The Storm of Life – a repost from Parched Paper and the Quill

The storm early in the morning I snapped at The Entrance.

When my parents died one year after the other, I was literally floating. I could not recall how I managed to stay compose and calm in the eyes of the storm. Not a storm on a tea cup, but a real life’s storm.

This is yet another metaphor that life contains. The first metaphor I touched was the Road. Today, it is about the Storm. Even storms have categories. These categories represent the scale of our strength: inner, outer, physical, psychological, spiritual and so on. A degree of our strength is gauged by the manner, by our attitude, or by the way we handle situations in the face of adversary and adversity. Some are daunting; some are overwhelming; and, some are unbearable.

Perhaps, if we have a choice, all we want to do is melt like ice on the ground or disappear like a mist or vapour in the air.

When my father died, I did not have much time to slump down; threw tantrum on the ground and bowled like an abandoned child or a frustrated kid who howled endlessly like a spoiled brat, or a martyr that trickled tears like a flowing river. I had to be mentally and emotionally strong on behalf of my mother. She was old and we were new in the place of that last residence we lived, where my father drew his last breath.

During that time of sorrow, I voluntarily assumed the role of a decision maker to relieve a grieving mother. With the help of my siblings we organized everything that seemed impossible for us to do at the time. I approached people whom I never met before like contacting the local veterans association where both my parents were members. They in turn immediately provided assistance due to a deceased veteran without hesitation after presenting our father’s case to them. By that account, our poor father was accorded due military honour for his funeral.

Then sixteen months later, another death visited us in our doorstep. This time, it was our dear old mother. It was a tragedy which remains unthinkable even after 28 long years have elapsed. It is very painful to reminisce her sudden death.

The situation was rather overwhelming for me to tackle but I could not choose hatred as a tool in solving the problem. The damage done if resolved with verbal fights or arguments via a legal battle won’t bring back the life of our poor old mother who was lost as a result of an innocent juvenile doing.

The concerned party came to face me and my siblings. The family leadership, being the eldest daughter present, was passed down on me. I was the Joshua next to Moses in my family, so to speak. But the promised land we entered was far from those that was given to ancient Israelites.

The whole family of the boy who caused the death of our mother came in crowd to beg, to supplicate for mercy, for clemency, for pardon, for forgiveness and for compassion. The parents took responsibility over what had happened on behalf of their very young son. They did not tarry, they did not wait for a summon, they did not linger our suffering. Immediately, their actions were instantaneous. As I looked at them, the more my heart was rent.

In remission, they took care of all the funeral expenses. No bribe, no dole, nothing of the sort that I entered into agreement with them. We solely acted on the ground of Compassion amidst the loss of our dear Mother. What was important to us was the keeping of the family solidarity in the face of adversity. I pulled my siblings together in peace, in harmony so we could lay our mother to rest.

Thankfully, the church where my mother was raised, but whom she turned her back due to her family’s bitter history experienced with this church in the past, did not turn their back on us when we asked them to hold service on behalf of our departed mother.

On the other hand, I did not allow any third party to contravene, to interfere and to intervene. We kept it solely our very own family affair. Our point was, in those times we needed these people whom I cannot name, they were not there for us. They turned their eyes blind for the couple who were there for them when they were needed by them. So outside opinions were not sought. Because I knew all along that what was on their minds was just another vested interest and I did not allow that to happen.

That storm has long been gone. Yet, as we live everyday, we are always confronted with different kinds of storms. The storms of life either make us strong or make us weak. In my case, I’m riding along with whatever storm that comes my way and eventually I feel I’m toughened by each moment I face a storm. Life is still worth living. I can only look around to see and feel how worthwhile it is to live life in peace and in harmony to the divine grace that I’m beholden to. Hope you too!

The accompanying poem below was taken from the Inspiration Line.


It is easy enough to be pleasant, when life flows by like a song,
But the man worthwhile is one who will smile, when everything goes dead wrong;
For the test of the heart is trouble, and it always comes with the years,
And the smile that is worth the praises of earth is the smile that shines through tears.

It is easy enough to be prudent, when nothing tempts you to stray,
When, without or within, no voice of sin is luring your soul away;
But it’s only a negative virtue until it is tried by fire,
And the life that is worth the honor of earth is the one that resists desire.

By the cynic, the sad, the fallen — who had no strength for the strife,
The world’s highway is cumbered today; they make up the sum of life;
But the virtue that conquers passion, and the sorrow that hides in a smile,
It is these that are worth the homage on earth, for we find them but once in a while.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850 – 1919)