It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform.Roy T. Bennett
When i was a kid i spent a lot of time with my Grandma “Soting” my mom’s Mother. She lived just on the backside of our old ancestral house. She was always delighted to spend time with me (as she does with my other siblings and cousins when they visit her) in the garden or just having “merienda” in the dining table as she tells me stories while offering me filipino delicacies like puto, biko, suman, kutsinta or cassava cake whatever it was she bought after attending daily morning mass at the nearby church. My favorite part was she sometimes brings me to church with her. I kind of help her walk because my height was like that of a cane and i was barely at school. In this phase with her I learned to pray and to be pious. I was proud to be with her and she was proud of me. There was never a time she was in a bad mood when i was with her.
Until that time she had a stroke. Things changed. She spent more time in bed than in the garden, or church or “merienda” time with me. And there were no more stories to hear from her. Her disease has taken away the loving ways she can best communicate. As a child in my innocent mind her immobility scared me, she looked and acted different. She was moody especially to the ones who took care of her daily. I would get stiff when I was asked to stand beside her wheelchair. But she was calm and she would smile. She remembers me. I knew that even if her situation has changed, the loving grandma was still there. This phase taught me hope and courage.
Then when the time she passed i remember it well, it was night time and me and my sisters were in bed. I was 8 years old I was neither sad or anything I just didn’t fully understand what death meant. We were even playing in bed. Even at the burial I didn’t really understand but the older people were crying so i cried too. I guess this is one of those times I learned empathy.
After the burial as me and my sisters where playing in the garden there was a huge butterfly. It stayed for a very long time, they said it was Grandma she has changed into a butterfly for one last visit before she flies to heaven. Again i was 8 but the word heaven was enough to tell me she was going to a better place. But I will never see her again. I think my sadness only came as her absence has been more pronounce and longer. i miss her stories and hugs. This phase i learned grief, sadness.
There are many other stories and changes in my life that has lead me to lessons that either strengthen my character or bruised or scarred it. But never broken. One of the things i learned early in life without being told but just life unfolding naturally each day is to always be brave and never give up. Every once in awhile let go and accept the change and most of all the ones you can not change.
Most recently I embraced a major change in my life that before it happened a lot of drama transpired. I hate (yes hate) drama but it is unfortunately something we grown ups have to deal in life. I am no longer 8 years old and innocent, life has gifted me with knowledge that can make relationships or break them. But like every phases in life that we go through we are always given the freedom to make a choice. In the choices we make we will find the ones who truly supports us. They are there to tell you everything will be alright as you make that leap, turn or pivot.
Change can define your character as you move forward. Whatever you seek for change can be an opportunity for you to get you where you need to be. So be brave and embrace that change when it meets you at the crossroad.