Friday, September 11, 2009


"Gisingin niyo po sana ako sa aking pagtulog sakaling pagsubok ay mang-hamon habang ako ay nahihimbing..."

A nightly secret prayer.
The poetic version


It was past four in the morning when I was rudely awakened from my sleep. With my groins aching, I had to get up and take a leak. Across the bed sat the television. It was showing reruns of CatDog on Nickelodeon. Earlier last night, I remember setting the tv on auto-sleep before going to bed. It was already a force of habit - now that we're cutting back on our electric bill. As to why the TV wasn't switched off, reasons still elude me. Maybe I forgot to press the auto-sleep on the remote control after all.

Dragging myself to the toilet, I had to shift gears to avoid my boner taking shape beneath my tight boxers. The nearest bathroom is inside the master's bedroom and my mom is usually up during this unforgiven hour. Should she notice me wrestling with my stiffie, she wouldn't probably speak. But still, it would be the most embarassing encounter between a mother and her son.

A faint white light glowed from her bedside lamp. She was lying on a fetal position when I entered the room. Rarely do I catch her in that bed position so I knew something was wrong. Her frowned expression should already be a cause for alarm. "She must be in pain," I assumed. Yet, since my balls were about to burst, I dashed towards the bathroom before asking about her condition. When I returned to cover her back with a blanket, it was she who asked me the question.

"Gising ka pa?" She inquired.

"Kakagising lang? Bakit?"

"Kakagising mo lang? Natanggap mo ba yung text ko?" I usually check my phone for messages everytime I am being stirred from my slumber. This morning however, the urgency to go to the bathroom kept me from checking my phone.

"Bakit mama, may problema?"

"Masakit ang dibdib ko."

I learned that my mom was already in pain since last night. She compared the pain to an imaginary dagger being lodged on the right part of her chest. It felt like it had sliced through her muscles. I even caught her wincing everytime her nerves were being assaulted by the sting.

To play down her condition was my first line of defense. Worrying would lead to nothing and it might just worsen her condition. It was stress on her part. The troubles with my utol, (who is out of the house again since last night) the problems with the sikyu business (who tapped her to bring back order to the doomed enterprise) and the long hours at work (to get the attention of her stubborn students) is taking a toll on her well-being. Much as I would like to take away her misery, the least thing I could do is lessen her burdens by sticking completely by her side.

And keeping myself out of trouble.

"Uminom ka na ba ng gamot sa puso?" I asked while rubbing her back.

"Kagabi pa. Masakit nga ulo ko dahil sa Isodryl eh." The tiny table which she puts under the tongue is the only pill that whisks her away from a heart attack.

"Hindi ka na ba puwede uminom ulit nun?"

"Naubos na kasi. Di ko naman alam na magkakaganito." my hope is that she's not cutting back on her medicine again.

Instead of nagging about putting her welfare behind the needs of home, I quietly pulled the sheets up to cover her body part still exposed to the bitter winds of the electric fan. Placing myself in her bedside, I decided to stay until sleep returns to her.

"Tulog ka na ma, dito lang ako hanggang umaraw." I assured while placing some pillows behind her back.

The minutes went by without ever getting noticed. In between stroking her back, caressing her arms and reading a poetry book her sister sent last week, I waited for the sun to swing and peek through the cracks of her lone window.

As I scan my gaze over my mom's now calmed face, a sense of relief settles beneath my well-concealed frightened state. Should she asked to be rushed to the hospital, it would be me alone who will bring her there. If my groin had not urged me to get up and go to the bathroom, I wouldn't learn about her alarming condition.

And if I fail to wake up should emergencies like this happen in the future, I do not know what to find out when I check her out in the morning. There are so many possible scenes, which would only cloud my judgement and it would take an insane amount of time just to figure out how to cast away the guilt should these things occur just when I'm not looking.

Nevertheless, one thing holds true: luck still smiles at me.

I left my mother's bedside at past six. She was praying the rosary when I told her my desire to return to my room. Finding my cellphone lying on the floor, there was a text message awaiting access from my inbox.

It was from my mom. Sent a few minutes before I ignorantly barged into her quarters.

"Anak, sumasakit dibdib ko."

The message read.