I’ll give you a quick back story so this would make much more sense. She and I lived together for four years and the worst challenge we faced was when she was diagnosed with a potentially fatal illness in 2017. Things took a sudden turn and 7 months right after the diagnosis, we found ourselves in a nightmare. We spent months in the hospital, most of the days in Intensive Care and while she fought for her life, I struggled to keep both our worlds from falling apart.
When I finally found some alone time and could relax just a little bit, I wrote her one of the most heart felt love notes ever written by me in my lifetime. I wanted to make sure I have a reminder of the things I learned so I could share them with her once we were given a chance.
An open love letter from an open book.
I still find it hard to imagine how panic-stricken you must have been knowing that before you went to sleep, you were desperate for air and was fearful for your life. What was it like to wake up to a completely silent world right after that drug induced sleep? Were you worried about not hearing anything or were you just thankful to be alive?
We’ve been ‘quiet’ for 40 days now and I know that there must be a lot of things going on in your head. There must be hundreds of stories you want to share with me about this adventure of yours, about the dreams you’ve been having and of the prayers you’ve been ‘saying’. I can not wait to tell you your story from my point of view, too and every single day, as I open my eyes, I wish for that moment to finally arrive.
You know me by heart by now and I know it’s safe to say that I’d rather share this now before I quickly forget. I know you’re not a fan, but I am sharing this to our friends and family too, because I know someone out there might pick up a lesson or two from this story of us. This adventure isn’t over and I have not lost faith in tomorrow. For now, here are 7 things I re-learned from being ‘silent’ for more than 30 days.
1. Silence does not always mean “Yes”. – When all the answer you can get are confusing head shakes, half nods and blank stares, you have no right to assume(Ahem). As it is with everything else, getting someone’s confirmation and consent is vital to ensure every one is on the same page, of the same book, AT ALL TIMES.
Me: *writes on a small white board “How are you feeling today?”
You: *half nod *half shake *blank stare
Me (to myself): “Ayos!”
2. It is important to know your partner’s love language. Hint: There’s more than one for some people. – Contrary to your blabbermouth beau, service is how you’ve always shown your love. That immediately changed because 1. You can’t cook where we are at and 2. We forgot to bring our bento from home. Whether it be acts of service, words of affirmation, physical touch etc. it is absolutely necessary to know your significant other’s love language. It leaves little room for misunderstanding and eliminates the “you-don’t-appreciate/love-me-enough” drama.
3. Body language is your best escape – In times of utter distress, “Be like a duck – Calm and unruffled on the surface but paddle like hell underneath.” I can still picture myself pulling off that poker face while everyone else was rushing into the room to your rescue. Minutes later, I was outside the room shaking, probably in shock. I had to remember how panicky you can get and since you couldn’t hear anything, my best bet was that you’d have one look at our faces and panic some more if you see a single trace of concern from us. Hospitals may yet to be the best place you can practice your poker faces at, you guys! Seriously though, I wouldn’t wish anything like this to happen to anyone. Go practice your poker face someplace else.
4. “Constantly talking isn’t necessarily communicating.” – Anyone who’s seen the movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” knows this by now. Communication doesn’t happen when only one person in the room is doing all the talking. I tend to talk a lot, sometimes to a fault. It’s a good thing you gave me a lot of practice before all this happened and I’ve always been thankful. Except maybe for that one incident that involved a flying cellphone and a whiteboard. *Whoops
5. It’s the small things that really do count. – Yesterday, you smiled for the first time since you were brought to the hospital. It took some effort and it looked so different than the smile I remember that I couldn’t help but burst into laughter. You smiling, reaching for my hands and that ‘service’ bell ringing, they tell me I am needed and that I matter. Things like this can be easily taken for granted in a normal and boring day, but at times like this, we can’t and shouldn’t. It wouldn’t be right.
6. Neither of us were wrong – Have I mentioned I talk a lot? Right. So, I tell you I love you too frequently because I know tomorrow isn’t guaranteed for anyone. You tell me you love me when the moment feels right because you might be afraid that words often spoken aloud sometimes lose their meaning but, it does not matter how frequent or seldom we want to say it. Neither of us is wrong because sometimes words (or the lack of it) just get in the way.
7. Ghelay Del Mundo, I love you through and through. The rest of this shall be said to you, personally, when we’re finally given that moment. Till then, know that I am here and that I am not going anywhere except maybe to the bathroom at least 5 times a day. 😅
It’ll be her birthday in 3 days. She would have been 36. We were never given that moment and she didn’t get the chance to tell her story, so here I am sharing at small portion of it my point of view.