On Life

All We Need Is One — One Reason To Live

To keep going, to keep walking on this path we have been put on.

They say a mother shouldn’t bury her child. My grandmother had buried two. She arrived in the hospital 10 minutes after my mother drew her last breath. I watched her being led to my mother’s room where she was sat on a plastic chair. She started crying, beating her chest while asking my deceased mother repeatedly why she didn’t wait for her. She told my mother’s lifeless body she was doing everything in her power, praying to God, going to temples, to make her better, why didn’t she hold on a little longer?

Heartbreaking doesn’t even begin to describe what I felt.

Worried would be an understatement. I was scared for her. My mother used to tell me how bad it was when my uncle died in a motorcycle accident at the age of 17. My grandma fell into depression. She refused to eat and talk for a while and lost a lot of weight.

And now another child departed. How is she going to pull through?

I remember walking over to her in a daze, hugged her fiercely and said to her, “You’ve got us. You’ve got your grandchildren, your son-in-law, your other children and grandchildren and a lot more people who are here for you and who still need you. You need to be strong for us. You have to hold on. She’s still here, in all of us. My brothers and I, we are half of her. She had left parts of her in this world.”

I was terrified of losing her. This is the grandmother who had raised my brothers and I since we were babies, when both my parents had to work full-time to make a living. I love her to bits and I can’t bear the thought of losing her. I could barely hold myself together when the doctor declared my mother deceased.

I don’t, to this day, know which one was greater — my fear of facing the world without my mother or my fear of losing my grandma.

All I knew was I had to get on my feet, walk to my grandma and told her she has a lot of reasons to live for.

My message must have gone through to my grandmother somehow. The day after my mother left this world, she came to live with us and though I could hear her sobbing into the night every now and then, she got better with time.

She busied herself with the household chores. Taking care of all of us. Cooked for my dad, my brothers and I, went to my dad’s office to help with some errands, and did some grocery shopping for the house. It had helped her heal.

We have ultimately become her reason to live.

I suppose I realized it after my first blood donation. I love it. I love being able to donate my blood — something I deem more precious than money — and knowing that it makes a difference, knowing that somewhere, someone is being saved is the greatest reward one can ever get.

The first time I was rejected as blood donor due to fatigue (lack of sleep and nutrition) was pretty crushing for me. It was the first time I realized that sometimes, you live not only for yourself. You live for others too.

There will be times when we question our existence. What are we here for? Why are we here? What’s the purpose of our lives?

There will be times in life when we feel depressed, when life seems not worth living anymore. I can tell you now that there is not a grain of truth in that. Life is always worth living. Even if you can’t find reason a reason to live, you are — knowingly or unknowingly — the reason someone out there is alive.

We are all walking hope.

I realized then that when I take care of myself, when I make a conscious effort to be healthy, I’m not only doing it for myself. I’m doing it for others too. For my family, for my friends, for a bunch of strangers who might be in a life and death situation and in dire need of a pint of my blood.

I live for myself, first and foremost, because no one in this world will love me as much as I do. But if you sometimes wonder what difference does one person make in a world full of millions of people, I can assure you, one single life matters as much as a billion lives. One person can make all the differences that matter.

So yes, you matter. We all matter. We have been given a purpose when we are put into this world whether we realize it or not. We have been assigned a role in this world. Each and every one of us.

So let’s do our job and make the best out of it.

Writer by heart. Teacher (English, Yoga, Pilates) by trade. Avid reader. World traveller. Model. You can reach me at agneslouis3108@gmail.com.

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