Mga Imbak na Marka: hope

The World’s Best Love Story!

Whenever a close friend recounts her ordeals and struggles in tending on her old mom and her elder sis, [both of failing health conditions], I would usually utter, “Why not ask God to have their lives be taken back?”

That was such an insensitive half-meant joke a person can utter to someone who is obviously feeling miserable. I wished I could have been more sympathetic and should have avoided giving unhealthy remarks. It was not a perfect comic relief, after all!

Her usual response would be, “I do not like this conversation [anymore/again]!” Then she would confine to her tight-lipped nature or worse walk out from the conversation.

Seeing someone you love suffering is the worst picture one can go through. The pain is double excruciating.

I remember 13 years ago when my younger sister, Mary Anne, died of a chronic heart disease. She has just turned 11 years old when that sad day of November came. The loss was too painful but there was that feeling of relief realizing that we could no longer see her cringing from extreme physical pain.

For a family who cannot do more but pray and hope for her recovery, her death was a heavenly reward. For a family whose earning was just enough to make our bodies and souls together, and sustaining her medications were financially arduous and sending her to a medical institution for an operation is next to hopelessness, I knew in my heart [I was  a senior high school student then]that  I prayed that God would save her from her plight. It was heartbreaking but I know it was His own special way of giving my prayers an answer…

My friend would never give up on her mom and her sis despite the odds. All through these crucial years, she has managed to bring to light from deep within her heart the hope and love that kept her spirit and those of her loved ones up! It’s moving that she never gets tired caring and praying…

My friend’s story is inspiring! So is the story of Edwarda – the world’s longest living coma patient. I‘ve stumbled upon this article on CNN and it’s worth sharing.

Below are quotes I took from the article. I shared them on Twitter.

PLEASE READ THE ARTICLE BY CLICKING ON THE LINK BELOW.

There is something good in suffering. It is when our resilience, hopefulness, optimism and resounding faith are best tested. I know out of suffering, the best love stories are known…

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A note to Death…

To himself everyone is immortal; he may know that he is going to die, but he can never know that he is dead. ~Samuel Butler

I’ve always wanted to meet you… You know that…
I’ve always wanted to finally be free from this earthly bondage and simply fade away as clouds do…

So, if you please… let me go with you and take me on a journey I’ve always desired to be in…

Take me to the place where the morning dew goes after the sun has warmth the gentle earth… Take me to the bottom of the oceans and let me be embraced by the deep that cuddles the wonderful creatures there.  At least for a very brief moment, let me just watch the splendor of the world beneath the skies… Take me to the pinnacle of a dead mountain so I can feel whether it has to live again and let me rest in the shade of that great old tree, then lay me on the quiet moss and its gloominess… There, I might find peace.

Bring me not to the heavens… for I don’t belong there. You know I wasn’t good enough. I have tried to be one…. several times, but I failed. I always do no matter how hard I tried.

Take me anywhere… where there is peace… where I can have the most rewarding rest.

I’ve seen you wanting to escort me, thrice an event, to the place where I wished I could be…  I knew you were there when that almost fatal incident took me many years ago… I knew you almost cuddled me in your arms during those unpromising mornings when in my solitary the signs begin to calmly remind me… Yes, you were there and ready to take me when that fateful day suddenly came without even a warning. I was glad you knew I wasn’t ready yet. Nevertheless, meeting you would be a complete delight, a rewarding opportunity for me to finally say, “at last, I am done!”

I have suffered much and still willing to endure more for those who are so dear to me… Yes, I am willing to bear more pain but not for myself anymore just like I always do…   But if you please… Grant me rest!

Take me… But please, only when they are ready….

 

I am saving myself!

“Yes, I am letting go of the feeling that made me believe gay life is all but rainbows and butterflies!”

I am always afraid of how would people react if I blog openly about my homosexual thoughts. There is this feeling of apprehension that I would be looked down and ‘queeriously’ regarded. However, I have to be true and straightforward… this is my blog and if there would be somebody to whom I should be honest with, first and foremost I should be genuine to myself.

I don’t have to explain my side to everyone. I am gay… and proud of being one!

This chronicles is not about being gay… this is about me and the things I haven’t said or the stuff I do not want to discuss with everyone or just anyone. This blog speaks of anything about the unsaid piece of my being; thus, the blog’s name: Chronicles of the Unsaid.

I blog because this makes me happy… Yes, I have the intention of blogging for others! I wish I could inspire the blog wanderers who have accidentally or intentionally visit my site. I wish I could acquire a virtual connection from among those who took time or squandered their time reading my posts. I want to gain friends online and eventually have some real friends. I know this kind of story isn’t impossible. I have read some posts narrating how bloggers find true friends and buddies online.

I want to blog because this makes me happy… and through this, I hope I could carve a smile to my blog visitors, too.

But this time, I want to be selfish. I want to blog about me. I want to blog for myself solely.

