Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Landing In Manila

It was long process, or so it seemed. No one really fully understands all that one goes through when their love one is dying right before their eyes. For many it is too much to bear, so much to bear in fact, that many spouses, eventually leave their dying love, only to save themselves from all the heartache associated with their passing.

Something inside of me died and when I regained my senses, I found out I had become numb to the joys that come with love. So, beautiful a person and so mature in her decisions, she took the courage to take the lead in our relationship even in death, by nullifying our marriage of three years with divorce. Months later my wife succumbed to Myasthenia Gravis, an autoimmune disease that is just as debilitating as any disease that causes a wasting away like cancer, combined with the inability to breathe and swallow. She passed quietly one evening with no memory of her last few days here on Earth.

It was a physically painful death for her and an emotionally painful death for me. For 16 years following her death, I held a grudge blaming God for taking my happiness away and with it my capacity to love. I had become a member of the living dead...a person whom from an outward appearance appears okay, but within their heart devoid of happiness. This state in my life persisted throughout several relationships, which only fell apart for reasons that then, behooved me. Past relationships were strained and stressed between children, drugs and random sex and all the other irresponsibilities that go with following "the ways of the world."

In each previous relationship, I found the infidelity and recreational drug habits unbearable and intolerable. Instead of sitting down to talk about our shortcomings, my previous girlfriends found it too easy to just walk away. So I asked myself, Why do people invest so much of themselves in a person and then just walk away when they disagree or fail to reach a compromise? One day I woke up from my nightmare and discovered that it wasn't only me who was predominately ill-equipped to commit myself to a relationship, rather it was the character and morality of the women I had chose to get involved with. When you don't expect anything to become of an relationship it's easy to just walk away from it. Too many times this has happened in my life. If I saw a young lady once, my friends would think it's because I didn't like her and they were probably right.

If I saw a young lady twice, it generally meant that sex before marriage was of least importance than getting to know the young lady. If I saw a young lady more than two or three times, it meant I was attracted to her for not being sexually permissive. If I wanted sex, I have the financial means to acquire it , but why bring disgrace upon myself and "Our Creator." I have lost more so called "nice women" from practicing celibacy, than from my non indulgence in drugs. I enjoy sex I'm sure more than anyone, but sex with guilt is not enjoyable, nor is it acceptable.

Before I met my wife, during the Vietnam Era in America and the Post Indochina Era in France, I had a child from a young lady whom I was to marry. Her father was from Spain and her mother was from Mexico, so you can imagine how beautiful this young lady was. I as a member of the minority and indigenous population within the United States, didn't stand a chance with her. Largely due to the thinking of her parents and some members of society at the time. In a nutshell, she went off to study Denistry back home and I went to England to study International Trade Law.

Our becoming Dentist got pregnant during one summer we spent together and told me about it six months later. I couldn't figure out at the time, why she waited so long to tell me of our baby, but looking back in hindsight, it should have been obvious to me then, she wanted to make sure I wouldn't pressure her to have an abortion. Wow! Where did that kind of thinking come from, I don't know what would've made her think that I would ask her to do such a thing, afterall, I'm pro-life. I felt an abortion was cruel and her being frighten about what her parents would say being Catholic and all. I empathized with her when I found out and asked her to marry me. I guess you know what her answer was, huh?

Well, her dad and mother found out and her father promised to have me "taken care of," whatever that meant! Her father being from Spain, couldn't stand folks of my heritage, which is basically "mixed race," like his daughter. So, to please her parents, she married someone from the "majority population." Leaving me confused, devastated and emotionally abandoned, I wondered the Earth, until one I met my first wife, only to watch God snatched my heart right out of my chest, when she passed away too young to respect death. I roamed the Earth, like a leaf caught up in a breeze without direction until one day, I found myself in the Philippines.

Landing in the Philippines, opened my eyes to a world where kindness was the norm and happiness was as contagious as the smile of its people. The warmth of the climate was delightful and the people I encountered were as friendly and curious, as I was. After so many years roaming this Earth, I had found "Paradise." Paradise is a personal choice that has as many definitions as personalities of those who express what it means to them. For me, Paradise is that place where I feel so alive. A place that reminds me every second of each minute that I live, that the next hour is going to be just as exciting as the days, weeks, months and years to come. How can one describe living on a "razor's edge." It is a subtle balance between existing and coexisting with all that's around you--the beauty of nature, the uncomparable beauty of family, friends and people you have yet to meet. Paradise is a place that is hard to describe, but you know you're there when every being of yourself, tells you that you can relax now, because you're home.

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