Wednesday, July 22, 2009

random thoughts on illness and soul...

My apologies for not following this up sooner. Remember my friend Malu? The doctors have recommended an amputation of her right foot. (As you read this, she must have already gone through it.) It's a difficult decision for her. Must be. Letting go of something you've grown attached to is devastating. Violent. Saying goodbye is indeed horrible. Remember saying goodbye to your old teddy? your old rag doll? I've said many goodbyes to a number of security pillows. I never wanted it washed because the washing destroys the smell that makes me oh so secure. But letting go of a part of your body? I've seen two patients in the diabetic ward that day I visited Malu who have lost their foot. As I've said in the last post, so much of their pain were etched in their faces, the smiles were a struggle. I felt it. But there was something else in that room I'd like to give emphasis to. There was so much Soul. Yes, so much of Soulwork. There was a centered spiritual energy in that space. Despite the obvious material lack, it was sacred space. There was so much, and yet, patients didn't need much. In fact, I have observed, diabetics are foregoers. They can lose much, and still enjoy life. Of course, there are medications that make life easier, but the fact is, you still have to watch your diet and deny your self a lot of life's sweet pleasures. I would think of Malu as a giving person. Being a writer and whom I would consider my life coach, Malu gives so much of her Self. I feel her hardship she will accept as a gift.

Deny your self. I remember the Gospel, where Jesus' discourse emphasized self-denial, taking up the cross and following him. Sounds very simple and easy. I tell you it is not. Giving up something is hard stuff. Yesterday I had a good Japanese lunch with two of my uncles and an aunt (not related). Meeting them again after so many years, was oh so much like a refreshing dip in a cool pool on a blasting summer afternoon. I was meeting them for a very precious agenda-for my mother who is sick with Pneumonia. Difficult times are indeed here and they've come to help me cross the road of life, to help make ends meet. Letting go, they are. I felt these elderly people are just like my generation friends. They are actually in their early seventies. I'd like to think septuagenarians have a special flair. There is so much change, since the time I've known them. One particularity is their health. Graying hair, bent shoulders, loss of weight, growing fatty apron, and so much talk of "i need to get my medicines", "there might be too much fat in this", "I'm cutting on sugar" and the likes. In my forty-eight years and aching joints, I've never heard so much healthtalk as this. But what is indeed unique in the conversational atmosphere is the talk of God. One uncle has survived cancer. Attributing his survival to the power of God. He is free of cancer. Clean. But at the price of his vocal cords. Removing it was necessary for the invasion to stop. Giving it up, going voiceless was a must or you bust. What's all this giving up spree? Denying themselves of a precious part of their bodies in order to live - to get another lease in life. To be able to get a chance to give life to others?

In this speed-conscious, instant-driven, greed-mad generation, life becomes so complicated instead of what it promises to be - an easy life. It is easy indeed to think of one's needs and wants first before anything else. You rarely hear people allowing a delay of gratification to be able to yield to the other. What really makes a meaningful life? This country is a developing country, with 90% of its population drowning in the quagmire of poverty. We see with our own eyes everyday, the grinding misery of people crying out to God, assured with their faint faith that somehow there will be an answer. Hope still exists. What with the reality of joblessness, failing health, and soaring commodity prices, hope remains the only treasure a majority of people hold on to.

My uncles and aunt are not affluent. They were hard-working employees, now reaping the fruits of retiring, and as the sun sets into their lives, the pursuit of meaning in life never stops. I read it in their eyes. They want to help. They want to give. And giving not from their excesses. But giving from their own labor, out of their heart. This is Soul. Despite the reality of illnesses, of insecurity and impending aloneness, giving is inevitable and an imperative. I want to imagine a sacred thing. I want to imagine, that as they sincerely think of helping, of giving, every cell in their body yields to healing...I wonder...I believe a miracle has happened. Go gently...


  1. Indeed saying goodbye is a terrible, cruel thing that I think there is an ethnolinguistic group of an American Indian who has no word for Goodbye, they have only a word, See you again.

  2. We are all related. Blood relationships have been transcended by spiritual relationships because this has been revealed thousands of years ago as a specie came to evolve as homo-sapien-sapien. I take risk in relating with others whom I do not know because I am will to take that adventure. I guess they call it bravery, I call it carelessness with joyful abandon.

    A relative of mine had her foot removed last week. This is due to diabetes. I wonder how stem cell experiment is going to help us through this.

  3. Hi Al! thanks much for dropping by..."carelessness with joyful abandon", i love that! reminds me of a man who took a great risk walking through an indistinct village called Galilee, telling people what love is, and changed the world. what an adventure!

    science has done much in its attempts to alleviate suffering or cure numerous dis-eases. indeed, it can offer much hope for humanity.

    go gently, my friend...

  4. I love to share with you my thoughts on the passing of Cory Aquino, but they are all posted at facebook. Anyway, you can still go incognito at facebook by changing your name.

  5. Do visit

  6. sure will do, Al!

    i've always admired Cory's inner strength...made her shine through and through with dignity and grace! CO-RY! CO-RY! CO-RY!

    thanks for dropping by...

    go gently my friend...

  7. Thank you for checking out my blog...and I love yours too! I am looking forward to future posts about you & your life. Have a beautiful day eh?

  8. grateful heart here diane! happy indeed for your visit. sure am posting that i'm affirmed and encouraged by you! a beautiful heart indeed you have!

    go gently...

  9. Hi W W!
    Thanks for commenting in my blog!

    Of course it must be a terrible thing to have to amputate ones foot. But at the same time I think I would have a more practical approach to it. If my foot is dangerous to me it´s better to get it removed and get a prosthesis instead.

    Perhaps I´m thinking like that since I already have implants in my right hip and soon will have it in my left? I´m sort of already used to have new spare parts in my body :-) :-)
    Like Your blog and will come back!

  10. Thanks very much for visiting, Christer! i'm just so sorry for not updating my post. you know, the "blogblock"...oh is so beautiful and there's so much to be thankful for and look forward to, isn't it?

    thanks again for dropping by and go gently, ok?... WW

  11. How beautifully said is your post.. and amidst the beauty of the photography! Thank you for sharing