Life and Death

I experienced my first loss when my father passed away. It opened my eyes about this bitter natural phenomenon. I have spent a lot of times pondering about life.  After which I have been sensitive and very aware of people I know who are sick and who died. I have a list of the people I know who passed away and I pray for them.

One man who was at my father’s wake and who was helping us around died after a month .

Another family friend we called on the phone to inform them of what happened to my father also passed away in two months.She was sick and was on chemo during the times my Dad was in the hospital.

When I got back to the US,the same fate happened to this old man I always talk to in school. He went to Manila for a vacation. I saw his son and I asked how he was doing. And I was shocked and got teary eyed when he said that he was gone.

Now I heard about some women I know who are sick with Cancer. They happened to be my school mate/classmate. One was from elementary and the other one was from high school. They are the same age as me. They are moms too just like me. And from the time I heard about their fight, I pray for them so they will have courage, strength and most importantly be healed.

I remember other friends who have been battling with disease/sickness for years.

I pray that the sick will be healed. The dead will have peace, happiness, and eternal life. And I wish for us who are left in this world, that we will see life as a gift everyday. That we will be more appreciative and grateful for everything. That we will try to live our lives to their fullest.

lifeanddeathPhoto Credit: livingalignment.com

When You Miss Someone…

 

You text him.

You give her a call.

You visit him.

You meet up somewhere for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.

You just hang out with them.

You do a Face time or Skype with him.

You just long for her presence. For his company. For a conversation.

And this makes life more meaningful.

Our relationships.

And you know what’s the hardest way to miss someone?

It is when you realize that you can no longer do all these things.

You can not text, call, Face time, Skype or visit them anymore because they’re no longer there.

He is gone forever and there will never be any exchange of words anymore.

They will just be memories from where we stand now.

There is nothing else to do but pray that at least in your dreams you get to see them and embrace them one more time.

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Random Thoughts On CHANGES

Change is the only permanent thing in this life. We have seen it from books, photos, and films how the world around us has changed. Industrialization. Technology. People. Way of Life. Everything changes. Everyone does.

Based on my own experience, there is something else that has remained constant. It is the “inner SELF”. I am not sure how it is called. It maybe a person’s spirit or soul.  I feel exactly the same way ten years ago and even twenty years ago. And as far as I remember. I am me.

I grew up and learned more things  from school. I am continuously learning from my everyday experiences. Although there have been changes in the environment, in my situation, status, in the physical world, somehow there is still that core being which  has remained the same all through the years.

I close my eyes and I have always been that same person. Although when I look at photos of me, I look different each time. I am getting older. And that is something that we can not escape. No matter how rich and beautiful we are. We all do our best to prolong our life. We take care of our bodies. We exercise. We try to look our best. Some are even more fashionable. More luxurious. But we can not stop nature. We will all look old someday. And we know what happens next. Then we are all the same…

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Photo Credit: www.cylviahayes.net

 

When You Have So Many Things To Do

There are so many things that I would like to do.

But there is NOT MUCH TIME.

I realize everyday that I can not do EVERYTHING.

Time is short. Time flies by so fast.

So I will just do what I can. And I remind myself not to be too stressed out.

But try to enjoy each moment. I am alive. I am with my loved ones. I am here NOW.

Breathe in, breathe out.  Just do what I can for today. There is still tomorrow.

Tomorrow I will just do what I can.

I am no super woman.

There is no perfect life.

I pray that God will always give me His wisdom.

To always have the right perspective  in life.

To be appreciative of each blessing.

Be happy with the little things.

As I write this post, I just heard raindrops. It’s the first rain after Summer. It brought smile to my heart (and lips).

I will never be perfect. I will still get frustrated. Moody. Mad. Sometimes bad.

But I will always try to be GOOD. To be HAPPY.

 

 

Plain Day

When I started blogging, my mind was filled with thoughts, filled with words. My heart felt a lot of things. I could not wait to write them down each day. Writing about my thoughts and feelings helped me resolve some issues I had in me. It taught me a little about forgiveness, about imperfections, humanity, about love. It also helped me discover my passions. It is still helping me get to know myself more and the life around me.

