Hellos are offered to signal the arrival of someone as a gesture of greetings. Goodbyes are bid when someone is leaving and we cling to the hope that some time soon, we’ll see each other again. When someone say goodbye, it’s as if they enter this realm where our existence doesn’t necessarily correlate. You could still call them and send those emails, and still hope for that hello. But in between the hellos and goodbyes, everything seems suspended and there’s also the fear of maybe not seeing each other again.
But I think . . . I think the most painful thing in the world—more painful that having your heart broken—is not getting the chance to even say that hello to someone you love because all that’s there to say is goodbye.
I lost my sister back in 2008. My mother delivered her well but before she even can take her first breath, she already breathed her last in the womb. The doctors can’t find a heartbeat where there should be one.That one little dub-dub . . . none, it’s not there. The doctors explained that there had been a complication minutes before delivery and . . . and that’s all I know. Complications. I guess I’ve never had the courage to ask my mom because I know it’s a sensitive topic at that moment. If it was painful for me as a brother, my mom could be feeling a lot worst.
To be honest, I guess we have all moved on from the pain. I think, it took a year or two before momma could even move on. I couldn’t blame her. But we’ve all got over it—the wounds are no longer fresh. But you could see the scars in bright burning red.
I’ve realized that if my sister is alive today, she could be in high school now and I could be that brother she’d call late at night to help he out on her homework, save from mathematics of course. I could be the brother whom she would call and we’ll talk about this guy she has crush on. And I, being the “older brother figure”, would adamantly remind her of the litany of nos.
That is one of the many frustrations I have—I wanted to be a big brother to her, guide her, and would always tell her stories of my experiences and what I learned from those. I wanted to trick or treat with her, join her on family days at school, give her presents whenever she achieves something, scrutinize the guy she likes, and take her to places. I wanted her to be the second woman I’ll fall in love with next to my mom. I wanted to become that brother who would scold her when she’s done something bad, and later I would talk to her when she’s about to go to bed and explain why I did that.
But life is an enemy. Life was given to her but it was also taken from her. Back in 2008, I would blame God for it. I blamed Him for taking her away from us when she’s all what we ever wanted; what we’ve prayed for. I can’t comprehend why it happened, no elementary textbook could even explain to me in simple terms why it had to happen.
Now that I understand better, I know better, I no longer blame God for what happened. Growing up, I’ve devised a reason that helped me moved on from the paralyzing pain. I think God gave us nine months with her, to nurture her and ensure that she makes it before He takes her back. God needed an angel by his side and an angel is what he entrusted my mom to take care.
I just wish and pray that I could see her and say hello and hug her and be the big brother I wanted to be even if that is just a few seconds. I just want to experience that. Perhaps if we lived again, in a different life time, God will give her to us and will not take her back. Maybe then, we’ll live as a family, like what we should be.