Tuesday, August 24, 2010


When I logged in this morning I got the most shocking news I've heard- but not along the lines of a hostage drama or an international beauty pageant, but my best friend told me she was six weeks pregnant! I don't know exactly if she is telling people yet so I won't say her name. Let's just call her "twinsis", but for those who know me well that would have been a giveaway. Anyway I'm sure she doesn't mind- we are all happy for her aren't we?

She's a year older than I am, which means it is really just about time she had a baby. I just found it hard to imagine twinsis going through something as life-altering as having a baby. Actually I'm a little jealous, the bitch is probably going to get married too. Oh by the way, when I call her bitch it's a term of endearment, you see we are so close we can actually call each other degrading names and not be offended. Sick, right? Anyway, it is hard to believe the person who once asked me, "do we really need to grow up?" is now grown up.

She and I go way back. We used to share a bedroom while we were young and trying to make it in the big city. We slept on mattresses on the floor next to each other because we were poor hahaha! She chaperoned me on dates (because I was usually shy), but if the date went well she'd slip out so I could get lucky with my date. One of the most defining moments which cemented our friendship was when we were both thrown out to the streets from the apartment we rented with our officemate "crazy Brenda".

Anyway that was such a long time ago, and for the past years I've seen her sporadically since I've been based in Tacloban since 2006. I feel for her, she really is lucky. Now she'll have a child (maybe the first of many?) who would help take care of her when she gets old.

You know recently, as I get into the throes of weighing my options after I get my license- like going away again to med school versus finding work so I could help support Nanay, I remembered the conversation my grandmother and I had when she stayed in our home during Mama's death anniversary. At 84 and battling breast cancer, she needs us more than ever. It got me thinking- even Nanay who gave birth to five children and has countless grandchildren and great-grandchildren, is feeling lonely because she is alone during the daytime in her daughter's house, when everyone is either in school or the office.

Is being old synonymous with being alone? Even here in our culture where we have extended families, the elderly still feel pangs of melancholy- how much more in western countries where they send their grandparents to a home for the aged. Maybe it is simply part of the evolution of social interactions or relationships in man's lifetime, remember Erikson's Psychosocial Theory- anyone above 65 would have to face the stage of Integrity vs. Despair. People of such age needs accept all their successes and failures in life and make peace of the inevitability of death, otherwise they would feel despair.

Nanay once joked that she would like to be buried wearing the beautiful pina dress I bought for her during her 80th birthday, and everyone of us shushed her.

"Nay, ayaw daw pag-yakan hin sugad." (Nay, please don't talk like that)

I supposed she is in that stage, and she has to think about these things, but I really hope we can make these twilight years of her life comfortable. I don't know if she would be willing yet again to try to have surgery to remove the lump on her breast but I do understand her dilemma. It's like a choice between dying slowly as the disease spreads or the possibility of dying while on the operating table.

I'm still in the category of "young adult" (18-35 according to my books), with the developmental task of Intimacy vs. Isolation. At least this explains in part me and my batchmates' need to finally make commitments and work on relationships with people around us. My book tells me if I'm unsuccessful, isolation and self-absorption could occur. Yikes!

I wonder what will happen to me when I'm old. Wait, I wonder what would happen when my father gets old. He'd surely go back home, but now I understand him when he said whatever future plans we had (referring to me and my brothers) that we are basically on our own. He's in his fifties and wants to work for his retirement. It must have been hard on him when they went to the States and he couldn't get a decent job although he is a licensed Med Tech here in the Philippines.

Anyway, as I had this whole thinking-where-I-am-in-life extravaganza, I realized that it isn't just my career path I should be thinking about. I also want to fulfill my other goals as a person- such as being a good son or grandson or brother or uncle. It is the kind of person I want to be, not just successful. Maybe in the future I might have kids of my own too (though my bestfriend beat me to it, congrats by the way sis!). Who knows? I am but a foolish boy.


Fickle Cattle said...

I can relate. Sometimes we get so caught up in finding financial success that we forget there are other aspects of our lives that also matter. :-)

Cheers and more power!


Thad said...

@Fickle cattle: Thanks for the visit. Exchange links? :-)


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