I just noticed one thing and maybe it happens to other people too. When my father went to heaven, it suddenly felt like there is nothing more I can write about. No inspiring stories or reflections in my head. I was not sure how I was feeling. For a long time I just went on with the flow. It has been a year now. I don’t feel the same. However, I find delight in interviewing people who inspire me. Maybe this is a way to get me inspired again and get me back on track.

For now, I will keep looking for that inspiration.

The Happiest & Saddest Time

Next week will be my first born’s birthday. Followed by my second child’s. They are almost 3 weeks apart. Both are born on Summer time during the Olympic games. I remember taking care of infants while watching games on TV. Both of them also have Barrack Obama as their first President when they were born.

Every child’s birthday is special. And for every parent, it is a moment to celebrate and commemorate the day they  received their special gift from heaven.

It is ironic for me. I am very happy to celebrate my children’s birthdays but at the same time I feel sad because it brings back the most painful memory I had on my journey. This started last year in 2015. It all began from my first born’s birthday and ended on my second child’s birthday. 

I am sure people have forgotten. They have moved on and lived their lives. But as for us, we are not sure how. We will always feel and remember as long as we are here.

July 19 was my first born’s birthday. It was the last time I had a Facetime chat with my Father. Up to now I remember the conversation that we had. His words I can still hear.

July 21. He was sent to the hospital and got intubated.  He was unconscious for 3 days. He woke up on the third night and was terrified with his condition. He could not speak anymore. He did not like the tube and the wires.  He and my brother had a moment together. My brother told him I was coming home. And he nodded. He knew I was coming home. But early dawn the next day…

July 25 He had a cardiac arrest. They revived him after a while. But he was believed to be brain dead then later on into comma. I had to fly right away to see him. It happened so fast.

And we were in the dark for the next 14 days of my life . I stayed in the hospital did not go anywhere. https://partandparcel2014.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/14-day-journey/

August 5. I went out and saw the saddest sunset. I was on the phone with my sister telling her that the “takipsilim” or dusk looked very  sad. All our hopes were going down with the sun. That night, almost midnight, he passed away. First time to go to the house where I grew up. But it was dark and empty. I fell asleep on his bed.

August 8. It was my youngest child’s birthday. It was also my Father’s burial/interment. Part of my heart was buried with him. After a few hours I had to fly back to my family. It was night time when I arrived at home. It was not too late to watch my 3 year old blow the candle on her birthday cake.

 

 

Words from Daphne Oseña-Paez

I feature my favorite people here in my blog site. They inspire me in so many different ways. The next person I will be presenting is someone I admire not just for her beauty and style, but also for her brain, talent, and confidence. Her works reflect my hobby and interests like blogging, travel, home, fashion jewelry, and inspiring stories about women and motherhood. I am very blessed that she responded to some of my questions. She even gave me some advice for my blog! I remember first seeing her from the show, “F” which she co-hosted with Angel Aquino and Cher Calvin! Meet the lovely and very smart, Daphne Oseña-Paez!

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“Daphne Oseña-Paez is a TV host, producer, and businesswoman from Manila.  She is known for her production and hosting of television programs  Urban Zone, Proudly Filipina, and F. She is the first Filipina ever appointed Special Advocate for Children by UNICEF Philippines.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daphne_Ose%C3%B1a-Paez)

“In May 2011 she founded Auction for Action: A UNICEF Fundraising Online Auction to benefit children’s programs in the Philippines and worldwide. It was the first online auction for UNICEF Philippines. It features work from noted local artists and designers in the hope of raising money that would benefit programs on maternal health and education in the Philippines’ poorer areas.”   She was also featured in Vogue in 2011 (http://www.vogue.it/en/people-are-talking-about/vogue-features/2011/12/daphne-osena-paez#ad-image145665)

Here are some answers straight from Daphne.

What were you doing before your TV appearances?

Urban planning

What course did you take in College and where? Did you really dream of hosting and being a public figure?

University of Toronto. Bachelor of Arts, specialist in Fine Art History, minor in Urban Studies. No dreams of TV work or public life. I was working as an urban planner, managing Canadian-funded programs in developing countries. Everything else was a happy accident.

With all the shows, TV hosting that you made what was your most favorite and why? Urban Zone – its my own show/creation. I didn’t just host it. I was producer, writer. It was a successful attempt at a late night lifestyle show. It was very influential.

