I woke up today and thought about my previous post and I said to myself, “133 Days to go!” Then it hit me — days are supposed to be ticked off. For a couple of minutes, I just lay there, unable to accept how fast 133 turned to 132. But it was true. 132 Days to go before she leaves and this is already the second entry in my cruel countdown.
I guess to keep track of time this way is a horrifying thing to do. I hate pondering the future, and whenever I hear of updates regarding Chemae’s immigration to Canada, I just shrug them off and try not to look far ahead. As a rule, I keep things blurry regarding this immigration subject, so they don’t fill my everyday thoughts. But now that I’m marching along the home stretch, it’s becoming really hard to look away from the terrifying facts.
Which brings me to another fact: Today is Chemae and my mother’s birthday.
I’m a fan of irony and paradox. When something unbelievable happens, it provides us an opportunity to reflect on what it could mean — not how it happened because that could be unexplainable. In short, when faced with an unbelievable truth, we must ask “What?” and now “How?”
It is a paradox that the two most important women in my life were both born on the same day, April 3; just like it is a paradox and an irony that Chemae is leaving on August 14, my 25th birthday. Which is why I must ask again, “What does it all mean?”
They could mean nothing, of course. I don’t want to go all philosophical here, but suffice it to say, instead of being nihilistic and saying they don’t mean anything, I choose to put meaning in these symbolic events.
I think Chemae and my mother being born on the same day means that they are the main sources of my strength, character and purpose. I think just as my mother brought me into the world as a child, Chemae will leave me so I can become a man. For sure, it’s cheesy as hell and some would say random, but that’s the meaning I choose. Not everyone is given such a beautiful paradox to think about, so I’d be a fool to just throw it away.
Tomorrow, Chemae will return and my world will seem real again; everything I do will have some significance again; time will not be wasted once more. Today, there’s no celebration in our very simple home. My mother’s outside, collecting our clothes on the clotheslines. She said she’ll cook pancit bihon later. Pancit bihon is one of Chemae’s most favorite dishes — heck, I think she can survive on it for the rest of her life.
Happy birthday to the two greatest women in my world, perhaps the two greatest persons. 132 Days to go.