Don’t be scared. Sit still. Can you hear your heart beat?
Since the beginning of 2007, I have always felt this tingling sensation in my stomach. No, it’s not the kind of emotion caused by fluttering butterflies, nor the ones caused by nervousness and anticipation. Nor panic.
It’s the kind that hits you like a battering ram and leave you unconscious. Without caution. Without pain. Without any physical manifestation. None, other than…
It’s unbearable, this feeling of lightness. To not utter a single word. To suddenly hear nothing but your heartbeat. And yet you allow it to happen. You don’t even consider to speak. You don’t even think. As Milan Kundera said, “When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object.”
Suddenly, everything’s clearer. Everything that I have ignored, wittingly or otherwise, are slowly revealing. Everything that have been right there in front of my eyes that I have failed to notice.
My sister has slipped disc. She acquired it 3 days before Christmas and she has spent the Holidays lying in the couch. Immobile from her waist down, she chose the couch than the bed because she doesn’t want to feel locked up in her room. My parents keep her company during bedtime by sleeping in a mattress in the living room. They have postponed countless party invitations, the annual reunion and spending Christmas Eve with my relatives because my sister couldn’t join. They spent New Year’s Eve locked up inside the house. She has been receiving therapy on a daily basis.
My dad has kidney stones. I personally rushed him to the ER twice in 2006 and the doctors gave him some kind of medication to cure his ailment. The problem with my dad is, like me, he’s not a big fan of medicines. He always say, he’ll get better, that the medicines are too expensive, or, if he runs out of excuses, he just tells us that he simply forgets. Right now, he’s taking up herbal medicines – a tea that’s suppose to melt the stones and rid him of whatever it is that’s bothering him. Up to know, we constantly remind him to drink it.
My mother has hypertension and all these problems aren’t helping her to relax and stay calm at all.
My wife had her share of health misfortune with a visit to the hospital’s emergency room during the first week of December. Thank God she’s ok now.
Amidst all these - health problems with my family, I managed to retain my cool. I am a busy man. A very busy man that have always shown support to his family during their times of need, at least whenever he can. Time is of the essence. I hate wasting time therefore I always make sure I do whatever I want, when I want. I got used to this pace that I have started living life like a race, leaving all the worries and troubles behind, in a blur, as I dashed into life like a mad man.
Now, in the calming presence of silence, I realized that I have buried my head into the sand. Like a coward, I have hidden what I truly feel, or felt about what my family is going through, and the support I have given them is not enough. I’ve always hidden behind my excuses that I have started to become indifferent. I have chosen not to notice these problems and carried on with my daily routines. I have chosen to live a carefree life. No worries. Everything’s going to be fine. I concentrated too much on pushing forward that I left so many things behind. In the process, I kept a safe distance. Away from all the trouble and pain. Away from harm.
The moment of silence has given me what I didn’t have, living a fast-paced, driven lifestyle. Clarity.
Thank God, it couldn’t have arrived at a better timing.
It’s the New Year. 2007. I have now survived 3 decades, and in 2 and a half months time, I will be enjoying the last year my age will be in the calendar. What better time to regain my focus. To stop and finally, smell the flowers. What better time to pause, take a breather and enjoy the silence.
It’s 2007. It’s going to be a great year. I know, as long as I take my time.