What was the hardest challenge you have encounter? – life is full of challenges. In my darkest hour I turn to prayer. I’m never alone. I put full trust in the Lord. (As for sharing actual challenge, it’s too personal)

What is it you fear the most? – only God knows.

Do you consider yourself a hands on mom? How do you balance your career and family? — I don’t like the term “hands on mom” I don’t think it should exist. Because whether you are working or not, you are a mother just the same.

What is the most important thing you want your children to learn? What is it that you want to impart to them? – that they are loved by us no matter what. That they find joy in what it is they choose to do.

You are beauty and brains! In terms of beauty and appearance, are you high maintenance? How do you take care of your looks? What is beauty for you? Beauty tips you can share? – Be kind to your skin and body. Rest a lot. Don’t expose yourself to the sun too much. See a derma every month for cleaning. I go to Belo for facial and power peel every month.

What are your hobbies? – learning more dishes. I just learned how to cook. 

For more information and update of her works, you can visit her website  http://daphne.ph/.

It was really my pleasure to have an exchange of words with this super talented and very nice lady!

 

Catching Up With Cindy Kurleto

Thanks to writing. I started to see through things clearly. I am able to look deep inside and know myself a little bit more. I have become aware of my existence, of the life around me, of living, of being human, and even of my greatest fear, death.
One of the many things I have come to realize is that my life is too short to be mad, sad, or miserable. I have to overcome these emotions as they exist. I have to find out an outlet, my passion, and do things that make me happy. I have learned that playing the flute and blogging are one my favorite things at this stage of my life!
Moreover, I also realized that it is important to surround myself with people and things that will make me grow, that will inspire me, and make me happy. People and things that give out positive vibes and make us realize more the kindness and beauty of life. We can not always choose 100% of the time but we can still do something.
Even in my social media account (Instagram), I only choose to follow people who inspire me. There are indeed a lot of great people around the globe, and I wish I have all the time to write about them.  These inspirations crossing my path are part of my journey. Thus, I recognize and appreciate them through writing.
For instance, I wrote about the flutist who inspires me to do better, Bevani. Please read about her and check her Youtube Channel (Bevani Flute). Now, it is my pleasure to feature this wonderful lady. I never knew her personally but when I was younger I saw her from TV commercials in the Philippines.She was a VJ, model, actress. She has one of the most beautiful faces in Philippine Television. Meet Cynthia or better known as Cindy Kurleto! I do not remember how I found her in Instagram but when I saw her, I left a comment on her post about how glad I was to see her. She responded and she was very nice to everyone. We found out that we have the same birthdays too (and year)! What struck me was seeing how she has found love and happiness in her private life now. She has left the world of show business to fulfill her destiny to be where she is right now, a loving wife and mother. So let’s catch up with Cindy! 

The Last Father’s Day

It’s been a while since I last dreamed of my father. There are days when I still can’t believe he is gone. I miss him in so many ways. I try my best not to have my thoughts dwell on him. I even try to avoid looking at his photos. It just makes me cry inside and out.

Few nights ago, I finally had a dream of him. I saw him wearing a royal blue colored garment. He was driving, and I was at the back seat. We had a conversation about how my 2 year old niece got a visa and would be visiting me soon. We were on our way to the church. We parked and I stayed outside talking to some members of the choir while he went ahead inside. Then I saw him sitting and looking out as if signaling me to come in. Then it was blank.

I told my sister that I dreamed of our Tatay (Father). She was amazed because some few days before, she visited his grave. She was telling her baby girl to tell Tatay that she got a visa and would be visiting me soon! What a coincidence we thought!

Another thing. I did not tell my sister the details of my dream but the next day she dreamed of Tatay  twice. The second dream’s scene was at the church too. Tatay was wearing something blue just like in my dream. My sister was with some choir members because they were preparing for a song presentation, a tribute to the families. She was crying because of the song, “Minsan Lang Kitang Iibigin”. Our Tatay was there, alive. I did not tell her the details of my dream. We were both surprised to see some resemblance. His blue clothes. The church scene. Choir members.

