Sometimes the most precious memories can cause the most pain in your heart. These words still rings true more than 6 years after the death of my family. My son, my two daughters, my fiancee... All gone due to that fire that consumed our house that night. Only I managed to survive and that was because I was away shopping for grocieries. One of the life's many mysteries: what or who gets to decide who lives or dies? It's a riddle that concerns us all and never lets go. And by writing this journal, I'd hope to solve it piece by piece.
The barking from my neighbors dog once again awakened me. Why can't that old woman keep that noisy mutt silent for once? I have confronted her about it many times and everytime she says 'it's in his nature'. Was that only an excuse, I wonder? Surely she can train that mutt to not bark at every passerby he sees, right? Judging by her age and demeanor, it's very much a possibility that the old woman, Eleanor, is a widow whose husband long ago was send to the swamps of Vietman to fight in that horrible war and perish in the attempt. I'd like to ask her more about it someday but I'm afraid it would be too personal, not to mention painful.
My cousin came to visit me today. Although we don't see each other often, his visits never fails to make me smile. Today, he had wonderful news to tell me: his son and daughter both passed high school with excellent grades! In other words, they should have a bright future ahead of them. And since my own son and daughters perished in that fire, it's only natural for me to wonder about how they would've succeeded in life. I also promised to go with them on a camping trip within a week or so.
The dog barked loudly again, making me wonder what he would've seen this time. An another dog? A cat? As usual, my mind went on an overdrive, desperately wanting to permanently get rid of that mutt once and for all. But wait, wasn't that illegal? Would it be truly worth it to receive a prison sentence over this matter? I probably should buy ear plugs or something at this stage...
As promised, today was the first day of my camping trip with my cousin and his children. Even though I don't venture out to the woods very much, hopefully this will be an excellent opportunity for me broaden my horizons. After setting up the tent, I decided to scout out the nearby river. Out of all the animals of the wild, I've always liked frogs the most. Unfortunately they are quite hard to spot, requiring one to have a very keen sight and a little bit of luck on their side. And indeed, I at first didn't see anything either. But then I saw it: a tiny frog hopping from a leaf in the riverbank to a lilypad. And for extra bonus points, I also saw it extend it's tongue to catch a fly, not a single gesture wasted. Thinking about food, I hope the sausages we planned to grill later that day would be as delicious as ever.
Day two of our camping trip. We went kayaking on the river today. I'm sorry to admit that I've never liked such thrills. Already I could feel the cramps forming up in my stomach. At least I can be thankful it was only a brief detour. The water smelled nice at least. Back on shore, I decided to go on for an another round of the sausages. Good thing my cousin thought that far ahead when it came to the supplies.
It's been a week since that camping trip, the smell of the fresh air still etched into my mind. Since my cousin loves travelling by all accounts, I wonder where would he like to go next. Paris maybe? Or perhaps a hiking trip in New Zealand? I'd like to ask him about these options someday but it's I'd surmise such a trip might be too much even for his wallet. At least I personally could always use a nature hike or two.
In days like these, I start ponder about my existence. Each and every day, I watch news about killings, shootings, rioting, climate changes and other nasty stuff. I'm a survivor and yet at any given moment I could very well be the next one to die. Is it worth doing anything in the end if you're doomed to perish in the end? Is there any meaning in joy if sorrow and despair are destined to prevail in the end? Looking at the starry skies above me, a thought etched into my mind. If there's no inherent meaning in anything, it's up to us humans to find that meaning ourselves. We have to see the world for what it is and not as we dream it to be. The universe is not beautiful, therefore it is. If only humans realized this simple fact and not let the sorrow and despair consume them, we all should lead happier lives. Even if you lost someone dear to you or have dreams that have faded long ago, it's important to retain that 'spark' that keeps you going. For even the simplest things in our lives are moments to be cherished.