Highs and Lows

The past two months have been turbulent for me and my family. Personally, I didn’t think I’d be able to make it past September because I was drowning in anxiety, loneliness, sadness, and depression. It was as if the whole world literally came crumbling down on me as I fought my way back to what I knew was normal and safe. I’ve never been a fan of the monotonous routine of daily living, but having been through all of that, I begged for it. I pleaded for routine to return to my life because I was completely lost. 2020 has been one relentless year for all of us. Whether you are rich, poor, young or old, the catastrophes that plagued us were nothing short of scary. Everyday we hear one bad news after another in a never-ending pattern. Injustice is still prevalent, poverty still unsolved, and people’s selfishness have been more and more consuming. In the midst of all this negativity, this evil and wickedness that have long been foretold in the Scriptures, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.Nevertheless, we still have to fight. We still have to live day by day, even if we don’t know what will happen the next second, the next hour. Living is a constant struggle, and sometimes I wish I was just merely existing. But God, in all His omnipotence and wisdom, never designed me or any of us to just exist.

I never knew the extent and strength of my faith until I was faced with tragedy up close and personal. Being in isolation immediately after the death of my father was an experience I’ll probably never be able to properly articulate. It was an explosive combination of fear, stress, anxiousness, and exhaustion. The moment I found out that my dad succumbed to Covid-19, I was utterly helpless. I prayed so hard for it to hit me rather than him, but God didn’t answer my prayer. There was a point that I bargained for Him to take me instead of my dad, because I couldn’t bear the thought of him suffering alone. God had other plans, though.

Isolation was, for the most part, a stressful and depressing two weeks. Imagine being trapped in a room so bare you can probably see the cracks on the walls if you looked close enough. My mom and I barely slept a wink after my father died. Our bodies were so exhausted and yet our minds were empty and hollow because of shock. My mom was even given sleeping pills just so she could catch a few hours of rest. It was hard watching her toss and turn in bed while I was sitting and looking aimlessly inside the small room. I had to make sure that I heard her even breathing before I cried myself to what I hoped would be sleep.

People kept coming and going from the facility, and we met so many others who you wouldn’t think would get infected because they looked so healthy. The ones we met had their own fears and doubts, wondering when they’ll be able to get out from that dreadful place so they can be with their families again. The isolation unit was not entirely that bad per se, but the loneliness that creeps in, the fear of the unknown, the entrapment you feel because you are stuck – those are what lead you to depression while you are there. Questions kept coming in my mind as to why our family got hit by this pandemic. It’s one thing to hear it affecting other people on the news and another thing entirely to be experiencing it head on. I feared we would stay longer because I experienced more symptoms (loss of sense of smell and taste, dry cough) as the days passed on, but God was merciful enough to heal both me and my mom just in time as we completed our quarantine.

Getting out was the most liberating feeling ever. The 2nd of October -It’s as if it was my first time to see the outside world again in all its color. I missed the sun, the sky, the birds, and the cars passing by on the streets. I was finally able to see family again, and it made me realize that in the end, they will always be there to help and comfort you. Coming back home was hard, because all traces of my dad are still here. His pictures, his clothes, his bags – everything that reminds me of him still bombard me. The first week after isolation was never without tears. Every time I remember something about him I just break down and cry. Even until now, whenever I see a photo of him that I haven’t seen before, I literally cry a river. I think I’ve come to accept that he’s really dead and I can’t do anything about it, but if given the chance to ask God, I would definitely ask why He took him in such a horrible fashion. He died and suffered alone, and the worst thing about it was we weren’t there because we were also isolated. If I can’t have answers in this lifetime, then I can’t wait to go to Heaven and hear what He has to say.

I know that COVD-19 is far from over. It will probably take us the next two years to weather this storm and be able to live with it normally. I just hope that for everyone reading this, please take this pandemic seriously. It’s really a matter of life and death, and it acts so quickly you won’t even know it has already hit you. Please take care of everything you touch – especially your face – and as much as possible, wash your hands properly, wear your masks, and practice social distancing. I pray with all my might that the Lord will put an end to this really soon. I surely won’t take another hug, another kiss, another handshake for granted.

Stay safe everyone.

Xoxo,

Iva


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