First Post for 2018

After more than two weeks of Winter break, the kids are once again back to school today. I miss them a bit but I have missed my solitude too. I still have two more hours before I see them.

I feel good. I am able to accomplish a lot this morning. Said goodbye to our Christmas tree and put all the holiday decor away. I was able to organize and clean the home just the way I want!

I feel good. The day is cold, cloudy, with a little rain. It is just perfect. I can’t wait to have my cup of coffee in a while before I pick them up in school. Had lunch in front of my computer while listening to music I love. And now, just write down my thoughts while it is so quietly beautiful.

I have so many random thoughts, at any given time. One of them is death.  I mentioned before in my posts that I found out one of my greatest fears is dying. Lately, I have heard some people I know who died. They usually get sick. And sometimes, it is really a shock. One day they’re here, the next day they’re gone.  This somehow gave me a different perspective of life. When I am about to complain, often times, I would realize that I shouldn’t. I should not complain because I am alive. I may sometimes be so busy and tired, but I am grateful that I am physically, emotionally, and mentally able to perform my duties. But as we all know, life is fragile, unpredictable, and can be full of surprises. And I guess it is fine if we think of preparing for it.

It is another new year and I was thinking “Oh, another year older!” I didn’t want to grow old. I wanted to forget my age. I will do my best to delay signs of aging. But you know what? I don’t mind growing old anymore. White hair and wrinkles would come and I will welcome you! I don’t mind celebrating my birthday because life is worth celebrating. Being healthy and alive each year is indeed a blessing. Each waking day is a gift.  With all these thoughts, I have found my greatest dream. It is to grow old. I wish to live long and be with the people I love. I would love to see my children, their children, and their children’s children grow old/grow up.  I would love to do all the things I love and be with the people who make me smile. I will listen to more music, take more photos, write my thoughts, love, laugh, try to be a good person, and live my life.

Happy New Year! I wish everyone good health and a great year!

 

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Her 26th Birthday

I worked that day. The traffic was not bad as I drove home from work. It was almost dark. The house was bright as I got home. Few friends came over. We had a few drinks and had dinner together. I had a special guest who happened to be my crush at that time. It was so obvious that my father was thrilled because the guy happened to be a lawyer just like him. Little did he  know that it was a hopeless case. The guy just saw me as a friend.

I am writing not because of the guy. I am writing because that was the last birthday party I remember. I believe it was also the last party I had with my father around before I left home.  It was my 26th birthday. And then I totally stopped counting my age. Although I have always been grateful to life and to my blessings.

Reality bites. We can’t stop time. We can’t stop aging. For the first time as I was brushing my hair,  I found some white strands of hair. Not just one but two or three. After a few weeks, it happened again. And I haven’t checked since then.

For a long time, I have been terrified by the thought of getting old and dying. It consumed my thoughts for a while especially right after my father passed away. And I have realized that it is a process. It takes time to understand and accept the idea of death. I have finally accepted that it is an inevitable part of life. And someday we will all end up there. With this in mind, I believe it is affecting my perspective of life. Still it is a learning process. But I am getting there.

I may stop counting my age but I will never stop being grateful for NOW.

The Day When You Left

I choked up as I thought about it. I felt sick.  I went to church at 8:00 am this morning. I was standing there with a heavy heart. It was the very same time when he died. Everything happened around 11:00 pm to midnight (Manila time) two years ago.

I remember on that day, I just stayed beside him. He really loved listening to me and my siblings sing. So I sang any song that came to mind. All songs I could ever think of. We kept singing and talking to him despite that he was unconscious. Sometimes he was awake but we knew he was not the same. It was always just a blank stare.  I held his hands as if it was the last time.

It was 11:00 pm  when I received a message to proceed to the Intensive Care Unit. I had a bad feeling. I just left him 30 minutes ago and everything was fine. His operation (Tracheotomy) was a success. He was finally relieved from the tube he had for two weeks.

The nurse told me that he was stable. I could go and rest. I sent my good news to my siblings and everyone was pleased. We were all holding on to HOPE.

Everything quickly changed in just an hour.

I was walking towards the ICU and from afar I could see what was happening. His room was packed with nurses and a doctor. The room was very busy. They were all trying to revive him.  I could hear them. I was just less than 10 feet away. I sat on a chair and I had to lay my  head down on the table. I knew it was the end. I was so numb. I cried quietly. The doctor approached me and told me that they had to stop reviving him.

I had to make calls to tell the family. They all came and we did what we had to do. Then for the very first time, I went home. I fell asleep on his bed. We were all so very very tired emotionally and physically. I had no more strength.

Sometimes I would ask why did I have to see all that. It really broke my heart. I know that every time this day comes, I would feel the same way and I will remember EVERYTHING. For the rest of my life.

