150 – Mortality, Strength, & Perseverance.

I know it’s been a while. There’s so much that I want to write about, but the words seem to constantly escape me. But today, I refuse to run away from my own inability. These feelings are important. This is real. And writing will make me stronger.


The world seems different today, filled with a certain harshness I guess I had never truly felt until now. Mortality feels ever present, weighing upon everything I have ever believed in, and forcing me to re-evaluate where I want my dreams to take me. I think about what really matters to me and conflicting signals send my mind in turmoil. I am crushed. But I must not falter now.

It never occurred to me what the consequences of a stroke looked like. When I first heard about the incident, I thought to myself, Oh, he’s at the hospital, they’ll fix him up in no time.” It didn’t occur to me that even the most brilliant people could succumb to the physical aftermath of such an incident. Doctors aren’t miracle workers. They can’t fix everything no matter how much we all wish they could. Sometimes, doctors can save lives, but not preserve functions. Sometimes, people’s health conditions deteriorate and there’s nothing medicine can do but try to slow it down. These are all realizations that I came to understand while reading Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal. Yet these realizations did nothing for me when I came to face to face with a loved one changed so drastically by something so unfortunate. I was shocked.

I wasn’t around when it happened.  Half the country away, in fact. I wasn’t here for the worst of it – when the world came crashing down around my best friend’s family. Her father, not mine, but I feel it all the same. I always looked up to him because he always did what a real father should while mine was ever absent. It’s irrational for me to feel so devastated when he’s come so far from where he was. I know rehabilitation takes time, that all one can do is hope for the best. Things like aphasia and memory problems are tricky – there’s no telling how and when they might improve. I know I should stay positive, but just the thought that he might not ever be able to see how far his daughter has come leaves me in tears. I think of how I might react if my mom was in the same situation. I can’t comprehend it. My friend and her family are so strong. I’m in awe of how well they’re handling it. I’ll be praying for continuous recovery even when I’m far away again.

This train of thought digs deep, finding weakness in my life-long dream. I want to be a geriatrician. To help elderly individuals and their families as they deal with the consequences of aging. Dementia, stroke, cancer are all very much possibilities for this population. While I know that I am still very far away from being in that position, I think it’s important that I steel myself now, rather than later. I don’t want to detach myself from future patients, but I also cannot afford to be emotionally taxed every time someone I have come to know and love encounters devastating situation or nears the end of their life. I have to think now, if this is really the right path for me.

I guess I just have to do a little bit of soul-searching right now. Find optimism when all I can feel is despair. Be kind and strong, to help those that I love even when I feel paralyzed by fear. I need to find this strength and to become a better person. Hopefully, I’ll find just that in the next three years from medical school.

 

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A Glass Cage

exasperated by our fruitless interactions

no longer can I speak

when the words are cutting deep

onto wounds that haven’t healed

from our past defeats.

 

I’m finding it hard to believe

that we can make the change

we promised we would

but you know

some things

just stay the same.

 

I reach out

but my fingers just can’t reach

guess this is what they mean

by so close but yet so far.

 

I feel taunted, tricked, deceived

for I can see the brighter future

that lies beyond this glassed cage

but my punches and my kicks only seem to ricochet.

 

I press my forehead against the cold surface

rest my fists and close my eyes

my arms and legs are shaking

I’m a little terrified.

 

We’ve looked in every nook and cranny

searching for our mistakes

trying to find reason why

we’re cracking along the edges

but now I think I realize

that you can’t make fire from ashes

you can’t fix what never was.

 

my knees cave in and I fall to the ground

drained and hopeless

lost and alone

suffocated

and drowned.

 

the tears falling from my face

burn upon my blistered palm

all the pain I had supressed

as I fought against the tide

flood down upon my heavy heart

and slowly tears me apart

from the inside.

 

but I think I have

just enough

for one last and final try

so please

save me from this misery

before my love begins to rot

let us push against this wretched glass

with everything we’ve got.

Don’t you remember?

Hey, do you remember

the long line of people

waiting to buy their tickets

for a movie just released?

 

I still remember

the escalator ride up

the wait for our tickets to be checked

buying popcorn at the recession stand

walking into the theatre

ticket slip in my pocket

finally finding seats

the excitement when the ads finished playing

for it was

Spiderman 3

 

I remember

pulling my knees up on the seat

holding your hand in moments of suspense

feeling disappointed when it was over

because it meant we would have to leave

 

I remember

walking out of the theatre

before the credits ended

running down the stairs

playing a few games at the arcade

conveniently underneath

 

I remember

going home to fall asleep content

because movies were a rare treat

 

I remember it well

all these details in my mind

 

So why do you not remember?

I refuse to believe it wasn’t real

I refuse you to believe you weren’t with us

that it wasn’t your hand

I grasped for safety

 

I want someone to tell me you were wrong

and that you just can’t remember

 

Because this was us

happy

together

as a family

 

I won’t have this memory

any other way

I need to believe in this feeling

need to believe that

Mommy

you were there.

 

—————————–

Just a memory I can’t shake off. My mom told me she had never watched a movie in the theatres with my brother and I until this summer (she watched Harry Potter with just me). There’s this feeling in my heart that insists she was there. Spiderman movies were a family thing. Mom, bro, and me. 

93

There are no words to describe how I’m feeling right now

I’m emotional.

That’s not a surprise considering my history.

I feel like I’m missing something from my life.

It may be computer games.

It may not be.

It may just be the fact that I just got back from a social event. And social events wear me out naturally.

It could be anything.

But the uncertainty scares me.

Trying to stay calm.

It will pass.

I know so.

But anyone who has ever felt how I feel now knows it’s difficult to just remain calm as a storm passes you by.

I don’t want to break again.

I don’t want to deal with depression right now.

I am confused, upset, and probably tired.

Oh life, I could use a really soft lemon right now.

70 – I Miss It

I miss it.
The electrifying tingling that would rush through my veins.
The thrill of sensation.
The intimacy of uncertainty, of unpredictability, of the unknown.
Crystallised stares. So focused on one point that the world disappears… if only for that moment.
No words needed. Silence, a hidden game. We, the players.
The emotion in the air hovering like some airborne contagion.
Smiles into laughter into tears.  For no damn reason.
So fragile it could break in an instant.
But so resilient it would rebound right back.
There was nothing like it – that came before nor after.
We skittered from high to high, terrified of falling. Though we would fall anyway. And oh, so deep we fell indeed.
We built stories. Shattered walls. Sent them for repair but never went to retrieve them again.
Champions of each other.
Warriors of the heart.
We looked for treasure in each other’s souls, all the while painting on our hearts the map that would lead us there.
Every moment,  every breath was an adventure. I explored your world, and you, mine.
We were imperfect, but found perfection in each other’s flaws. We dug deep. Paved a new road on our souls and didn’t look back.
I miss it.
And I know you do too.
Let’s fall in love again,  darling.
Let’s make the old feel new.

War Against Our Hearts

“Despite how hard we tried to fight it, all of those things happened between us because our feelings for each other are becoming so much stronger than our desire. Desire is easy to fight. Especially when the only weapon desire possesses is attraction.
It’s not so easy when you’re trying to win a war against the heart.” – Colleen Hoover, Maybe Someday

War Against Our Hearts

These particular lines in Maybe Someday spoke out to me. I had to scribble something, anything…even if it wasn’t words…yet.

To be continued…perhaps?