Louisville Medicine Volume 65, Issue 8 - Page 11

REFLECTIONS Reflections ANTICIPATION Teresita Bacani-Oropilla, MD O ne day in 1945 was especially bleak and windy. Giant waves crashed against the Philippine Pacific Ocean shore in the dark- ening twilight. One could tell it was the season of the “amihan,” the north wind, in full gale force. And, out there at sea, in a rickety reconstituted LST (Landing Ship Tank) was a former surveyor turned small business man, ferrying food and essentials to small towns in exchange for copra (desic- cated coconut meat), and abaca fiber (rope material). He had to make money to send his children, delayed four years by WWII, back to school. Meanwhile, his anxious wife awaiting his delayed return was sick with worry. “What if the LST had flooded or dashed against the rocks?” To which a visiting Canadian missionary, himself making rounds of the post war villages, commented, “Do not worry. It may never happen.” Now, New Year 2018 is upon us. We look upon it and the future with hopes of new beginnings. The anticipation of children or grand- children to be born, the joy of coming graduations or weddings, the possibility of a husband’s promotion, an executive finally landing that big contract, maybe the last payment on a student loan or a house mortgage. How about the end of a successful chemotherapy or anticipating making new friends on that long-promised cruise to Europe? We prepare the kids for their missions for Habitat for Humanity or a trip to Appalachia, and are pleased that patients are getting better every day, or at least being comforted in their ailments. We hope fervently for peaceful solutions to political problems at home and abroad. It is true that despite our good wishes, political unrest, new ideologies, regional wars, and natural disasters have not ceased. Nevertheless, brooding on such disasters without learning from our mistakes is never of value. If anything, it only prolongs the agony. Happiness and peace in life are everyone’s goals. We seek them for ourselves and those that we love. It is a bonus, that the anticipa- tion and pursuit of such is part of the joy of the final achievement. Realistically, comparing yesterday’s world with today’s shows the tremendous progress that has been made for the benefit of mankind, and the march is still going on. As an aside however, we could make corrections on the missteps we have made. We should not hesitate to dream big, either. Just as the fear of the imagined insurmountable dangers to her husband failed to materialize for the solicitous wife of old, so would ours. Just carry on. This family eventually lived in a relatively peaceful, progressive post-war period, realizing their dreams and taking their fruitful places in life. The lessons being: Have Hope. Relish present blessings in every circumstance. Have Faith. Anticipate the best outcome always. Do not worry. Your fears may never happen! Wishes for a peaceful and prosperous year! Dr. Bacani-Oropilla is a retired psychiatrist. JANUARY 2018 9