If you are reading this post, stop here…. Don’t read the post beyond this line
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Young as I was during my elementary years, I never doubted myself that I am gay! I even had a crush on my grade one classmate. I found him very charming. People around me, especially my parents and my relatives obviously noted I was ‘different’ and behaving ‘oddly’.

I don’t think I was odd before. I don’t even think I was abnormal nor exhibiting subnormal behaviors. But others tend to incise into my thoughts that my being gay is wrong. I’ve been bullied until high school just because I acted feminine or assumed I was ladylike. My very masculine relatives had even warned me of not pursuing my inclination towards being a full-fledge gay. They wanted me to ‘spew out the stone Darna [a Filipino heroine; counterpart of Wonderwoman] swallowed’. They even warned me of being hanged up on a tree or be whiplashed by a lingatong (a poisonous plant). Maybe they were just kidding, but it surely frightened me.

No, I am not drag and never was a cross-dresser! I am out and everyone knows I am gay! But I am trying to be subtle in my affairs not because my profession requires me to live up with people’s expectation but mainly because I am gay in my own way.
I scream and boisterously laugh… I cried whenever I watch a very touching movie… and I care less if people see me laughing my heart out or pouring out the most poignant emotions in me. Neither have I cared if people would be saying that I am emotionally premature despite being 26 (I’ll be 27 this August).

I want to be true. Yes, I tried wearing masks several times to hide me and to make people feel I am just alright. But, I cannot fool me!

Just a week ago, I made one of the hardest decisions in my life. It was so hard that it caused me to break apart. I dared not to keep it to myself alone for it is already unbearable. I sought for friendly words and comforting hugs and taps from people I love. I am thankful, they didn’t fail me… Inspiring sms and phone calls brighten me up, somehow.

I tried to be reserved in expressing my grief. I have sought for diversions… get boozed, hoping to have a good night’s rest… involved myself into activities that inspired others (but not me)…

But I really cannot hide the pain. I dared to appear miserable even in Facebook, as reflected in my status and wall posts. I am thankful there are those who bothered to cheer me up.

Yes, I am letting go of the feeling that made me believe gay life is all but rainbows and butterflies!
I am in the process of saving my self.

I have been down for the past two weeks… cried a lot. I’ve been into the worst slope of my journey where I felt pity for myself. I felt I’ve been rejected… trashed.

I was almost shattered.

Yes, I am broken but not totally crushed that’s why I am saving myself.

I am saving myself because if there would be someone to love me, more than anyone else, it should be me.

I am saving myself because I love the person who gives up on me… I am trying to understand why he has decided to finally put closure to our special friendship that has lasted for almost five years now. I don’t want him to see me this way. I don’t want him feel sorry for me.

I am saving myself because I can’t afford to exacerbate the emotional and psychological dilemma I am currently dealing with.

I am saving myself because I’ve been bruised enough and I want to recover very soon.

I am saving myself because I don’t want to be miserable this time….

This time, I’ll make sure I have fixed the broken part in me before I let love find me again.

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Oh, by the way, have you read this far?
Thank you… I was just kidding when I said you stop reading.
Thanks for your time!

P.S.
Officially I am changing my FB relationship status as single…. I was born this way 😦

THERE IS JEROME IN MY CLASS

The story of Jerome…

It was the first day of school when everyone was excited. I noticed this very uneasy child who belongs to my first year class. He stands taller than his classmates probably because he’s old enough to be a freshman. And I was right. His records show that he should have been a senior student by then had it not been he spent a year for his every grade while he’s in elementary. His permanent record revealed that he entered grade two twice and thrice for grade five. His name was Jerome.

For more than a week or two, I observed in my class that he’s not a very ordinary student. Whenever he walks around inside or even outside my classroom many of his classmates seemed to ward off as if he was lava.

I observed that he has only one close friend. I was not sure either whether he treats him as a friend for there was an instance that I saw Jerome beating him with his fist just because the latter failed to lend him his ball pen at an instant. This friend of him carries inside his bag all of his school stuff, too.

As a student, Jerome performs just all right. He was compliant whenever we had writing activity for he managed to write obediently…only that the pen’s cap was still on. Yes, he participated in the class activities. When there were group activities, he was the first person to disarrange the chairs in a very disorderly manner. In one of his classes, I observed that he enjoyed his role-playing session for he happily whipped a wooden stick on the air without minding whether it would hit his group mates. . I vividly recall how he courageously answered me with a mocking ‘inda man sa imo’ (I don’t care about you) when I called his attention after he tirelessly echoed his classmates oral responses to my questions in our Araling Panlipunan (Social Studies) class.

He was very versatile. He knows how to mimic the sounds of almost all animals (and even insects) he was familiar of. I heard him sounding like ‘tuko’ [gecko] while most of his classmates were hooked on an article they were told to silently read. He did it recurrently and obviously he liked what he was doing.

