THE “P” TALKS!
BY: Pilar Mateo
IN her interview recently with Bro. Jun Banaag on DZMM Teleradyo, Cathy Sanchez Babao talked about how to address grief, depression and the likes.
It was me who told Bro. Jun in a text message that Ms. Cathy is the daughter of veteran actress, Caridad Sanchez.
And Ms. Cathy said that her Mom has long retired from showbiz when she was asked how Tita Caring is doing.
I have been a fan and a follower of Ms. Cathy. Enjoying reading the things she shares in her column and in FB.
Recently, she has been sharing some stories about Tita Caring, who is now 87 years old.
“Once upon a time, shortly after I had graduated from college, I asked her what her dream role was. “You know, ang gusto ko talagang role na I portray yung bang matanda na malilimutin na pero pa minsan minsan may moment na nakaka-alala pa sya.
“Kahit Walang bayad, gagawin ko iyang role na iyan.” (My dream role is to portray a woman who is very forgetful already, but once in a while, there are windows, where her old self appears. I’ll do the role even with no pay.)
“The ironies of life. One must really be careful of what one wishes for. At this point I don’t know whether I should be grateful that she’s now unknowingly, portraying the dream role she had hoped for many years ago. Perhaps it will help in the coping, if I reframe things this way. Should I think of it as an answered prayer?
“My mother is fading. Day by day, week by week. It is the most difficult challenge of my adult life, next to losing my son. Anticipatory grief. This is what this is all over again. With my son, we had two whole weeks to fight, to hope, to pray that he would get better. And when he did not, we had a few days to accept and to surrender.
“Alzheimer’s is a different story. The waiting time is measured in years. It is anticipatory grief because your heart shatters into tiny bits and pieces as the person you once knew and loved fades away.
“She’s there, but she’s not all there. You need to find your sense of humor. You need to rise above it. You have to accept it for what it is, and not deny it. You empower yourself by reading up about this dreaded disease. You have to love at all costs, even if now you have to love from a distance. You must never take advantage of the situation. You must do all you can to slow down the progression of the disease. That is the moral thing to do.
“I held back about writing about her condition because of who she is. But just like how it is with mental health conditions, we add to the stigma if we don’t write or speak up about it. A wise friend who had been on a similar journey told me this: “I suggest you write it, still. Your Mom’s a well-respected figure. No one will mock her for her dementia, your revelations about her going through it is sure to benefit more people.”
“Shortly after her diagnosis, I picked up the book, “Still Alice” by Lisa Genova in an attempt to better understand what was to come. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I read the last few paragraphs; “You’re so beautiful,” said Alice. “I’m afraid of looking at you and not knowing who you are.”
“I think that even if you don’t know who I am someday, you’ll still know that I love you.”
“What if I see you, and I don’t know that you’re my daughter, and I don’t know that you love me?”
“Then, I’ll tell you that I do, and you’ll believe me.
“And this, is why I write.”
And she shared another piece again.
“Today I was thinking how when my dad suddenly died at age 49 from a heart attack, I didn’t get to have the chance to say goodbye.
“To say all the things I wanted to tell him, to tell him what a great dad he was, and how grateful I was for everything that he had taught me and done for me. I’ve done that countless times through the years through my writing, in my head, and in prayer.
“So now, perhaps, the Father is giving me this chance for a long goodbye with my mom. To say all the things I need to say, to care for her, and to love her. That thought somehow comforted me. Because throughout this long goodbye, though the time may come that she will no longer remember me, I hope she will continue to feel the care and the love. After all, the heart always knows, and never forgets.”
A very heartwarming sharing of a daughter’s feelings for her beloved Mom.
Let us join Ms. Cathy in praying for healing and wellness for Tita Caring.
“Once upon a time, she was my protector. Now, in her sunset years, I have become hers. But no matter the season, she is my mother. She knows, and holds my heart, as I do hers!”
Thank you, Ms. Cathy for sharing and opening up your heart to us…
Wishing all the best for the both of you! (30)