The Eye of The Storm

Posted: May 6, 2009 in FHinlife, myphilosophy, running

“Well, now you know.” Batgirl says with a sly grin on her face. “Noses, no matter how big, simply don’t bounce off cemented sidewalks.”

I am not a girl who is easy to convince. But, on this point, I am not going to argue.

Having lived the first quarter of my life (so far) within the 13th and 14th parallel zone, the entry point of most tropical cyclones that beset this country, I know what it is to find yourself within the eye of the storm. The eye of the storm, the lull between the howling winds. You look out and there is nary a wind. Everything is still. Everything is eerily quiet. You look straight up and even in the darkest of night you see stars shining brightly in the sky.

My father has always warned us about this part of the typhoon. The quieter it is outside, the calmer things seem to be, the more you need to prepare yourself for the coming onslaught. When you find yourself within the eye of the storm, you do not waste time on the non-essentials. You gather those closest and dearest to you and you hold them close. You haul yourselves off to safer grounds , you surround yourself with stronger walls, hunker down and you brace for what is to come next. At best you get a few minutes of quiet and calm before the howling begins again. Then the winds come rushing back. Perhaps lashing out with even greater fury. And you settle down for the long wait.

I was in the eye of the storm all week last week.

The howling has stopped. The pain has subsided. Clear skies now up ahead. But it was nowhere near like this a few days ago.

“You’ve probably told this story a thousand times. But can you tell me what happened again? Just spare me the gory details.” X-man says in a matter of fact tone as he takes a seat in the family room.

“I am on a bike, on a hairpin curve, I see a white taxi, I avoid a white taxi, I hit the curb, fly off my bike (apparently you cannot grow wings that fast), use my nose as brakes and buffer. Tadahh… 6 hours of surgery and a few days at the hospital and this is what you get…” and I point to my face. !“Exhibit A.”

X-man is not all that impressed but he got his story the way he wanted. I heard no complaints. Just a long deep sigh. And the all important question which deserved an honest answer…

“Do you want a dermatologist? I am dating a dermatologist. I could hook you both up. Your skin looks awful! ”

And we moved on to far more interesting topics beyond my nose.

Fine. I’m tired of talking about my nose anyway. Actually, what’s the point? If you want the story, it’s written all over my face. Just check out the cuts and the swelling and the bruising. It will tell you what’s important.

Someone good, someone really good, put me all back together.

Or if I were to be more precise, A LOT OF GOOD put me all back together.

They say that sometimes things happen in slow motion. Perhaps it did that. The details of the accident are all very clear in my head. But things also happened in lightning speed. I wouldn’t have been able to deal had my family and friends not come rushing to my side to keep me focused on what was needed to survive the coming ordeal.

A flurry of angel wings…that is what surrounded me. Amidst all pain, I heard a flurry of angel wings. It is what insulated me from the most awful, traumatizing part of the experience.

Mum and Pop and the sibs especially ate wee (younger than me but far more responsible and reliable) and dondon (my brother who kept awful hospital food at bay), the cousins, the titas (especially the ones who refrained from saying I TOLD YOU SO!)

Ting (Aquagirl – whose powers definitely extended far beyond water. Kept me sane and made me feel safe.. Supplier of the best and most potent pain reliever around! ), Bards (Batgirl, the running banana and still the sanest member of the gang. marshal of the forces of all that is good… ), Rissa (Winks, definitely winks ;-)), Catherine (SeriousCat), T2 (ketikat, kristine, vince, essie, dingdong, harry,vicky, chuchay, anna, tin- the happy thoughts gang and sugar rush patrol) my core group Joy, Bene, Grethel and Erskine, the Tri-Polar team and the Missus (Laarni, Bobby and Ed, and Gina) and The Doc Peter J (without whom I would definitely still look like Pokemon.)

So many other faces floating in my head. If I failed to write it down, it is not because I don’t remember or I am not grateful. Far from that. It is simply because I am, even to this day, still overwhelmed.

When you find yourself in the eye of the storm, you do not waste your time on the non-essentials. You gather the closest and dearest to you and you hold them close. In the darkest of nights, it helps a lot to know you are not going to be facing the typhoon alone. You brace yourself for the coming onslaught. You hunker down and you settle for the long wait. You go through enough of these tropical cyclones and you begin to understand that no matter how loud the winds get, laughter shared with family and friends, good stories passed back and forth, prayers said in unison will always, always drown out the howling, calm the anxiety and drive out the pain and the fear.

If I put in everything I am grateful for in these pages, I would need a new blog. So just this… All the happy thoughts in the world wrapped in two words… Thank You!

Not enough, never ever going to be enough but it will have to do for now.

Except perhaps for this…I’ve always preferred to say thank you in my own Bicolano dialect. The language of my youth and the one closest to my heart. In my part of the world, in the place I call home, we say “Dios Mabalos po!” (God, repay you for your kindness… ) In His Time, my faith tells me, that will be more than enough!

Clear skies up a head…thanks to a flurry of angel wings.

  1. marga says:

    Hey glad you’re fine Mesh. Bike accidents do happen, hahaha. I had surgery done on my right hip due to one last year, too. I hope that doesn’t stop you from getting on the saddle.

    Both my parents are from Bicol, too. I grew up speaking the dialect, albeit with a horrible kolehiyala accent. Haha.

