Gilda did say it is the "firsts" which would hurt a lot. First birthday without them, first anniversary, first fathers day or mothers day... and now, first illness after they've gone.
I was only semi-conscious of what our parents really did for us when we were sick. Thinking back, yes, there were sponge baths, waking me up in the unholy hours of the night to give me medicines, the dreaded ice-cold thermometer stuck between your armpit. I was often sick (am a sickly girl) and this happened frequently. It was usually my dad who'd wake me up. But my Mom would be the giver of comforting massages when my back hurts or my legs ache.
Now I got to experience the other side of this "family healing" phenomenon. Ella fell ill yesterday due to an infection and some other. She had a 39.8 degree fever and was succumbing to chills once in a while. No more Daddy or Mummy to rescue the day. And so, ganun pala yun.
To give sponge baths, one must bend over the ill persons body, make sure all heat centers of the body are cooled down. To give medicines in the middle of the night, one must summon all forces to wake up herself first to retrieve the necessary water and pills, before she wakes up the ill person . To apply the thermometer, one must know how to read it.
It reminded me again of what a deep and true loss we had.
Caring minstrations from adults are the least of it. They were also parents who sacrificed everything for us. And I will never get to show them how much sacrifice we can give back.
Save for the hesitant promise, that yes, I'll try to carry on as an adult must, drawing inspiration from the good things they've taught me when they were alive.