I was wrong. It was just really a simple misunderstanding. But I acted all up. I was too selfish. I didn’t even realize that it would be the last time that I would be able to see her stand there. I should have look back and saw how she waved at us for the last time. I should’ve hugged and kissed her. I should’ve.
It’s been four years. It’s been hard without her around. Sometimes I think of the things we would have done if she was still here. I feel sad but I cry no more. I smile instead; thinking that she’s in peace now with God. I miss her though.
How many times do we need to say goodbye? I don’t have a clue. What I am certain of is it’s not that easy. Yet, sometimes we just have to. So if ever you’re taking someone’s presence for granted, be sure not to waste time. Express your appreciation and love. Don’t be ashamed and treasure every moment with them as time can be too brief. Don’t let what ifs and maybes linger on your mind every time. Lastly, remember that goodbyes are not always the end. We can always start anew. And learn from our every farewell experience.