When he was prodded to read a paragraph on a page of his textbook, I noticed two things. First, he hardly knew where to find page 32; his seatmate needed to guide him just to turn to the right leaf. Secondly, his ‘reading’ gave me the impression that he was extraterrestrial. I thought I was hearing an alien for I did not understand a word. He found it very difficult to figure out how the words are supposed to be read even syllabically. But I was thankful for his effort to recite after he impolitely grabbed the textbook from his classmate and for the mumbling sound he managed to share.

As a child, he was very playful and had a lot of surprises. One time I’ve heard one of our teachers screaming and literally out galloping from her classroom after Jerome presented her a snake he just killed. He loved centipedes, too and he loved to hand it as a surprise to his classmates.

Honestly, I was not feeling comfortable to have Jerome in my classroom. I knew I was not in a proper authority to assess him but I believed he was abnormal – to be politically correct, I should have said he was ‘intellectually challenged’. He was behaviorally perverted. And I also thought that he deserved no space in my class of heterogeneous regular students.

We tried inquiring about Jerome in a more personal level. We dared talking to his parents and were dismayed to know that one of the main reasons why he was in school. His parents believed Jerome would be more obedient to us, his teachers, because behaviorally speaking; he was such a handful to them. I also heard one of his neighbors commenting, ‘mas marhay ng nasa eskwelahan an kaysa sa magpasaway digdi saindo’ (it’s better he misbehaves in school than [he bullies] here).

But I knew he was not entirely useless at home. When passing by while we were on our way to school, we saw him helping his father sort out fish. As one of the youngest brood, he did most of the errand.

I could not blame myself for feeling differently against this child though I wanted to try helping him out. For whenever he bullied his classmates and heard him talking back, I was beginning to think he was as an eye-sore. I wished he’s not enrolled in my class. I even prayed he quit schooling.

After a month and a week, my prayer was answered.  It was such a relief to see no presence or even shadow of Jerome within the four walls of my classroom.

But I must admit… I miss Jerome’s frolics and bullying!

Jerome and I – Our Pictures

 

I almost forgot Jerome because he dropped a year ago until Dr. Manuel V. Estera, our speaker in inclusive education, reminded us of this cliché: ‘Our students are reflections of us, teachers’ and my co-teacher and cousin – close friend asked me this line, ‘Are you a reflection of Jerome?

I almost fell of my seat when I boisterously say “No, I am not Jerome’s reflection!

Am I really Jerome’s reflection? This question might mean a point but it’s just trivial than to ask, ‘What did I do to help Jerome?’

 

Jerome was in school because he was not just forced by his parents. Neither had he loved bullying a lot. He could have easily pretended that he’s up to schooling and chose to watch or even do cockfighting or even opted to pluck ripe guavas in the woods nearby instead.

His coming into school implies his willingness to learn. It’s the very initial step in the learning process – the willingness to learn. Perhaps, he recognized the very essential fact that education is important to one’s life – to his own life. For sure he, himself, knew that he lacks and needs knowledge.

Willingness might have been evident to Jerome but I had reservations on his readiness.

Was Jerome prepared to be a freshman [despite his age]? What stopping him from gulping even simple knowledge? Was he normal, behaviorally and mentally speaking? Can learning take place in him?

Then, Dr. Estera engaged into his very illuminating talk. His candid gestures uncover his characters as an experienced professional and as a very able mentor in the field. His ideas are brilliant though he admits ‘he is not a very conceptual individual’ and his unassuming nature is indeed remarkable.

I learned from his talk the types of learning difficulties and developmental delay. He identified five on his handout. I note the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysphasia, dysgraphia, and the nonverbal learning disorder. To my awe and disappointment, it is likely that Jerome has all these learning difficulties!

Had I known what these learning dilemmas are before, I could have understood Jerome better. I could have welcomed him more openly in my class.

But was I really prepared for Jerome or a bunch of his kind? Can I confidently say that I can smoothly facilitate effective learning with him? I must admit again, the answer is a resounding ‘NO!’ And as a teacher, I’m not proud of myself of this realization.

Jerome needs special kind of attention. He deserves to have a more inclusive mode of responsive teaching-learning environment.

And in my poor case, I lack trainings on dealing with this kind of learners. My college curriculum prepared me to handle regular classes but never with students who are supposed to be in special or inclusive education. On the sad note, I could hardly cater Jerome’s special needs.

Jerome is just a picture of thousands or millions of Filipino learners in the country and students around the globe. There are many of his kind in our schools in their lenient and worst cases.

I am also but a picture of a typical educator who lacks proper orientation on managing learners with learning difficulty and developmental delay. Teaching experiences including institutionalized trainings do not expose me on how to handle special cases like that of Jerome’s. I need to muster appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes in order for me to finally say to Jerome that ‘I CAN help you.

The school year commences next week. Hopefully, with the lecture we had with Dr. Manny and the personal reflections I have had, I become more inspired to respond to the challenges of my profession…

No one should be left out in education’ emphasized Dr. Estera. This time, I hope to welcome, understand, and teach not only regular students but learners like Jerome, too.