seeing the glass half-empty.

some madman corrected me once that the real optimist sees the glass always half-empty (life left you half of it to fill) and that the pessimist sees no glass at all.

he was, of course, a crazy man.

but a day after i’ve watched my sister, jesse, fell into what seems like a temporary shock and paralysis, i found out the crazy man had a point.

yesterday, as we were on our way out of the house, jesse hurt her toe by accidentally kicking the steel gate. now, my sister has this excessive fear of her own blood, no matter how little or insignificant the quantity is. upon seeing blood, she fainted. at this point, it is not clear to me what i did but i have managed to make her snap out of it only to watch her seconds later went all pale and with eyes wide open, became unresponsive.

she wasn’t responding. her eyes were awake but it seems she couldn’t see me. it was fixed blankly at some space. i have woken up my cousin and betchie and by the time they scrambled to their feet and tried to revive my sister, i was already in a state of panic. when we couldn’t feel her breathing and her unresponsive eyes went far wider and a glint of tear came out of it, i just lost it. i broke down and cried i might as well have died there and then. when foo came and helped revived her, my sister started showing symptoms of a seizure and in broken, mono syllable speech complained she cannot feel her hands nor her legs.

by the time we were in a cab to the hospital, her colour went back to normal but she still slurred (like that of a paralyzed person) and she still couldn’t feel her legs or her left hand.

“ta? look at ate. look at ate.” i saw her eyes move this time and looked at me. “can you recognize me? breathe slowly. yes, yes, that’s it. look at me. you’re gonna be fine, alright?”

“was i dead a while ago? i saw grandpa, crying.” in a faint, mono syllabic voice, she spoke out. “i am scared.”

grandpa died a year and a half ago. and perhaps it was that horrible feeling i felt when i broke down and watched her minutes ago looking like she was fighting for her life or perhaps it is the heaviness of what she just said that pierced my heart, i cried. i cried so hard and i kissed her and told her it was alright, that i see grandpa sometimes too (which was not true) and that it is normal because he visits people he misses sometimes.

she fully recovered at the hospital and remember nothing except that she hurt her toe, she felt dizzy, and everything went black afterwards. she can’t remember seeing grandpa or telling us she did. she can’t remember not feeling her hands or her legs or the feeling of pins pinching her head. after a couple of test, the doctor said it was nothing alarming and that she has what is medically termed as hyperventilation syndrome coupled with stress. we went back home with her getting better every moment passed. and when she was marinating the porkchop for our lunch, i lost it.

i cried. i cried so hard and so loud and i cried there, on the sofa, clutching a throw pillow for what seems like ages. jesse cannot remember anything that happened, but i can. i watched her, saw her, and heard her. and perhaps that was what the tears were for.

i was seeing the glass half-empty. and i was afraid.

she hugged me and told me it is going to be alright. i believe her. but long after she left to attend a party and i was there lying on the sofa, i cried again and again and again. to say that i was experiencing a post traumatic stress due to what happened would probably hold water.

but i do not want to be melodramatic and exaggerate.

looking at yesterday, i was seeing the glass half-empty. and that was why i was afraid. sisters draw strengths from each other as i and mother draw strengths from each other and as my parents do with each other. and to feel, even in the briefest of moment, fear that i was helpless and useless in a moment like the one yesterday broke me down. those were my thoughts then.

but today is a new day. and as i am still seeing the glass half-empty, i know there was nothing wrong with that. the space is needed because sometimes the glass gets shaken or moved. and there has to be an allowance; otherwise, the water will spill.

what doesn’t kill us make us strong. it makes us more human, too.


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