It has been one month since my mother passed away, I still can’t believe it’s been a month already, time is certainly fleeting; while I’m glad she’s finally resting in Heaven after three long torturous years, coping with all of it hasn’t been easier for neither my brother or myself, specially him, it hit him really hard given his condition, but we’ll keep hanging there.

April 2018 was marked by two main events: the aftermath of my Mother’s passing, and Chickenpox.

One day after my mother was buried I started to feel feverish and tired, I attributed it as a physical manifestation of all the accumulated stress and all other emotions that I was overflowing with, nonetheless I shrugged it off, took a shower, and went with my family to mass, the first of the nine days of my mother’s novena. I came back home, had dinner like usual, and had a restless night.

The next day, a Wednesday, I struggled to wake up and prepare lunch, my neck was stiff and in overall pain, as if I had a huge burden on my back; again, I attributed it to stress, had a more intense flash fever. Still, I showered, took one of my mom’s menthol pain patches (she had others that were stronger and larger), applied it to my neck, and went to church.

By Thursday I started to outbreak with blisters, and I had my answer as to what was causing all that malaise on me: Chickenpox.

I stubbornly went against my family’s advice and attended church, by the time I came back home I could barely get off bed. I suppose that my body was holding it off until my mom was resting, and that’s when my organism gave up and succumbed to the chickenpox. I wasn’t able to attend the other six days of novena.

The whole thing knocked me off for almost three whole weeks, as if depression wasn’t enough, add fever, itching, all of chickenpox’s symptoms to the mix—and some power blackouts while at it because Venezuela, oh, don’t forget the water shortages too.

I’ve started to recover but my face and body still have some red spots that haven’t completely healed (I suspect one or two will leave small scars in my face), my insomnia is much worse than before—I haven’t had a good night of sleep since my mom got diagnosed back in 2015, I’ve slept even less this month, the first weeks I kept dreaming of my mom, different scenarios and locales yet all involving me attempting to change the tragic outcome of March 31st but failing at it, I’d wake up feeling much worse as a result.

I’ve had some real depression hours during late nights, thinking of all that happened, wondering what “If only I had fount the Votrient she desperately needed” among other thoughts, I’m working my best to overcome them by being as productive as possible while catching up with stuff, that’s where friends and family come in, having someone to talk to certain helps, be it online or irl. I’ve never been a social person (hence why I self-catalog myself as a pariah), but shutting down from everyone isn’t the best thing to do when grieving, and I’m grateful for all the messages I’ve received and the smiles and laughs, it helps so much.

And yet, despite all the heavy blows I’ve taken, and all the sadness and sorrow I have to keep going, I can’t give up to despair and depression. There’s so much to do, so much things to get in order, as well as the main quest: Escape from Venezuela, I had to cancel several appointments due to chickenpox, this last week was when I finally recovered enough to start doing stuff, namely, my brother’s disability documents (a couple former students of my mom have guided me through this process).

I’ve given away most of the leftover meds, especially the last three vials of Erythropoietin (EPO), something that’s so hard to find here nowadays (my mom rarely had a complete dosage of it after each round of chemo). I still gotta return the wheelchair and leftover chemo pills to the doctor that gave them to my mom, hopefully they’ll help another person in need of them, one of my pending goals for this upcoming week.

I’ve also started to arrange my documents as well as my brother’s so that we can travel as soon as we have a concrete destination. I promised my mother on her deathbed that I would take care of my brother and work to build a future for him, and that is what I intend to do.

Once again, I have to thank you all for lending me your strength during this month, I couldn’t have gone through this month without borrowing a lil bit of strength from each and every of you.

We’re all gonna make it lads, you guys are the best.

-Kal


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