From Our Readers: Meet My Sister, So Young and So Dear
The clock strikes 2 past midnight and everyone in the house is already in deep slumber. I keep on turning my body from side to side, hugging my pillow tight as I try to put myself to sleep. But every time I close my eyes, I can clearly see her image in my mind: Her subtle sweet smile and innocent face. Memories keep haunting me again. Five months have passed since she left. As the days roll by, the level of acceptance increases, but the pain of losing her never decreases. The same pain I felt on that very day when she gasped for her last breath—still fresh, sharp, deep, and striking. I still keep on asking myself the same question, "Of all people, why my sister?" At the age of 19, when dreams are fulfilled, when hopes are there, when passions and desires towards life are big, why did the Universe let this thing happened? We loved her so much that we never ever wanted to lose her despite the fact that we knew she might not reach old age like other people because of her poor health condition since birth. Having a congenital heart disease called Tetralogy of Fallot. Kids that have the same condition are also known as "blue babies."
Without minding the time, I laid my back in bed, looked up to the ceiling, and I managed to smile a little as I recalled how she was able to make us (her family) proud. Her remarkable talents in drawing and writing novels never failed to wow us and even others who saw and have read her works could attest to that. She was a wide-reader and knew how to speak some Korean, Japanese, and French. Who would have ever thought that a girl who never had a chance to step into a formal school would have those kinds of skill? Her heart despite being physically weak was full of love and kindness. On her 19th birthday (her last birthday being alive), she wrote in her journal, "My wishes for my birthday are: good health for this year and for the coming years for me and my family, good grades for my siblings who are still studying, and jobs for my other siblings who already graduated and will graduate this year. There, I know it’s simple but I think that’s the most meaningful wish I can wish for." This only proves that she was never selfish. I remembered the days when we fangirled over Taylor Swift (yes, she's a certified Swiftie!), when we would laugh together while watching the Korean variety show Running Man, those silly times when she helped me out doing DIY stuff for my blog, and how she would usually write the list of books and magazines she wanted me to buy for her. Those were just a few among the many sibling-bonding moments I will surely miss and promise to forever keep in my heart.
As the signs of early dawn appeared on the windows of the room, tears started to fall down my cheeks. A sudden flash back of her struggles during the last 4 months of her life had filled me up. Those 4 months wherein she had fought in the battlefield of pain and suffering, when she became paralyzed and bedridden. Those crucial times when we felt that the very last hope of all hopes had fled. Those touching moments when she used to say, "I love You Lord even though I am sick." That heartbreaking hospital room scenario when we clearly saw in her eyes her strong will to live yet her system was in the verge of giving up. Then, a very sad realization hit me hard like a slap to my face. Her Twitter bio that reads: "Dreams to meet Taylor Swift in person, to see my works on the runway, and my book to get published" will only remain just dreams of her forever. Without her, things will never be the same for us again. Her loss left us with wounded hearts. I know these wounds would heal through time, but for sure the scar will be there and it will always remind us not just of the pain but also of the beautiful memories of her in our lives. My sister Dayanarra will always be remembered as an epitome of hope and inspiration to all especially to us her family. Her passing left me with words to tell every people I meet, "Love your siblings while you can. You are lucky, you still have them."
If only the four walls of my room can talk, they could probably say how much I cried that night. I check the time; it’s nearly 4 in the morning. I ease into my bed, say a prayer, and without knowing it, I doze off with my eyes still wet.
Written by Arianne Pearl Magbanua.
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Dear me in six years, I wonder how life will treat you when you’re already 26 years old. Will you be financially stable? Will you be working in an advertising agency while pursuing everything about the arts? Will you be doing freelancing and living in a condo by then? I don’t know since things are very uncertain. I hope by the time you graduate from college and face the real meaning of the world, you’ll know what the real purpose of doing and living in the art will be.
I know it’s been so tough ever since you turned 20 but that’s how life works, I guess. There will be a lot of hopes and trials, breakdowns, and breakthroughs but I have high hopes of you becoming the better version of yourself. You always do, though. You were never a quitter. Making decisions is getting harder and harder as you grow but I hope it doesn’t make you stop doing what you really love to do. You will face different people with different perspectives. You will feel like a stranger once again, it’s like you were back in your freshmen year. It’s going to be tougher than you’ve expected but you can do it. I believe you can.
Most of the time, people's perception of us as a strong person makes us feel that we are not entitled to be vulnerable because they might be disappointed for seeing our weak spots. And so when we are hurting, we are often scared of extreme emotions and so bury our feelings. We deny them, trying to avoid the pain we feel.
But by doing that, we are just allowing it to come back to us and haunt us. And when it comes back, it might be stronger and it will be harder for us to get over it than when we faced them first. I realized it just now that facing those emotions will scare them until they're gone. The saying 'Let it hurt until it hurts no more' goes true. Admitting your pain to yourself doesn't make you weak. It only proves that you are strong enough to acknowledge such extreme emotions without avoiding them. We are humans and it's okay if we hurt sometimes.
Before, sliding over the rainbows
Now, our hearts are bruised
Days once full of love and laughter
Became dawns of forfeited ever after
Smiles that bring ticklish sensations
Turned to cold question and answer
Figuring who would be the next instructor
The queen’s awake
Grappling to the happiness that the sorrow and sadness take
Going back to all the promises he couldn’t make
Poetry #2: YOUR VOICE
When you talk, your voice brightens my days. You provide me comfort in all the little things that you do. Your deep and mellow voice sends a tingling feeling inside me that makes me want to keep you in my life. I love talking to you every time, every day, every night and every minute if I could. You're someone just simply amazing.
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