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

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…

fallingleaves

Photo Credit: www.cylviahayes.net

 

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.

 

 

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.