We have hope in our hearts because we’re part and parcel of the Supreme Person. Unfortunately, illusions and material desires bind us to the material sphere. Realizing that this world isn’t our real home will inspire us to seek shelter in Him. Some inspiring words of wisdom to lead us back home:
If it were not for hope, the heart would break. –Greek proverb
Don’t hope for that which has yet to come; don’t regret what is already past. –Chinese
Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; hate less, love more–and all good things will come to you! –Swedish
Don’t lose hope, because no situation is permanent. –African
To hope and strive is the way to thrive! –Danish
Hope is the physician of misery. –Irish
In the hour of adversity, be not without hope. –Persian
Yesterday is but a dream, tomorrow is but a vision. But, a well-lived day makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope. –Indian
Things never go so well that one should have no fear, and never so ill that one should have no hope. –Turkish
Hope gives strength and courage, and saves an otherwise dying man from his grave! –Latin
What one hopes for is always better than what one has. –Galla
Taken from “Lotus Pond,” a PDI column by R. Valencia and S. Bismark
My friend Alex passed away on November 10, 2013. He was my boyfriend for a short time, and my colleague. Despite what he did or what happened to us, I’ve always loved him. And he knew that until the day he died.
I didn’t get to visit him every day when he was sick but I did visit him a couple of times. And during those times I always made sure that he is loved! That I love him. And each time, I saw how he coped and fought hard for his life. He was a brave man. There was a period of time that he was winning over his sickness—working out for two hours, eating a lot, laughing a lot, and would still help me carry my bag even if his left body was already paralyzed. And my heart would secretly bleed seeing him different.
Because the Alex that I knew who was good-looking, standing tall (he’s a six-footer), articulate, and had this straight, slim, and athletic body had become frail and would stutter now in his speech. He would drag his left leg just so he could walk and would easily get tired just talking. He couldn’t anymore express what he really wanna say because his brain tumors affected his speech. But every moment with him I memorized. I seized each day I spent time with him and I would hug him and kiss him. I memorized those precious hours, minutes, and seconds with him, every word he said, the times he laughed and smiled, and the times that he was in pain dealing with his cancer. And despite his cancer, he would be the first to ask how I was instead of me checking on him. We would always text each other.
Then he had a seizure which greatly deteriorated his health. It was his brother that I now text. Later on his girlfriend. There was a time that I doubted if it’s alright that I visit him frequently since he has a girlfriend. If it’s alright with Alex. When I got sick and didn’t visit him for three weeks, his brother said he was looking for me. And that he misses me. You know, even if he was no longer my boyfriend and I wasn’t sure if he really loved me, just knowing that he looked for me while sick in bed and once I was there told me in my presence how much he missed me then held my hand, it was a moment that I won’t ever forget, really made me happy.
Even though he initially suffered emotional breakdown hurting the ones he love (his family) because of his sickness, I am amazed how, in the end, he kept himself together and faced his death with acceptance and sadness.
Because I’ve memorized each moment, now that he is gone, I would cry because I still remember clearly his pain, his agony beaten so hard by his cancer that left him bedridden. An invalid. His family became his hands and feet so he could live. And it would hurt in the gut to see him that way. Just to see him smile or whenever he would hold my hand and caress my arm like he used to do just like the old times was my only source of comfort.
The day before he drew his last breath, I was there beside him. To see someone I love who was dying was the saddest day of my life.
I have a loved one who also died of cancer. My mother. She died at 52, the same age as Alex. Back then, I was ignorant about cancer. I thought my mother would recover. Even if my mother already looked like a skeleton, my ignorance told me she would recover. I didn’t believe that somebody from my family would die. So I reported to work. Went about my daily routines. I would take turns with my siblings watching over our mother but I didn’t talk to her. I just read a book to make my stay in the hospital worthwhile. I had no worries because I thought her sickness was just a fever that can be healed. I heard she suffered emotional breakdown, even hallucination, because of the effect of the medicine and treatment. But I never saw any of that because I was working. Like I said, I believed she wasn’t gonna die. Thirteen years later since my mother’s passing, my friend Alex got cancer. And this time, I wanna be there and provide comfort rather than be an spectator. I wanna be there for him because he could die anytime! (I was praying for a miracle, though.) I’m glad I took that road.
I miss Alex. I know he’s already in a better place—up there in heaven—it just pains me that he is gone because I could no longer talk with him or touch him or hug him. I miss his laughter, most especially our “quality conversations,” as he would call it. Alex is a brave man. He died a brave man. I love you, Alex. We miss you here.
Today, November 22, is actually my birthday. It’s my 35th year of being alive. And I wanna remember Alex on this special day.
“You’re going to meet many people with domineering personalities: the loud, the obnoxious, those that noisily stake their claims in your territory and everywhere else they set foot on. This is the blueprint of a predator. Predators prey on gentleness, peace, calmness, sweetness and any positivity that they sniff out as weakness. Anything that is happy and at peace they mistake for weakness. It’s not your job to change these people, but it’s your job to show them that your peace and gentleness do not equate to weakness. I have always appeared to be fragile and delicate but the thing is, I am not fragile and I am not delicate. I am very gentle but I can show you that the gentle also possess a poison. I compare myself to silk. People mistake silk to be weak but a silk handkerchief can protect the wearer from a gunshot. There are many people who will want to befriend you if you fit the description of what they think is weak; predators want to have friends that they can dominate over because that makes them feel strong and important. The truth is that predators have no strength and no courage. It is you who are strong, and it is you who has courage. I have lost many a friend over the fact that when they attempt to rip me, they can’t. They accuse me of being deceiving; I am not deceiving, I am just made of silk. It is they who are stupid and wrongly take gentleness and fairness for weakness. There are many more predators in this world, so I want you to be made of silk. You are silk.”
―C. Joybell C.
Sometimes how others see us is different from how we see ourselves. Our personality (how we project ourselves to the world) is sometimes not directly proportional with who we really are inside, our inner core. So it’s interesting to note how people’s perceptions of me vary (a lot of times contradicting each other!) and how there are a lot of things that other people don’t know about me yet.
People usually see me like this:
Or like this:
But I see myself as this:
And as this:
But what I am really like? I’m probably really like this:
You know what, despite the contradictions, they’re all part of who I am!
Note: This post was inspired by C. Joybell C.’s blog entry, “Pictures of who I am.”