“Your family,” the message said in my inbox.
It was a picture of my family, in my cousin’s wedding. One I had planned to attend this year. The second one I have missed.
A month prior to that wedding, I had missed another cousin’s wedding.
Those are two important wedding missed in the span of two months, and these are the cousins I have pretty much grew up with.
It didn’t hit me for quite some time. Not even when I had a chat with the relative who had sent me the picture of my family in that wedding.
He meant well. I wasn’t there, he happened to be there as the picture was taken and noticing my absence, he snapped a picture and sent it to me.
He wrote, “You’re the only absentee in this picture!” with a laughing emoji, to which I replied with, “Yeah, I can’t go home due to all the government restrictions *laughing emoji*”.
I had been okay missing two of my cousins’ weddings.
There’s nothing I could have done and I didn’t think much about it.
It was when I watched the wedding videos that I felt a pang of loss. Like someone squeezed my heart and I lost my breath for a beat.
I missed them.
I missed one of the most important moments of their lives — and there’s absolutely nothing I could do about it.
“I love the words sooo much.” One of the comments on my picture read.
I had posted a picture on my Instagram account. As promised, it was accompanied with meaningful caption, words spoken from the deepest recess of my heart.
There will be moments when life becomes too much, too intense, too deep, too complicated to fathom.
In those moments, surrender yourself. Look up to the sky, understand that you are but a tiny little being in a complex multiverse. Whisper gently to the moon, to the stars, to the galaxy — “Guide me”.
Everything will be good again.
Everything will be just fine.
I was speaking to myself as much as I was speaking to whoever was reading, listening.
I was soothing myself as much as I was soothing my readers.
So much has been lost this year.
So much has been worth celebrating too.
I missed a lot of important family occasions, milestones — life events I should have been a part of.
I didn’t quite realize how big of an impact all of these missed moments would have on me. It’s starting to take a toll.
I finally conceded to a truth that yes, I should be grateful that I’m stuck with my husband in a foreign country. At least we have each other when so many other couples are stranded, apart.
Yes, I should be grateful that technology has allowed me to speak with my family — my grandma, my dad, my brothers, uncles, aunties and my best friends scattered all over the world.
I am extremely grateful for my circumstances. I am stuck in a foreign country but I am stuck with someone who loves and cherishes me. I can’t hug my family and my best friends but I can still see and talk to them.
I know I have said this in a few previous posts but it is so easy to take little things in life for granted.
Roof above our heads, food on our tables, cozy warm bed to sleep on.
It’s so easy to forget.
One look at poor countries, war affected countries — people starving, living in ruins among the rubbles. No access to what we deem as basic necessity.
Even the air we breathe.
Dead man don’t breathe.
Dead man can do nothing no more.
It’s a privilege to be able to stay, to make a difference before our time comes.
So much losses.
So much wins.
Many are still losing.
Many are winning.
The questions are — have you taken the time to mourn for your losses? What about the wins? The lessons you have learned from a whole year of pandemic — have you celebrated your wins, big and small?
Hit that pause button.
Mourn your losses.
Celebrate your wins.
We all deserve it.
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