    Thanks! Bike is still in ICU. Once it’s recovered from me, then I’ll take it out for a ride again. Haha!

  2. marga says:

    Doctor Peter – is this Peter Rivera? 🙂

    Nope. It’s the Amazing Doc… Peter Jarin. 🙂

  3. DATC says:

    Good to see you’re back, and you’ve recovered well!

    Haha! Working on the recovered well part but will definitely get there….

  4. moljcy says:

    mesh! glad to know you’re back! =)

    back and rarin’ to get back on the road…thanks! 🙂

  5. Ray Abenojar says:

    Hmmm…. 😕

    It’s like contemplating on Psalm 23 with music by Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou and Andrew Lloyd Webber wafting softly in the background

    That’s a lotta S in a name. Reminds me of someone’s nasal whachamacallit septum… hahaha.

  6. Dudette says:

    As I watched you in hospital bed all bruised and welts, I’m curious and wonder how you will respond. Will you discover innermost weakness or seek out innermost strength? I got my answer from a kid, “I want to play, hurry up and make me better.” You may have lived the first quarter of your life, but you face challenge like a child… simple and determined. Adults know too much about failure and fear which makes it complicated. Inspiring. Thank you.

    If you have the same cool playmates that I have… you’d want to get back to the playground as fast as possible too… 🙂

  7. Dean Hebert says:

    Next time when you have to weather the storm…. perhaps wear a sturdier rain coat… and helmet… and face guard… and chainmail …and rubber bumpers… ok forget it, stick to running. I’m so glad you have come through this so well. Upward and onward!

    Haha! Stop giving my father more ideas! 🙂 Yeah… Rubber bumpers would be cool.

  8. Ting says:


    tri polar boys are correct, you are one tough cookie! good to see you bounce back so fast. glad that doc peter gave you clearance to do pretty much everything already. as boo’s prayer goes – “Lord, make tita meshy well so that we can swim again!”. boo thinks same way as aquagirl.

    Boo is one smart cookie… which is an upgraded and spiced up version of the tough cookie variety… Tita Meshy definitely looking forward to getting back into the water again.

  9. bobby says:

    Mesh, you are one tough cookie. I’ve always believed you weren’t the type to back down from any setbacks, and you’ve proven it with such aplomb and humor. Team Tri-Polar can’t wait to see you get back in the water, on two wheels, and on the road for more punishment. =P
    If you can’t grow wings, you’ll always have your friends and family to lift you up, no matter what.
    See you soon, Mesh.

    :-)as the abuelo used to say in resignation… if the head is already cracked… a few more dents and bruises won’t really make much of a difference. haha!

  10. Valive says:

    I saw your blog on Alphainventions and I have to say it took me a while to find it again. I’m glad I could find it. I like very much to read your blog. It’s nice and witty.

    Thanks for dropping by and hanging around long enough to say hello! 🙂 Wish I could write that in your language but I guess I will have to stick to English for now.

    • valive says:

      Ok, I will write to you the Romanian equivalent. Pay attention (btw, I’m a teacher)! 😛
      Multumesc ca ai trecut pe aici si ai stat destul de mult timp cat sa spui “Salut”! = Thanks for dropping by and hanging around long enough to say hello! :))

  11. run unltd. says:

    I’m glad you’re back and rarin’ to go again. Lookin’ forward to run with you again and have your pic taken along the course. See you again Mesh. Next time, and all the time, ingat po.
    vnr & xty

  12. highaltitude says:

    Hi Mesh, I hope you’re doing fine.

  13. ricov says:

    As a kid, I have always loved the eye of the storm. For a few hours, the skies clear up giving me precious moments to go out and play, and survey with awe and respect the extent of nature’s wrath and power. The eye of the storm also meant the worst is half-over….I suppose in due time the storm will pass and you would be out again playing – swimming, biking, running. Take care 🙂

  14. sundaywarrior says:

    Ei there Mesh, hope you’re doin okay now. That was one gutsy ride if I may say so, continue running!

  15. Xtn says:

    Welcome back!!! Next time we will make sure you wear a football helmet plus your mask! 🙂

  16. thesolemates says:

    Hi Mesh,

    When I first heard about your accident a day after I had mine, I thought yours happened years back and the friend who texted it to hubby, JunC, did that just to make me feel better. His text message went “Buti si Mariel bruised knees lang. Si Mesh broken nose!”

    Having gotten the correct details now, I can say my little accident was really just that — little.

    Glad you’re bouncing off this storm pretty well. Try not to do the bouncing off on any cemented surface though. 😉

    Wish you well!

    – Mariel

  17. m8parco says:

    Mesh – It was good to see you at the TNF briefing. Hope to see you in the races very soon.

    Medyo late na but we will still say a prayer for you. Siguro thanksgiving na ang prayer.

    Regards Mark & Tiffin

  18. Jaymie says:

    Hi Mesh, I saw you at TNF too but you were gone before I could wave. Glad to know you’re alright. After the storm comes a rainbow.

  19. myironshoes says:

    Thanks for all the happy thoughts guys! I really do appreciate them all. I’m sorry it took me a while to reply. Apparently my head is really tough to crack. I forgot the password to the blog. It took a while to hack into my brain! Haha! Oh well…
    I’ve seen most of you back on the road… and I’ve managed to say hello to some! I’m sure the weekend will bring forth more familiar faces!
    Let’s keep rolling and happy running to you all.

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