Often when we think of ‘inspirations’ we think of Marvel Characters, National Hero’s, celebrities and even our amazing Moms. But, sometimes we can find powerful, true-to-life inspiration in the smallest and most precious of things.
This young guy Andrei Condat-Omilig; wow, is an inspirational young man he was. Andrei’s short, however powerful life story will inspire you and make you realize how much we all take for granted. Something as simple as waking-up, and waking up healthy every morning is a precious gift of God which we need not under-appreciate nor squander.
What I’ve learned: we always need to hold ourselves to an increasingly-higher standard each and every day. We must recognize, and therefore have the inherent wisdom to appreciate ‘our life’ as it is, right now. Without beating ourselves and those around us for this not yet accomplished. ‘LIFE’ is the blessing. Life, the ability to live yet another day.
We all owe it to ourselves and our families to make sure that every day we do OUR BEST. Our own best effort, our individual best and push to enjoy the blessings we have. We must do our best to show love to others and make every day important -because tomorrow is not promised.
Fighting Leukemia for 8 years is not easy. Leukemia -or blood cancer- is one of the silent killers in the Philippines and it’s one of the country’s top 5 cancer killers. And, sadly, we are not alone here in the Philippines; in the United States, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer every 3-minutes.
Imagine: facing Leukemia at the young and vibrant age of 7-years old. That’s what Andrei and his family had to do. And, in the midst of it all, though it’s immensely heart-breaking to see your son suffering from a deadly illness at the young age, Andrei emerged as an inspiration to us all.
Imagine: facing death every single day. “How are you today, Andrei?” I asked, “What? I’m great Tito! I’m alive…how are you, Po?” Andrei would answer, smiling ear to ear, with a genuine happy glow around him.
How many of us, regardless of our status in this life, living in our own mess, dealing with our own situations, cursed with ambition, striving to impress others, never-fully-grateful. Never actually content or satisfied.
Think about this. How many of us, if we were asked right now, at this very moment, where ever we are, “How are you, Po?” could say, “I’m Great!” and truly mean it.
I’m not a parent -yet, but I felt the pain of that situation. How much more pain must there be, if you are the one in the situation, wearing the shoes of, Andrei. One would think, we’d be depressed, discouraged, victimized.
But I think, we have it all wrong. Andrei was inspiring, because, he handled the situation positively, perfectly and fearlessly, until today at 7:45am PST -the last day of his life.
I remember visiting him last Just last week, we were scampering, searching, trying to help to find blood donors for him to live just a little bit longer. Amidst all of that, I asked him again, “How are you, Andrei?” and he answered “I’m very good, Po” with his smile.
Looking at his face and into his eyes, I knew then, that his time will surely come. Black Americans call it, “Homecoming”, the time when your spirit is called to be home with Jesus and God. When life here on earth is over and we are called ‘home’ to be with Our Father in heaven.
I thought to myself, ‘…this young guy has a strong faith and is really facing his situation without hesitation; what does he know that I/we do not?’
I was devastated. My heart was breaking into pieces; thinking how young he is to be on that situation, he supposed to be in middle school, enjoying his day and playing with his friends. Yet he is here, happier and more content than most of us who wake up every morning healthy.
LIFE is really magical and no one truly-knows why we, as human beings, need to face these kinds of trials and tribulations to appreciate it.
Like the saying, ‘God moves in mysterious ways’. This young boy, Andrei was an angel sent here for this brief moment in time to bestow us with inspiration and appreciation. He was here to remind us, LIFE IS THE BLESSING.
We love you and surely miss you Andrei. Our heart-felt, condolences to you, Ate Anna, Kuya Robert and the entire Condat-Omilig Family. –JM Tiongson