Life is short;
Life is fragile.
Yolanda rendered a rookie like me… shaken.
I have no vivid idea, no inkling about what is to fear. Comparing the “super typhoon” with Ruping didn’t help as I was just a young tot back then. I had no memories about that crazy typhoon, only stories (animatedly retold by my parents).
But as I watch my mom packing, my clueless heart gradually sank. Before dear Yolanda, I had never (and thank God!) experienced any serious calamity – fire, flood, et cetera – save for earthquakes. Though we may had had it with the 7.2 magnitude quake and dozens of pesky aftershocks, we were by far, always at the giving end – the one to donate, the one to offer prayers for our fellow folks.
But Yolanda change all that.
As I pack my belongings, conflicting emotions started to budge in. It’s as if they, too, wanted to be stuffed in my bag. I knew: I had to be strong, just like everyone else. Yolanda was unfortunately, stronger. Subtely, she was ripping me off of any strength I have aimlessly constructed. She cunningly placed in exchange that knee-shaking weakness next to me, complemented with the awareness of death that will either claim me, someone I know, or someone called Filipino.
Throughout the packing ordeal, I managed to sniff and stop my tears. With my head above everything else, I took what was necessary – my sister’s files and mine. A few bunch of clothes had to be wrapped in plastic. Everything else had to be left. And that’s when I realize: if this typhoon takes me, something else will remain.
I still have notes and books to be read. I have yet to wear that owl-printed blouse; I thought I was saving it for something special (apart from some mundane occasion called Existing). And there’s these few exchanges with people to whom I have continually wronged, or worse, ignored. Perhaps, I should have said…
I think, as best as we try, we can never completely check off our list. Ever. Damn, we are but mortals.
But we can always try.
174 days since November 8, 2013.