 

 

Sad Trip Memories

I will not forget the saddest trip I had in my life. It was exactly two years ago today. I can still remember being by myself at the airport. I was just crying on my seat. I could not help it and I did not care anymore. While the rest of the people around me looked so happy and excited, I was just broken. It was a very difficult time, that day and the next two weeks.

I flew right away as I heard that our father was resuscitated. Everything was just so sudden. I had to fly thousands of miles just to get in time. It was somehow a blessing to still find him there although he was already unconscious. I am not sure up to now if he even knew I was there. And watching him for the next 14 days was traumatic.

I wrote about that experience here right after I came back home. Losing a person very close to your heart is very painful beyond words. It was raw and unedited. Until today, I still do not have the courage to read it over again.

This morning, my sister and I were talking. She said something. “Most days are so busy, we go about our lives without thinking about him.. but there are definitely times when a lot of things around us no matter how simple remind us if him. And those moments we think of him is just heart breaking and makes me feel like crying.” It is true, I try not to think of him because it makes me sad.  However, it is just unavoidable. The person you love will always be a part of you.

I hear a lot of times some people would like to say “MOVE ON”. What does moving on mean?  Yes, we have moved on. We have continued to live our lives. But when you talk about someone you love, who has passed, it just means that you remember them. You miss them and that you love them. And that is absolutely natural. It is okay.

We remember.

wetalkaboutthem

 

 

 

On Its Second Year

 

It is true what they say. In time you will no longer feel much pain. You will keep moving. You’ll finally get used to the absence.

As much as I love him,  I try not to dwell on the thought that we lost him. I try to see it in a different perspective. He lives in us, we carry him in our hearts.

I still cry but not as much as I did. When he crosses my mind I feel sad but I feel much stronger now.

Although there are moments when I can’t help the tears especially when things around me bring vivid memories of him.

Like last night my kids were playing with their Dad. My little girl was walking on his back and saying that she’s giving him a massage. I remembered during our younger days when we would do the same. Tears fell from my eyes.

Just a while ago when we were watching one of our favorite comedy shows, if featured the 1980 something show called Knight Rider. I remembered the talking black car called KITT, that drove super fast, was bulletproof, fireproof, and helped Michael fought injustices in the world. It brought up some childhood memories. My siblings and I were fond of the super powered car that we named our family car, Kit. If I remember it right, our father even put up a moving light in front of our car pretending that we’re really driving Kit! Something like this:

kitt

Every morning, to wake up my kids, I put up the curtain and let the sunlight into our bedroom. I talk to them or sing to them just the way our old man did.

I know there will be more reminders along the way. One clear proof that our love ones continue to live…

 

 

First Christmas Without Her

When we go to church every Sunday, I always notice a couple who I think are on their 80’s. Although they’re very old, I can definitely still see and feel their love for each other. They look very happy.

I remember in July 2016, they had to sit close to us because the church was packed. I could hear the old man singing so beautifully. Before leaving, the old man handed us a prayer pamphlet. It was a devotion to St. Joseph. The old lady had a very sweet smile.

Sometime in October 2016, the church recognized all the couples who celebrated their wedding anniversary. This couple was one of them. I heard they celebrated their 57 years together. So after the mass, I came up to them to congratulate them. I told them that they are an inspiration to young married couples like us. I saw the old lady’s face beaming and they proudly talked about their kids, grand kids, and great grand children. I gave them a hug and said bye.

In November 2016, I noticed that the old man was alone. For a few weeks, I wanted to come up to him to ask how he was but never got the chance. I had a feeling and I hope I was wrong.

Last night, my eyes were fixed on the old man. It is a week before Christmas and I decided to greet him a Merry Christmas in advance after the service. His name is Raul. It is the first Christmas without her after 57 years. He said he always sees her in spirit.

We talked for a while. I mentioned about my Dad who passed away last year. Somehow when I see Raul he reminds me of him. Same age. Both wearing their favorite beige/khaki jacket. After mentioning about my Dad, Raul said at age 82. I was so shocked how he knew that my Dad was 82 when he died. He said it just came to his mind and that the spirit works in mysterious ways. I gave him a hug and told him that I’ll pray for his  beautiful and sweet wife.

I know I will be seeing Raul by himself every church time, and I pray that I will see him for a very long time. I can’t help but think again about the bitter reality of growing old, death, dying, and being left alone. And for us who are left behind, we have to live and keep going.

I also remember my Tatay (Dad) and Mommy who were together for 53 years. This January 2017 is supposed to be their 55th Anniversary. Here is a photo of them taken by my sister that year  before he passed away. One of the most beautiful and meaningful photos I keep.

tay-and-mommy

 

 

 

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