Then we thought… Father’s Day is coming up soon. I told my 7 year old son about our dreams and he said, “Tatay just wants to be with you because it’s almost Father’s Day. He can’t anymore so he just visits you in your dreams.”

Now my heart feels so gloomy like the weather outside. I recall last year’s Father’s Day (June 2015). I do not remember what we talked about on the phone but I remember feeling very happy. We talked longer than usual about just anything. And I know I was able to express to him how much I love him. And I never imagined that it would be his last Father’s Day on Earth.

I will forever carry and cherish him in my heart. I wish love is felt across time. I hope he will always feel our love.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads in the world. If you still have him, you got to let him know and feel how much he means to you…

I just saw this commercial earlier and would just want to share with you. Let us remember all the Dads in the world especially the ones who are working very hard to give their families better lives.

 

 

 

 

“I’m A Stay-At-Home Mom. Got A Problem With That?”

My hands are tired. As soon as I was done with my work, I had to sit down and write this down.

I just finished with my general cleaning in the kitchen. From the fridge to the freezer, to the tiles, cabinets and floor. Scrubbing. Mopping. Add all other details that has to do with the inside of each drawer and cabinet.

A lingering thought suddenly crossed my mind. I hold no grudge on these people but to be honest, their remarks annoys me very well.

This post is for all the stay-at-home moms like me. Sometimes we are called housewife, full-time mom, home-maker and others.

When I stopped going to work (the one where you get paid money), I had to focus on my growing son. Then followed by another baby girl. So I have been out of the work force for five years and 7 months now. When a cousin found out that I stopped working to take care of my child, he teasingly said “Wow, Doña.” In the Philippines, when somebody said that you’re a Doña, it means you’re rich and you’re living like a Queen. I do not remember how I responded to him but I can not forget that remark until now.

Another incident was when I brought my first grader to school while tagging my little girl along. This is a common sight in school. Moms with their  little ones  dropping off and picking up their older kids to school. Rain or Shine. Through the years,  I bonded with other full time moms too. And sometimes we would be in a group. As I and some other moms were approaching, a  friend who was a nurse jokingly told our other friend, “Eto na ang mga walang trabaho!” In English, it means “Here comes the ones who don’t work/jobless!” What did that suppose to mean? Of course it was petty. We did not have to confront her.

What are these remarks? I usually  hear people asking about what job I do since I had a Master’s Degree in Psychology. And when they hear that  I am a home-maker, one of the common reactions is “Wow, sarap!” In English something like “Wow, you’re lucky”.

I will be straightforward here. Yes, I am lucky because of one thing. I get to be hands on with my children. I see them grow each day. I personally take care of them. I am lucky because I now my kids feel secured and confident that I am there when they need me. A couple of instances my son was brought to the school clinic, in two minutes I am there to pick him up.  Child care is a lot of work especially when you have babies, toddlers, or preschoolers. It is more work if you have two or three or more kids. With the demand for constant attention, and responding to different needs, you have to have all the energy and patience in the world.

Home care is another thing.

Yes I will feel like a queen if I have a helper in the house. Or have someone else do all the daily chores inside and out of the house. Keeping the house clean and in order is an everyday thing. It actually feels like never ending. I even have a list of things to do for my home projects just like when I was going to a regular job where I got paid.

Yes I will feel like a Doña if I have a cook to take care of breakfast, lunch and dinner, a driver to bring my kids to school and to pick them up, a tutor to teach my children or a nanny to give them a bath and other things that they need.

I do not have all these help, and I do not get paid for every single thing that I do. I do not complain (sometimes to my husband), I feel happy that I am given this mission right now. It is all labor of love. Mind you, I do not just sit in the house and  have idle times. I do not sleep in the daytime because time flies and there are lots of things to do. But sometimes I need to recharge and have a break too. So I play the flute for a while or I write.

This is just a glimpse of what we do. This is the life of  a home-maker, a full-time mom, a house wife. I am not saying that we are better than moms who go out and work (the one you get paid money). They have different challenges too. I was once working out of the house.  I am just hoping that others will be enlightened that even if we are at home, WE ARE WORKING TOO!

Kudos to all women, to all mothers.

Now nap time is over for my girl. Have to wrap up my chores and time to get ready for school : )