Ear-Splitting Silence


A barrage of words floods my ears, it’s my mother shouting at me again for some small thing i did as a kid, 

this has become a daily bargain for me as i grew up, i never learned to hate it.

i have become accustomed to it rather, there was something serene about it. It taught me how to pick which words to listen to and which words to block within my head.

i was good at it. this screening thing helped me make it through school. from my teachers, elders and even some of my friends. and eventually my wife, it was very helpful in keeping fights at bay. not that i dont want to listen to what my wife is saying, but only to listen to what she wants to convey.

even in married life my mother would still send me a barrage of words screaming reminders and lessons that i needed to learn from.

it never seemed to end. but sadly, it did.

my mother lost it to cancer.

she got diagnosed of breast cancer – recovered – got diagnosed again – recovered thru mastectomy (breast was removed) – then leveled up to lung cancer. it was lung cancer that took her away from us.

it was a silent battle. 

silent because slowly, day by day my mother’s voice became hoarser and hoarser up to the point that she could not muster any sound anymore. and as if that was not enough, slowly it became hard for her to breathe. she is drowning in her own lungs filling with water.

imagine yourself mouthing the words you want to say, but instead of actual words, al you could muster was some hoarse gagged sound, and you wave incessantly, your hands in the air hoping the listener would get some hope of distinction that they would understand, and in the end you would give up and just try to write the words down. this was never like her. she was a wordy woman, she could talk all day and never repeat the same story twice. she now is a lost wordless case of a being, whom lying down meant drowning because of the water in her lungs. 

she stayed asleep sitting up. she has lost the strength to stand or walk. 

a wheelchair became her new best friend. 

i could not understand that you could drown within yourself. 

how can you escape such torment, you can’t sleep soundly because you would dream like you are drowning and quickly open your eyes to see that you are in a darker dream than the one you just had. gasping for air to fill your already liquid filled lungs.

we did all we could to ease the pain, 

this included sticking a 1/2 inch diameter strawlike tube on her side,

this was meant to help her breathe, draining fluids from her lungs, as if the torture of cancer meds was not enough, there she was like a tetra pack with a straw on her side. 

but no matter how many drains we put on her, the water just keeps filling her lungs up,

 until one final day it collapsed on her.

i did not imagine that she would die. i realized that there was a certain blindless hope that never made people realize that hope was gone a long time ago. this was because she was family. 

fuck, SHE was my mother. she was meant to grow old, to die of old age in her bed sleeping peacefully forever.. not like this, not like a prisoner of torture, drowned, beat up, sliced and diced, tested and poked like a laboratory animal.

i should have known. it was fucking late. way fucking late.

i hated it.

i was there when she died. beside her. i never saw her last breathe of air but i was there when she lost to cancer.

the memory never leaves you. the time. the moment that your loved one dies. the last time you hugged her, the last tender kiss, the last warmth of her body slowly escaping, the last time to catch and save her fragrance.

still hoping in the back of your head that she would wake up, that by some miracle in this vast universe that one exception would be given to your mother and return all things back to normal, that by chance this was just a very long dream, and you would be awakened by your mother shouting that you would be late again for school…

but no.

you will never hear those barrage of words again.

never hear the talks, the advise, the stories and tales

all that is left is a memory in your head,

the sound of her voice,

the sweet tender murmurs that only your heart could understand.

i may have screened out your shouts at me in the past, 

but i will never screen out all the lessons i have learned from it.
Happy Birthday Mama… we miss and love you so much…

(i hope i see you in my dreams) 

October 18, 2015 3:30AM


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