Every year my family and I celebrate Easter by going to church in the morning, getting brunch after, and then going home to spend time together in the backyard. This year was different… because this year my mom took a last-minute flight to Hawaii to be with my grandparents.
My mom took the first flight out of LAX to HNL yesterday.
What Easter Means to Me
All my life I’ve seen Easter as a celebration of life. I mean — I still view this day as a celebration of life and renewal. And I still cherish this day… Easter is always that one day when we take time out of our busy lives to be genuinely present in each other’s presence. (I hope what I just said makes sense.) Easter is my reminder of how much everything means nothing if you are not surrounded by people you love and who love you back.
While I am still grateful to have spent this Easter with my boyfriend Mark, my dad, Nick, and Bee… I still felt incomplete without my mom here with us.
I know she needs to be in Hawaii right now. Why? Because my grandfather was admitted into the hospital a few days ago and, according to the doctor, he now has to undergo removing a tumor in a series of risky surgeries.
To reconcile for my mom’s absence, I tried to cook for my family so that we could have a meaningful meal together. I say “tried” because I’m not as good at cooking as my mom is.
Nick, Mark and I went grocery shopping together.
I love the little moments we have when we’re out.
Nick is like our stand-in child whenever we go out.
After we went grocery shopping, I cooked and prepared the food while my dad grilled our tilapia and mackerel. The meal wasn’t anything too fancy, but it was nice to just be together. I am inexplicably grateful to have my family (Mark included of course – we’re not married yet, but he’s already a part of my family for the rest of our lives).
** NOTE: ***
If you are looking for my usual cheery and uplifting blog posts, please click on any of the links below and move on to another blog. I feel the need to write this heavy blog because whenever death comes up in my life, I never know how I’ll end up dealing with it. If you don’t know by now, I am a pretty sensitive person behind closed doors. I also don’t feel the need to share my woes and worries on other social media platforms. Last but not least, I’m writing this blog to sort out my thoughts and feelings because this blog is the one place where I can be myself, be honest, and be comfortable with talking about deep topics like this. All in all, you are forewarned.
In the Back of My Mind
I so badly want to be happy in this time of celebration, but it’s hard to do that when my mind is clouded by the concept of funerals, death, and cancer.
What is it like to be in a hospice knowing your time is almost up? I keep wondering what it’s like because my uncle went through this before he passed away this week. I so badly want to comfort my cousin, but what do you say to someone who just loss their dad? I’ve never gone through it. I don’t understand. And I don’t know what to do. Rest in Peace Uncle Rodney. My heart aches for my aunt and cousins who no longer have you in their lives.
Why are people so cruel? Some sick-in-the-head people dug up my great grandmother’s coffin in the Philippines and just left it above ground in the cemetery. Just… WHY? Before I learned about this a few weeks ago, I never knew that some people make a business out of stealing dead people’s coffins and re-selling it to other mourning families. WHAT?! I can’t seem to wrap my mind around how crazy I sound for writing this out and how crazy the whole situation is.
I learned that my great aunt worked really hard to get my great grandmother’s body to the states. In the last month, the transport was finally approved… so my entire family is coming to town next week to attend my great grandmother’s official funeral/burial. This one is the official one because she is finally being laid to rest next to my great grandfather who is buried here in California.
Now, on to the topic of cancer and all terminal, hard-to-live with illnesses. Fuck cancer and fuck illnesses like Alzheimers and Parkinson’s. Unfortunately, my maternal grandparents are suffering from all of the above. My mom is very close to her parents, so you can imagine how hard it is for me to see how worried and how devastated my mom is whenever she gets calls about episodes my grandma is having, or hospital visits my grandfather has to make.
With everything going on, and everything affecting my work ethic and mental stability, I took a week off of work to babysit my niece and younger brother so that my mom can go back to Hawaii to be with her parents.
While all of these thoughts and feelings of anger, confusion, and sadness run through the back of my mind, I’m currently saving face and holding my head above the water so that I don’t get drowned in this black hole of very, very sad life questions. Meanwhile, I also feel bad for complaining about how I feel when – I’m sure – others are having a harder time coping with all the death and pain in the world.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
I have to turn this post around somehow… because I truly am grateful for this Easter day. I am blessed to have my family and genuine, kind people in my life. I have a place (this blog) where I can freely express myself without judgmental eyes or ears. And despite all the darkness and wrongs with the world, I know I can still do my best to be a light…. even if it I’m just a small… faint… little… light (at the end of the tunnel).
So, I’ll leave you all with this:
Sometimes other people say it best, and all I can do is share.
— chin up fam —