Undeterred, unbeaten, by her illness, translated…
The sorrowful sound of the piano, coupled with the lifting notes from the violin, came, a beautiful “Swan Lake”, she’d tipped her toes lightly, lifted her emotionally filled arms, a light leap, an extravagant turn, delicate, and beautiful. There’s, that sorrowful and look of distress on her expression, this was, the last silent call for help from Princess Odette, the curtain’s about to fall on this ballet, there’s, this final dance that’s left. And yet, she’d, fallen down and couldn’t get back up, as she’d taken that very, last step of hers, and, her career as a ballerina, over too.
like this??? Not my photo…
She, was my older cousin whom I’m so proud of. Since we were growing up, she was, my idol, although we were in the same ballet class, but she’s always the first, to do the moves. And so, as our schoolwork got heavier and heavier, and slowly, given up on this talent, my older cousin became the only one who persisted in this pursuit of hers. She’s not only talented, she’d also, worked nights and day, to perfect her dancing skills, without a word of complaint.
We could’ve, never guessed, that the nightmares came, with the open shows. My cousin’s falling down wasn’t a random accident, instead, it’s, a sign of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, it’s, a progressive disease that makes one immobilized, without a known cure.
From my older cousin’s fragile, trembling smile, and her teary eyes, showing that persistence of hers, I knew, that she would, NEVER give up on herself, nor would she give up on her own future, she still has the dreams she hadn’t fulfilled yet, so she’d worked hard, in physical therapy, took all her meds, worked hard, to overcome. But, just as how things don’t work as we hoped, her symptoms slowly, got to the point that they’re, beyond her control. From her originally tremors, to slurred speech, to now, her muscles atrophied, difficulties breathing, and, my older cousin’s not being defeated by her reality, had been, torn away from her by her illness bit by bit.
Last summer, my cousin had, left us behind. Before she passed, we’d held a recital for her, and, we were able, to see that light, shine again, from her eyes which had been, tested by her illness.
As “Swan Lake” from Tchaikovsky came on, I’d pushed her out on her wheelchair, to that spot that’s once hers, and, twirled her around, and around, and around, and it’d, brought back her passions, and confidence she’d had on stage once more—that beautiful, undefeated young woman, was now, using the strength she had left in her, to perform, her very final dance.
The applauses sounded, and, my cousin whispered a light “Thank you” into my ears, and, my eyes were, taken over by the tears. These light words, seemed like her goodbye to me. She’s an epiphyllum, bloomed, then, withered.
ALS was, the ice bucket fundraiser’s program, it’s just, after the trending of this illness, how many, will ever remember, those who’d, suffered because of this illness? My cousin’s life became, imperfect because of ALS, but, because of that final performance, it’d become, fulfilled. If there’s a next life, I hope, I’ll, get to, dance with her again.
So this, is how this young woman, still stayed, undefeated, by this illness with no cure, and, it’s her persistence, her love for ballet, that we can all, learn from. And, she was like the flower, bloomed for no more than just a few minutes, but, her beauty will, keep on, impressing those who’d, come to, know her.