Sunday, August 7, 2016

A Ray of Courageous Light

Prior to welcoming the weekend, I remember quipping (and doing a status post on Facebook) that Fridays and weekends are meant for "babe time" (blame it on that Gerald-Bea movie, I learned a new term). But I really did not have special plans this weekend. However, spontaneity just hit me yesterday so I decided to leave the house and travel to Eastwood despite it was not a workday.

I went to St. Padre Pio Chapel in compliance with my usual Friday visit. After staying in the chapel for an hour, I decided to travel to Cubao. I have been working in Eastwood for almost six years but I never tried travelling to Cubao so this was really my first attempt. Hindi naman pala talaga siya malayo. Given that there was no heavy traffic, I reached Cubao in 25 minutes, I think.

Reaching Gateway Mall, I was planning to grab some snacks at Starbucks as a little belated treat for myself having reached my 53rd month at work last Friday. But something else caught my attention and instead, I found myself going to a photo exhibit at the mall's Activity Area -- Courageous Light.

Photo from Courageous Caitie Facebook page
Courageous Light is an exhibit celebrating the life of Caitlin Soleil Lucas, more known as Courageous Caitie. It was launched yesterday, August 6 which was also Caitie's birthday. The event featured a photo exhibit and activities for the kids. The event also had a schedule of upcoming fundraising talks, activities and workshops for parents and kids for four succeeding Saturdays. 

Aside from life size portraits of Caitie and her moments with her family, her parents also included her artworks and an array of her personal things as part of the exhibit.

I also had the chance to meet Caitie's parents, Tin and Jay jay Lucas yesterday as well as Caitie's brother Ethan. 

Few months ago, when Caitie's story made a buzz on news and social media, I silently wished that should I be given the chance to meet her mother, I would like to give her a hug. That came to happen yesterday when I met Tin and Jay jay during the launch. During our short conversation, I came to know where Caitie inherited her courageous spirit. Her parents exemplified the same virtue. At one point, I couldn't help but ask Tin how they were able to handle it given that what they have gone through was really a difficult situation. To which she replied with three words:

Faith in Jesus.

They were indeed a father and mother after God's own heart. While what they have gone through isn't easy, they still chose to surrender to God's plan believing that it will work out for the best. Their family is a proof of that Bible verse: You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. For sure, even in heaven, Caitie is proud having them as her parents during her short but meaningful stay on earth.  

Courageous Light photo exhibit will run from August 6-12 at the Activity Center of Gateway Mall and at Gateway Gallery (5th Floor) from August 13- September 3

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A Lesson from the Past Week

Last week I had to go through a difficult moment. I won't go into details anymore but all I can say is that it was a week where I was put to an ultimate test -- physically, mentally and emotionally. I would come home tired and silent. I just wanted to either cry out all the stress and just sleep my heart and head out for the rest of the week thinking it'll help. I realized that stress is a sure fire way to aggravate asthma because that was literally what I got (but at least just for a day).

In the midst of these things happening came a text message on Tuesday night. However, I was too knocked out from the medicines I was taking so I read the text the following day and I had to defer a reply. But come Wednesday afternoon, just when my stress levels hit its peak, I got another text message. This:

If you don't want to be tagged like this,
please, please reply to text messages. :-)
Nung mabasa ko yan, hindi ko alam kung matutuwa pa ba ako or gugustuhin kong ihagis ang cellphone ko dahil dumating ang text na ito sa hindi tamang timing. But  I had to let out the negative emotions first so I opted not to answer. And as soon as I felt that those undesirable emotions have subsided, at alam kong medyo okay na ako, that was the only time I decided to text a reply. Yes, my replies might sound nang-aasar or filled with hugot but I wanted to do it that way-- a bit laidback and a bit funny. Apparently, the person seemed to have been waiting for my reply since the first message was sent on Tuesday night.

Pero ang totoo, bukod sa gusto ko ng katahimikan at panatag na isip that time, the reason I delayed giving a response was I just wanted to spare the person from my "sungit" tendencies. being sick and going through stress, alam ko na may possibility that I might just obliterate and show my worst side. Ayoko siyang masungitan o matarayan because the person doesn't deserve that kind of treatment. They say if you cannot be kind, be quiet. I know during those moments, I could not be kind so I chose to be quiet instead and let the negative emotion pass before I said a word.

Kasi, kung nagkataon na sumagot ako sa kanya nang mga panahong mataas ang negative emotions ko, I might have said a lot of wrong, hurtful and unnecessary words. Words that I could not take back. Kung nagkataon, yung words na yun could cause me irreversible regret. Those words could cause the person to be hurt. And hurting that person is something I did not want to do. Ayoko nga siyang nasasaktan ng iba, mas lalong ayoko na ako ang maging dahilan para masaktan siya. 

And as I write this, I can't help but get a bit teary eyed. I never thought such ugly moment would teach me a beautiful lesson. This is one of those rare moments I realized that I unconsciously did something right. Oo, nakagawa ako ng isang tama at magandang desisyon nang dahil sa taong ito -- at dahil ayokong masaktan siya. Parang nakakapanibago pero ang hindi ko agad napansin ay binabago rin ako (sa magandang paraan, ugali at pananaw) ng taong ito.