Archive for April, 2012

HAPPINESS

April 5, 2012

HAPPINESS to me is subjective and relative.

Subjective because it is a state of mind. It depends on how we appreciate and accept what we have and what we  don’t have. How we recognize the boundaries between our wants and our needs. And how we accept and believe that justice also means living without some things we deemed important while  others are living abudantly with them.

Relative because the more relatives the merrier. That is what I was told since I was a kid.

I have several accounts of happiness that were vividly imprinted in my memory. It is how i describe happiness. And it is always will be…

It was August of  1976. I was in the second grade when  Dado, my younger brotherwas disturbed by a growing lump in his stomach. He was five years old and was crying almost everyday  because of the pain he cannot bear anymore. My father doesn’t have a job and we cannot afford to bring him to a hospital at that time. But we were forced to rush him to a public hospital because of his complaints of shortening of breath. I was worried because mother was crying when Dado was taken to the operating room. It was horrifying. And I cried  too…  

I was crying because in my young mind I know that life’s hardships was teaching us so early to accept death in cases like this because of poverty. I was crying because I know after the operation, mother will surely be humiliated in trying to come up with the money to pay the doctors and the hospital. I recalled sitting on the steps of the main stair of the hospital while drying the tears in my eyes and looking at mother as she walks away to look for something to eat with just a 20 peso bill in her wallet. That is all we have on that day.  

This is a recollection of happiness because Dado end up okay. We went home with more than 300 pesos in mother’s wallet because some of the neighbors and relatives went to the hospital to give us some money. The hospital bill was taken cared of by one of the doctors.

One monday  in December 1978. Dado was in the first grade. We came home from school  and found out that we do not have anything for dinner. I decided to get some sugarcanes from the field and Dado came along. It was more than a kilometer of walk to the place where they harvest the sugarcanes. So it was dark and was raining when we went back home. Dado  reached home before me because he cannot carry the sugarcanes on his back anymore because the load was too much for him,  not to mention the rain that was so intense. I came back for him and carried his sugarcanes and told him to run back home because mother was so angry looking for him. We were soaking wet and this has made mother much more angry than before. She pulled out a stick and beat me hard that night. And I was crying all the way to sleep.

Again it was a recollection of happiness because when mother thought that I was asleep, she wisphered in my ear that she loves me so much. It was just that we made her so worried. Tears came pouring down my cheeks again and I hugged her so tightly.  

It is this simplicity of the happiness that i have  known that made life bearable and acceptable. For us , living is not a question of justice or the fairness of life. It is always the appreciation of what we have and what we can do to survive each day at a time- one problem at a time.

As I look at our grown family right now I can’t help but look at our past. Despite of having families of our own, we seek each other still when the rain struck us again  on the field. I always find strength everytime my mother tells me she loves me even at this not-so-young age. My brothers and sister make me strive more and more as I dream for them the same kind of life that I have today. And as I look at my wife and kids, I can be anyhting that I want-a HERO and a typical dad that will do all I can and  give  all I can to make them acquire the happiness they deserve.

The happiness I seek  is simply the well being of my family. We may go through a lot of pains  and misunderstanding yet we will be there in the end to battle the trials of life together.  They may hurt me and I may hurt them. Yet, nevertheless, we will remain attached to our pasts and to our beginnings…

That we are each other’s strength…And that we can die for the sake of one another…