“I want to watch Angelina Ballerina!”
“No, I want Tappy Toes!”
We just came back from the library with DVDs and books, and as soon as we entered the door, the DVD battle between my niece and nephew broke out. While they argued with only two options, I suggested my choice just to broaden their perspective.
“Let’s watch The History of Orthodox Christianity!”
Soon, sure enough, I heard my sister’s big laughter in the kitchen, and my nephew and niece settled on the third option. They decided to watch Wonder Pets. I retired early to my bed to watch The History of Orthodox Christianity on my mac.
It’s nearing 3 months since I started dwelling with my sister and her family. I have adopted well into my new role as a helper for my sister while I wait for the complete recovery from my long suffering depression. It seems that I have all the right elements going for me. Innocent laughter from little children, unconditional joy they radiate, my sister’s support, and occasional conversation about life in general with my brother-in-law, sometimes over a bottle of beer. We are a happy family, at least for now, and I know that I will be forever grateful for their care for me. I do my best to care for them, especially the little children that belong to my sister and her husband. They belong to me now, too.
I am babysitting my youngest niece, almost 3 years old. Even though I have played a DVD on TV that I thought she might like, she chose to climb onto my lap to watch her favorite cartoons on my Nook as I am typing away the quiet evening. I open the browser and go to Youtube and clink the playlist conveniently saved in my account. This playlist is almost as old as she is. I created this list in my sister’s van, as she was driving me to the airport. I was flying back to Hawaii, after visiting her for a few months. Eunice started crying in the back seat, and I made these lists of cartoons, and nursery rhymes to calm her down. She watched the clips in peace on my sister’s iphone, and less than an hour later, I was gone. Out of her life.
I was the kind of aunt who was in and out a lot. I was never at any of my nieces and nephews’ birthday parties. I was never home for mom and dad’s birthdays. I was never the home for Christmas kind of person. But now that I am back, and have no intention of leaving, I am like a permanent fixture in this household. Surely, when I left my country, away from all my families and friends at the age of 21, no one could have imagined that I would be back home with them to share my life at the turn of my third decade. But life comes with unpredictable conditions, and so is the mental illness- well, any illness, actually.
This morning, I was driving to the cafe after the early morning Mass, and just as I left the driveway of my Catholic Church and got on the woodsy road, my auto-pilot mind started reflecting on my past drives I have made on this road to and from the church. I was seeing myself driving in my varied moods swinging up and down like the terrain of the Clopper road I was on.
I drove on this road so many times through the late summer and the entire fall while the healing was taking place. It all happened so fast like the seasons change fast, and like the year flies by. But it always seems faster when you are looking back. Everything seems easier when you are reminiscing from a distance. But I, more than anybody, know that this sort of thing does not happen fast. It did not happen fast. It required a long dark period of waiting. Long, long waiting in wanting. Waiting in faith. And after so much waiting, some days in vain and most days in hope, my obsessive-compulsive personality worked wonders and I have grown quite fond of waiting. Wonder OCD. I finally used that quality of mine for some rightful cause.
I’ve got no ambition. I’ve got no goals. I’ve got no plans. If there is one thing I want to do, it is to wait. Patiently, and submissively waiting in wanting and desiring the holy will of God. And what better season for that than this very season of Advent? All my life, I was always going somewhere. I was never really anywhere. And Perhaps for the first time, I feel Time by my side. I am here, my mind, body and soul, all here, right in this moment. And my little niece on my lap is here with me, and everything feels just right, even my numbing legs about to go to sleep.