Seeing the Light in Darkness (A real life event)

streetlight photo
Photo by PapaPiper

The Metro Bus was slowly inching its way through heavy traffic along EDSA on my way home from Ortigas. I was leaning heavily on the glass window at my right side and trying to avoid the person who was sitting next to me. I looked outside the window but  I was not really seeing anything.  Everything was blurred. My heart was broken and cannot bear the surge of emotion. My eyes were swollen from crying and my head throbbed heavily  from the migraine pain of trying to process everything that happened for the last six months. 

In this moment of hopelessness,  a dreadful thought suddenly came into view. The feeling was like a blinking cursor on the computer that kept on staring back at me and was saying, “Do it.” I’ve got a blank space.  I didn’t know what to think anymore. I was finding no hope in the situation. My life started to fall apart. There was only one way out.

I am ANNA.  This was my story.

My mind drifted back to the summer of 2006.

My heart was heavy with emotion. I walked out of the office. I found myself in the company restroom slumped on the toilet seat and cried my heart out silently. I failed the company’s online test thrice. This was the third company that was referred to me after I finished a free certification course offered by then President Arroyo. The first company where I applied, I passed all tests with flying colors but I  haven’t heard from them for almost a month. The second one, I didn’t finish the exam because there were too many difficult technical questions.

For a year I have tried my luck again to work in another country but nothing good came out of it. There were no calls. The money that I saved from my last work abroad was running out, I have three kids to feed and they were still in elementary.  I can’t find a local job and worst, I was separated from someone who promised to be there for me for better or for worst, in sickness and in health, till divorce or separation do us part.

My drifting thoughts were disturbed when the bus moved as the green light flashed.  It was a sign. Green means GO!

So, the plan was finally decided – when the bus reached its final destination in Baclaran – I would go up  the foot bridge , climb over the metal railings and . . .  JUMP!  Simple.

Yes, I have reached this point where I want to give up on life. What the heck, I have nothing to lose. I have lost everything anyway. My own self-worth. My job. My savings. My husband. How can I raise my kids all alone by myself without all these? So, please don’t judge my character at this time. I was a very strong woman. But sometimes, life events became too much to bear, it can change a person to the point of doubting my own strength and the will to fight.

I was slowly walking up the concrete stairs of the foot bridge. My steps were numbered to give me more time to think. I was determined to do it but I was also very scared.  My head was bowed down and I was crying. As I reached the top of the stairs, I  said a short prayer.

“God if this was meant to happen, then you would let me do it and I would understand.”

“No hard feelings, promise.”

I asked for forgiveness.  I was thinking at the back of my mind that  if God really loves me, then He will give me another chance. But if it was a punishment then so be it.

I begged Him.  “Please God hold me tight so I won’t climb over the metal railings and jump. I still have my kids. Have pity on them. I was the only they’ve got now.”

 I deliberately walked slowly to the middle of the foot bridge, because I was so scared that if I snap, I would have done it. I kept repeating over and over as I walked, “Please, Lord, don’t leave me. Hold me tight.”

Then suddenly when I reached the middle part of the footbridge something told me to look up. From afar, I saw this huge Yellow Pages  billboard ad on top of the tall building that was almost parallel in height to the footbridge.  The ad was simple.  A big pair of eyes were looking at me. The tagline below the eyes reads . . .

“Somebody is there looking out for you.”  Or something to that effect.  I didn’t really get the exact words because my eyes were hazy from so much tears and at four in the afternoon, the sun was still shining so brightly.

My heart was beating fast. I felt like being slapped on the face in the state of madness. Those eyes distracted me and I stopped in the middle. Then, I continued walking until I reached the end of the footbridge. I felt like drifting. I didn’t know really what was happening. All I know was I reached the other side.  I was walking down the stairs like someone was pushing me lightly to go on.

As I reached the last step , I heard the song that made me stopped on my tracks. It was playing from a newspaper vendor’s small radio. The song was Hawak Kamay by Yeng Constantino.

Minsan madarama mo kay bigat ng problema
Minsan mahihirapan ka at masasabing di ko na kaya
Tumingin ka lang sa langit
Baka sakaling may masumpungan
O di kaya ako’y tawagin
Malalaman mong kahit kailan.

Minsan madarama mo
Ang mundoy gumuguho sa ilalim ng iyong mga paa
At ang agos ng problema ay tinatangay ka
Tumingin ka lang sa langit
Baka sakaling may masumpungan
O di kaya akoy tawagin
Malalaman mong kahit kailan.

I was like being frozen in time after hearing the song. How could the lyrics be so right and timely? Still confused and emotional from what I saw up there and here, another message from above was being sent to me. Could it be that God was giving me signs that He was there with me? Seriously?

I haven’t gotten over that incident yet, when I was on the jeepney bound for South Luzon Expressway i decided to sit behind the driver. It prevented me from pushing through with the  plan of jumping  had I sat near the jeepney entrance. The Hawak Kamay song played once again over the radio.  It can’t be happening.  In between sobs,  all I think about that time was, the song must have probably been getting good airtime play on the radio.

“Good for Yeng, it was a  hit.” I said to myself, still in denial that there was something synchronistic about the song and the things that happened.

Hawak-kamay
Di kita iiwan sa paglakbay
Dito sa mundong walang katiyakan
Hawak-kamay
Di kita bibitawan sa paglalakbay
Sa mundo ng kawalan

First the billboard ad then, the same song played twice now, those were real. God was indeed speaking to me straight through the song. How can I ignored these signs? All God was telling me was to hold on and not to give up on life yet.

When I finally reached home, I fixed myself so to hide the pain. But lo and behold – when my eldest son opened the door – Yeng’s song was being played again on my other daughter’s radio cassette.

Wag mong sabihin nag-iisa ka
Laging isipin may makakasama
Narito ako oh, Narito ako

Hawak-kamay
Di kita iiwan sa paglakbay
Dito sa mundong walang katiyakan
Hawak-kamay
Di kita bibitawan sa paglalakbay
Sa mundo ng kawalan

This time I smiled because finally I knew it. I gave them a big hug like nothing serious have happened.

As I lay down in bed with my kids that night, I realized. Yes, I was still feeling sad about not finding work, for not having enough money in the bank or for losing someone – but for all its worth, I still uttered a thank you prayer for letting me be with my kids once again and not losing hope for the future.

The next morning, came the biggest surprise.

I received a text message from the first company that was referred to me, the same company that I have been waiting to hear from for a month now. I just couldn’t’ believe it.  I was  scheduled for the training seminar and orientation of new hires. I’ve got a job!

I worked with the company for four fruitful years. There was one thing I realized why I needed to fail. God has a better plan for me. Aside from finding a respectable job abroad again,  it also opened a door to find my passion about life and met a new person.  God has a funny way of showing his love for us. It can be painful sometimes. But as they say, when we pray, God is giving us not the things we want from life, but what we really needed – faith, patience, determination. This was a great lesson that I was hanging on for the rest of my life.

Again, I am ANNA.

Hope my story serves as an inspiration for those who are losing hope and for not finding the will to live. Sabi nga sa kanta, Hawak Kamay lang po. Walang bibitaw. God is good.

Happy Easter to all!

 

 

 

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