Saturday, March 27, 2021

For one hour, I wasn't brave

Yesterday, I finally allowed myself to cry. The Department of Health reported that there are 9,838 people with COVID-19. Numbers. We hear numbers every day so I was shocked but, really now, is anyone surprised? 

Then at around lunch time, we found out through our neighborhood Viber group chat that one of our neighbors, her family, four of them died. Only the mom and her little girl are recovering from COVID. Her husband, her son, and her mother- and father-in-law all succumbed to the disease. We sent our condolences but we were all rattled.

I called my friends in our condo complex, my Praying Wives, that's what we call ourselves. At first, we were just telling each other to be extra extra careful, and then we slowly realized that the dreaded virus was floating around our home. It was finally here and, while several neighbors had it last year, they recovered. This time, people died. Our safe space for more than a year didn't feel safe anymore.

Last year, I was depressed for a whole month. That was June. It was pandemic fatigue, health worries, sadness that my kids won't go to school, many things. I only got out of my funk because my middle boy told me I had to celebrate his baby brother's birthday. I had been so sad, it slipped my mind. I was horrified and I promised I'll be more in charge of my emotions.

And I've been good. I think I was a great quarantine mom. I kept them safe. More than safe! They were happy and healthy. My husband says I spoil them. Maybe I do. But I'm pretty strict when they misbehave, and, to be honest, they hardly ever are naughty. They're good boys. Being mommy to them isn't really that hard.

But yesterday, the shadow that I firmly shut behind a door in the deepest parts of my heart, well, it slipped out. It slipped out quietly while my Praying Wives and I told each other we love each other, and to not forget that in case the worst happened. We said, "Thank you for everything," and that shadow - fear - suddenly loomed over me and I dropped my phone and cried. 

I've been so good this last year. I attacked this pandemic by imposing lifestyle changes on everyone at home. No one leave the house unless for very important errands! Everyone wash their hands for 20 seconds! Alcohol in every room! No one touch the packages till they're sanitized! We will all have online lessons to keep our minds alive. I will be the best teacher in the world! 

There was no time to be afraid. I didn't allow myself to be afraid.

But yesterday, I was so very frightened at last. And I cried and cried. I let myself cry, because I realized I needed to be scared now. Because if that virus ever finds its way inside our home, our sanctuary, I can't ever cry because then I will need to fight. 

After all, courage isn't the absence of fear. It's going on and facing another day, even when you're scared. And I may be scared now, but I also feel my soul fortifying itself. This pandemic is far from over and we parents need to protect our families. The circumstances are all so infuriating and frustrating but I can't control that. I just pray to God that He will save us from all this madness - the bad governance, the mutating virus, the misuse of funds. Till that happens, I'm going to keep my family safe. We did it for a year. God help me, we'll do it again for as long as we have to.

“Tell everyone who is discouraged, 'Be strong and don’t be afraid! God is coming to your rescue.'” Isaiah 35:4

*photos by my husband, Vince, when we were at beautiful Bohol six years ago. One day, we will travel again. For now, we stay home and stay safe.


  1. Hi< Frances. Hugs to you. I just found out this morning that a neighbor and her husband had symptoms and waiting for the results. I had been advocating for adherence to protocols since last year but it seems, since no one has died (God forbid), a lot of people in our community are not taking this pandemic seriously. Unfortunately, those who are more careful such as this neighbor, are the ones who are always stricken with the virus while those who are so haphazardly loitering about with their masks down or no masks at all, they are still as strong as ever. The irony! In the last two weeks, people I know or relatives of people I know were taken by Covid. It can be so frustrating to plead to other people to be careful but I do it anyway, even just for the safety of my family. Sometimes, I can't help but think, they should be the ones that should get the virus and not those who were careful. I know that's bad but I can't help it. It will be just a matter of time for me to cry out like you did, I cannot just imagine the pain your neighbor is going through right now. But we had been praying fervently every night as a family for God's divine protection over us. I think that faith enables me to just move forward everyday. Keep the faith!

    1. I know what you mean! Parang eto tayo staying inside for months on end and yung iba naman diyan, parang walang pandemic! Haaaaay. Basta stay home na lang tayo. We minimize our risk. Praying so fervently that this will nightmare will end soon for all of us all over the world, but most especially dito sa Pilipinas!

  2. I was scared last January when my blood pressure wasn't normalizing for days. Every morning, when I wake up, I always utter thanksgiving to the Lord for giving me another day in my life. Am scared for my son who is too young to lose a mom


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