Impermanence

Impermanence

A Trip To The ER

Impermanence, something I’ve had to come to grips with recently….. I had quite a scare with my Mother a week ago. While she was sitting on a chair, hunched over with her legs on a stool trying to put on her socks, the stool flipped over and threw her off balance. She fell and hit her head against the side of the bed. She had big bumps and bruises at the back of her head.

This happened on a Thursday night but she casually mentioned it to me on the phone, the day after, as I was chatting with her mid-afternoon. Having fallen while standing up inside the restroom in New York in my late twenties, I know how important it is to get checked right away. Besides, she had already slipped while standing up, falling thunderously on the floor about twelve years ago. I told my Mom to get an x-ray or a CT scan, but she adamantly refused. She said she was feeling fine (no headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, disorientation, memory loss and blackout) and didn’t need any check-up. Now, at age 77, I wasn’t about to risk that my Mother not get checked because she was being stubborn about it. Seriously! Since I didn’t want to waste my time trying to convince her and maybe even get into an argument with her, I decided to take another approach. I asked our favorite reiki healer doctor, Dra. Jo Bilasano, to call her and ask her to get checked at the ER immediately. Since Dra. Jo is such a gentle force of nature, my Mom listened to her.

As I was on my way to get her, I sat in the car and debated with myself if I should panic. My normal setting is one of instant and recurring worrying. But ever since incorporated yoga, meditation, Kundalini yoga and Buddhist philosophies into my daily living, I told myself that I was already doing what at needed to do at that moment. The rest will take care of itself. It would not help the situation if I was projecting all sorts of not-so-good energies around me, especially around my Mom. She obviously needed all the moral support she could get. Worry and fear have a way of escalating into more worry and fear….. They never solved a problem; rather, they can actually make a situation much worse.

I took her to the ER at Makati Med that Friday evening. Much to my surprise, the traffic to get her and go back to Makati was cooperative. The ER staff was polite, accommodating and professional. We took her to get a CT scan and about an hour later, she was cleared. I was instructed to watch her for another 24 hours because it was a critical period of 48 hours from the time that she fell in her bedroom. We were celebrating the birthday of her first grandchild the following evening. We have two wonderful things to celebrate after she was cleared. Thank you for Divine Intervention!

Filial Piety

Am sure a lot you have parents & grandparents who are already past sixty, seventy, eighty and even beyond. On my Mom’s side, her Aunts have very long lives. One of the two remaining Aunts died last year at age 96. Her last remaining Aunt is about 88 this year. In a country like the Philippines, it is still really a big part of our culture to take care of our parents. As they get older, I do feel the responsibility of taking a more active role in their elderly care. It’s actually one of the reasons why I left New York to return to the Philippines. I try to exert as much influence as I can with her food choices, vitamins & supplements, stretching, exercise and morning sun exposure. I make it a point not to keep her out too late at night since she likes to be in bed by 9 pm. I space out our eating dates because I want her body to be able to digest properly after a rich, heavy meal in a restaurant. I make sure she spends time with her two little grandchildren who are a bundle of love, laughter and energy enough for half a dozen grandchildren. I schedule my Mom’s routine medical check-ups and I go with my Mom to almost all of her doctor consultations. I make sure that I ask the doctors all sorts of questions. We go both to Western doctors and alternative medicine doctors because we believe a mix of different healing modalities can work together and help with the body’s healing. But for everyday, minor ailments, we stick, as much as possible, to natural remedies and non-pharma solutions. We like to encourage the body’s innate ability to heal. The body is an incredible piece of machinery, aside from being an energy body (according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic medicine and Reiki medicine, among others) which is also amazing when you think about it! To date, am I still trying to gently nudge her to make her extremely cluttered home more spacious as older people are at a higher risk for falls. It’s just safer for them to be in an environment that is clear of blockages and obstacles.

Accepting The End As Part Of The Beginning

This latest incident with my Mother made me think about how fleeting life can be, no matter what age. Especially as we get older, it is an unavoidable fact that the time we have left becomes shorter. Additionally, whatever time we have left just becomes more and more precious, as well. The idea of impermanence was hovering in my head before, during and after our trip to the ER. If I could accept that idea that nothing is forever graciously, then I could live everyday of my life without fear, unease and worry about the end of it – mine and the people I love. Though the thought that we are all headed there can be unnerving (who likes to be apart from the people they treasure?), it is something that the sooner we accept, the easier we can be at peace with it. And the more we can fully enjoy the present moment with our loved ones. The cycle of life ends in the passing on to another life, marked by death. I don’t mean to be morbid but it is the truth. Much to my comfort, there is a part of me that believes that the soul lives on. Where it goes, I do not know. I guess we will all find out eventually.

Make it natural, make it easy,