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Bet It All On 7

By Tony Omega


52/25.... 25/52.... Not the beginning to a haiku but a combination of numbers that have been playing in my head repeatedly since it’s first utterance. There’s a mental image that will forever be ingrained in my head. It’s a memory of my siblings and I tearfully packing an apartment through a deafening silence. Only sounds made were one of us asking another, “Who’s taking this (beloved random object)?” Or the sound of a muzzled sob. We were days removed from burying our mother and now were tasked with emptying the apartment we shared and determining which of her belongings we were going to hold on to, and which would we painfully discard.

After departing, my cousin and I were heading over to his house as dark storm clouds began to descend. By the time the first raindrop landed on the windshield, I had cried several rivers. Up until that moment, I was hopeful that my mother would literally walk out of the hospital beating the grim odds the doctor had given her. Leaving the apartment that night, not knowing what was going to happen to the three of us as we went our separate ways for the first time, left me with complete hopelessness. I felt as though I had lost my sense of purpose feeling terrified of the next sunrise. In between each tear drop, I muttered underneath my breath “52/25, 25/52.”

I am not writing this to combat those that question the existence of a higher power. I feel as though I shouldn’t be the person that convinces you to give your life to a higher being; in this case God, for I am still working on “that particular” relationship. What I can say is that I no longer believe in coincidences, and that there’s meaning behind every action and interaction.

I didn’t realize how naive I was of the real world until I was forced to survive in it... alone. In the darkest times, hope is something you rely on. It becomes inner strength. Therefore in the lowest moments, I’ve learned to find meaning in everything, whether it be a passing of a loved one, or even a set of numbers.

52/25..... The age my mother was when she was called to heaven, and the age I was when I lost her. It’s a symbolic memento that painfully reminds me that we were both young when God called her home. It’s an ironic reflection and for 7 years now I’ve questioned the coincidental importance. 7 years later I’ve been able to realize and come to certain conclusions. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that I learned that I was going to be a father in July 17, 2017, that my son was due March 4th but arrived March 7th...nearly 7 years to the day my mom was diagnosed with cancer.

So as I anticipate what would be her 60th birthday today, I can reflect on the past 7 years and smile because her kids, who felt lost cleaning out that apartment, are now living their best lives. My sister recently traveled to South Africa and is eyeing her next trip. My brother is in the South Pacific swimming with sharks during his downtime after working with a team of biologist to eradicate certain plant species. As for me, if I am not training for my first road race, I’m singing a lullaby to my son I learned from one of my favorite television shows as a 7 year old.

So, 7 years later I can humbly say “Life is Good.” I take solace in the fact that either way you put it—- 5+2 or 2+5—- they both equal 7.

Here’s to the next 7 years.

Bet it all on 7.

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