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Honoring My Mother | The Things We Leave Behind

AT THE last minute, as I sat down to write, I changed the topic. Distract someone with obsessive-compulsive tendencies and that person is sure to change direction. As I sat down to write, I saw a plastic bag full of Christmas decorations propped near the front door. I remembered that I had intended to adorn our windows but I forgot. Without a second thought, I put my notes down, picked up the bag, and was instantly into it, totally forgetting my deadline. With thirty-five minutes to go, it had suddenly dawned on me, I’m screwed.

However, I’ve retained the title of this piece and it’s apt, I guess. As we proceeded to decorate our front door and two front windows, I just realized that this could be liberating after all. The dark cloud of Covid need not scare us into doing the things we love and more important, continuing the chores we consider as part of culture or tradition.

I know Christmas is a religious festivity and celebration, but that had not been my reason for picking up that bag and shaping them many flowers at the windows to look like a tree. I had suddenly realized that this is in defiance to the fear and uncertainties that Covid has wrought in our lives. Stop na.

Already, stricter measures are being implemented in the city because of the second wave of positive cases. No matter, just strictly adhere to protocol, minimize exposure and leave everything aside. You have done your part. No need to stretch yourself further.

Technically, we also have to accept that because of the pandemic and the lockdowns, we have all left the world as we knew it behind. Also resulting from this, we are actually leaving in order to live, and the analogy of running out of a crumbling house comes to mind. As we do so, we still sort through the pieces of our old lives, ones that could still serve us in the new life that we have yet to forge. Forge, as in painful birth by fire.

So, along with defiance, sifting through the remnants is another reason. Just as the sad truth of Covid blatantly declares that we can never go home again, it is equally true that despite all, there are just some things that we can never leave behind.

Lastly, I wish that we never fail to consider that life is like one big journey. As we traverse through its many stations, we leave in our wake many memories or remnants of things and even people whom we’ve met, and places that have meant something to us somehow, one way or another. Some, we bring with us as precious companions, while others who can’t, we fold carefully in memories and neatly carry as our luggage.

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