ON LEGACY : What are you passing on ?

7 Oct

When I first heard that I have HIV, my mind inevitably explored the questions of death and dying.  Oh, I had my time of grief and anger, believe me, but after a month or so, I just decided to move on.  After all, I am still alive, which means there’s nothing to cry about just yet.

As months go by, I got increasingly fascinated by the idea of legacy.  I just keep on pondering about what values am I passing on to my closest ones.  What sparked my brain into this issue is the unlikeliest source of all : a noir, bloody comic book.  Sin City, to be precise.

Sin City is a black and white comic book telling a story of a fictional city in West America, complete with its hero and villains.  A brainchild of Frank Miller, I enjoyed reading this masterpiece which was adapted into a movie by the same title at 2005 by none other than Quentin Tarantino.  It was when I was reading this comic series that my eyes got stuck into an eulogy written by Miller for Jack Kirby, – a juggernaut and virtuoso in comic book industry and Miller’s personal mentor, who passed away in 1994.  One sentence just refused to leave my mind until this day, “I have a little bit of warning to St. Peter.  Watch out, Jack is coming, heaven is gonna be a lot more exciting !” ( I might have paraphrased a bit here )

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Now I feel that while I refuse to entertain the idea that I will leave this earth soon, I still think that I need to leave some important legacy for my family.  What are the things that should be passed on ?  I doubt that they are money, cash, riches or other tangible inheritances.  Instead, I believe positive values are what should be imprinted deep enough to inspire our next generation.  And no, don’t think that I’m being grandiose here.  Everybody has their own “next generation”, so to speak.  For me, it’s going to be my children.

All that said, I want to be remembered as a man who lived life to the fullest.  I want my children to remember me as someone who got beaten, but did not give up.  I want them to learn perseverance.  I want my life to inspire them in such a way that they will take that one more step when the road get foggiest.  I want them to have a profound faith that someone up there is taking a good care of them.

Oh, before any of you will protest, I know that I’m not a best person to illustrate this concept of tenacity. 🙂  Don’t get me wrong, I want to leave a legacy of perseverance not because I’m the best person in the world who embodies this idea, but rather because I want to continue to strive to persevere on life’s troubles.  In the process, I hope that I’ll do enough to illustrate my point that when you refuse to give in, the light in the end of the tunnel is indeed reachable.

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I am reluctant to talk about my personal troubles, but I’m going to close the post by a couple of news from my life which I hope will stress my point.

  • On August 2008, I needed to find a new roof for my family because the old place’s rent ran out.  I had no money and resources whatsoever to do that, but when I threw away my pride and asked a long-lost friend for a help, the help did come.
  • On September 2008, we still have some excess obligations from the move, and my wife received an extra blessing which happened to be precisely in the amount we need, down to the last penny.
  • I am very aware that to prepare for my family’s future, I have to start my own business soon, no matter how small.  Nothing definite yet, but at the time when I wrote this, another long-lost friend suddenly popped out of the blue and asked to meet me to discuss the idea of starting our own business.

Those examples may spell divine providence at the first glance.  But one thing I learnt is, divine providence will come for those who persevere.  As they say, “God will help those who help themselves”…

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So remember this, – Indigo, Imogen and Illarion -, don’t you ever, ever give up in everything.  Not once, not always.  Life is only as bleak as you permit it to be.  Heaven never is.  The sun will continually shine in its perpetual warmthYou all just move on, it is in dawn where night is the darkest…..

What, my reader, will you pass on ??

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This post is dedicated to Feliciano Rahardjo, a dear friend with a big heart.  You know who you are, Pal…!!

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2 Responses to “ON LEGACY : What are you passing on ?”

  1. rima fauzi November 28, 2008 at 5:45 am #

    Hey Fajar,

    I don’t know you at all but I really admire your honesty and courage in disclosing your medical condition and all.

    Have courage, maybe soon scientists will find the cure for HIV infection and even AIDS! I read several weeks ago a man was cured from AIDS from a bone marrow transplant or something like that, so there is hope.

    And anyway, having this disease is not something to be ashamed about, although many people in Indonesia are still in the dark about this disease, treating ppl who have it like lepers (another disease they dont know about).

    I do hope you will continue to have courage to inform people about it so that they can slowly change their minds and stop being so ignorant about everything.

  2. unquote November 28, 2008 at 8:25 am #

    I thank you for your kind words, Rima. I try to be brave, but there are times when I am so close to tears, 🙂

    For more story about my condition, read my post titled “Apologia”. I am being honest because I want to inspire other people in my condition to be honest too.. It’s sad how many people with HIV / AIDS died without any treatment because of their fear in admitting it 😦

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