Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lesson Learned

During Poppa's stay in the hospital,
I have realized quite a number of things...
Not only was it time for Poppa to rest and think about his life,
It was also my turn to think things over, to reflect on my deeds and my acts towards others.
Who knew that in this trying time, I also learned a lesson that I thought I always had?



While Poppa was in the CCU, Momma and I had to stay in the waiting lounge.
It is a small room filled with rows of chairs,



and in one corner was a small construction site for heaven knows what.



The only form of relaxation was a very big aircondition that was either too cold or too hot (we cannot change the temperature ourselves)



And a small television set near the ceiling.



There were a lot of rules in that waiting lounge.

We cannot eat there.




We cannot talk loud there.



We cannot even sleep there.



If we were to sleep, we could only do so in a sitting position.



(WTF FEU HOSPITAL??)



I could handle that, but I pity Momma who was old and diabetic,
And all the other older people taking care of their sick loved ones.



On the first night, my head was spinning and I was still in so much adrenaline, stress and fear.
I waited for Momma to fall asleep, and made sure she was comfortable
(I made her put her feet up and lean on the wall).

Then I went to the lobby, trying to walk off my crazy.
As I was walking mindlessly in the lobby,

It doesn't look as nice as this though.


I saw a big sala set with people sitting and sleeping on it.
I felt tired and sleepy, walked like a zombie towards the one seater, slumped my head and fell asleep.



I didn't even know I fell asleep.
I just woke up with a splitting headache ans saliving triling from the edge of my mouth to to my wrist.
I felt two lesbians looking at me with mad eyes (I'm not being sexist or racist, they were just lesbians) and another man in his 50's trying to tell me something.



I didn't mind them, and went back to sleep.
After a few minutes, I woke up again and the same three people were looking at me.

Then the man said.. actually shouted:
"Ineng, sa kanila yang upuan na yan"
(little girl, that seat is theirs)



I was shocked with what I heard. I didn't really know how to react.
I knew I wanted to punch the man in the face and kick the lesbians' asses.



I looked around, and the sofa for 4 people only had ONE girl sitting on it.
SERIOUSLY???

I didn't have time to fight back with my signature Maccer attack,
because one of the lesbians stood in front of me, looked at me and said:
"Dyan ako."
(That's my seat)



I shut up and got up, walked away without knowing where I would go.

...

The next day, I encountered the lesbians when we accompanied Poppa for his 2D echo test.
momma was with me, so instead of telling them off, I gave them the most evil stare I could ever give...



And I think they got the message, because I never saw them in the lobby or in the waiting lounge again. They only stayed at the food court.

During the day, the man in his 50s (wearing a green shirt) stayed in the waiting lounge.
I made sure Momma and I sat far away from him, because I didn't want to confront him, but I didn't want to befriend him either.

That night, everybody was trying to sleep in the waiting lounge.
I gave Momma her spot on the chair and I decided to sleep on the floor.



The old man slept on the other side of the room using a carton box to protect him from the cold hard floor.
One of the people in the lounge turned on her radio, and the old man couldn't sleep.
He kept on saying that the radio should be turned off (he was basically saying it towards me).



I was on the verge of getting up and kick his head open because I have had enough of his attitude and I have a lot on my mind.
But I didn't.

On the third day, I woke up and ask Momma for money to buy breakfast.
I was gone for quite a while, because I was still not feeling well.
Went I went back, I saw the man beside Momma, and he smiled at me.



I wasn't in the mood to play nice,



and when he tried to say something nice, I didn't mind him, gave Momma's food then told her I would go to the bathroom.

When I went back, the man was sitting in another chair, talking to someone else.

Momma told me that the man told her that he lost Php 10,000.00 when he went out to eat because he was looking for a cheaper place other than the hospital cafeteria.



His brother was in the charity ward and he couldn't come home anywhere because they live in an island in the Quezon province, with no relatives in Manila.



That Php 10,000.00 was supposed to pay for his brother's hospital stay.



She said it must have been the reason why he was so cranky.



I was taken aback with what I heard, and just said 'okay'.

I looked at the man who was talking to somebody else.
The lady she was talking to offered him some chips, and he was so grateful and embarassed at the same time, saying that he would no longer be shy about getting some of the food. The lady gave him the rest of the chips, and he ate slowly and silently.



I tried to not mind him, but I was really distracted the rest of the day.

That afternoon, the doctor ordered Poppa to be moved to a regular room.
I was busy taking care of the move, but I couldn't help but notice the old man sitting around in the lobby or walkig around the hospital.

I felt so guilty.





Though I didn't steal his money or do anything wrong against him,
I could've been nicer to him... But I wasn't.



It wasn't in my nature to be mean to people, especially older people.
But because of the stress I encountered, I made it an excuse to be rude, disrespectful and downright mean to everyone else.



On our forth day, Poppa was discharged.
It was my responsibility to attend to the papers and pay for the hospital bills, and in walking (more like running) around the hospital, I saw the old man again.

He was sitting on the sofa at the lobby, quiet and keeping to himself.

I went to Henlin, bought two orders of siomai (what I've been eating the past three days) and went to the man.
When he looked up, I greeted him with a smile and said:



"Kinuwento po sakin ni mama yung nangyari sa inyo. Baka hindi pa po kayo kumakain kaya ito po para sa inyo. Sana maging okay na po yung kapatid niyo." (Momma told me what happened with you. You might not have eated yet, so here's some food for you. I hope all goes well with your brother.)

He smiled and thanked me, and even shook my hand.



When I left him, I felt much lighter, knowing that I made my peace with the man who never knew he was my enemy.

Upon leaving the hospital, I saw the old man again and he smiled and said thank you once more.

To Mang Roger (I assume that is your name because I saw it on your face towel),
I'm sorry for the way I acted towards you.
I should never have been rude, no matter what happened to you, because I was brught up to respect my elders.
I hope that your brother is now fine and you got home safely in Quezon.

I was humbled with that experience, one that I know I will always treasure.



The youth nowadays take the elderly for granted.
Respect is subjective and occasional, only applied when benefits are explicit.

As a 90s kid, I value respect and our elders.

90s kids are awesome!!!


I know that if and when I have children of my own, I will instill in them the values that I have learned from my own parents.

I will make sure they say "po" and "opo" (words we say when talking to elders)



I will make sure they ask for blessing from elders (another Filipino trait)



I will make sure they will respect elders, others and themselves.



Whew.

I know it's also a serious post, but I think that a lot of people will relate to this.
I also hope that you get my message, and when you finish reading this and open another tab for Facebook, Twitter or 9gag, a part of my message will remain.



Any comments? Suggestions? Violent rections? Please post them on the comments below!

Follow and tweet me on twitter @maccerpacker for more updates and craziness!!!

Tomorrow I'll try to give a more fun story.. :)

Stay tuned and thanks a bunch for reading my blog!

Your ilusyonada,
Maccer

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