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

 

 

 

Loving Each Moment

One of the perks of being a stay at home mom is just being there for them, when they’re not feeling well or when they’re just chilling out.

Sometimes I complain about the stress of raising kids especially when they fight a lot or when they’re being difficult.

I just say that. I know the the time will come when they will no longer need me and I will miss every moment they were little.

I will have all these memories when they were growing up.

It is a nice cold morning today.

tennieanddrei

 

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!

18-3742190_0x440

“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! 

“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 : )

 

Mother’s Day 2016

Pretty hands have grown old through the years

Doing all kinds of chores and caring for me

Those wrinkly eyes still have their glow

Always watching over me.

Now that I have grown

Got a family of my own

Something will forever be the same

Her heart wishing me all the best

Her heart full of love for me

~ Tin Lazaro

Carmen is her name.  From Latin origin, it means “song,” “tune,” or “poem” and is also the root of the English word charm. Truly, she is music. It has always been her first love. And I thank her for bringing music into our lives. From then until now, she has always been so generous to me and my siblings. Whenever she would get home, she has little things for us. More importantly, she always gives us the emotional support we need. She rescues us and lifts us up when we are troubled.. She has always been so selfless putting our happiness and welfare before hers. She is our guide, our light.

Evelyn is her name. She raised me too. She was a great influence in giving us the best education we can ever have. I remember her enrolling us in schools, taking us to music classes (voice and flute) and even taking us to our facial care sessions in high school. She has also influenced me in terms of religious/church affiliation… A woman does not have to bear the child to become a mother. You can raise children and be a mother too. It does not have to be biological. It is all about the love and care through the years.

I have aunties/Tita/Tia (both blood related and not) who I look up to as Moms. They are the women who inspire me, who support me and care for me through the different chapters in my life as a wife and mother.

I also remember my mother-in-law, Araceli,  who gave life to my better half, the reason I have become a mother too.  I remember my sisters and girl friends who are mothers as well.  I think about all the mothers around who have dedicated their lives to raising children. Raising kids is a complex and yet beautiful mission. It goes beyond providing material/physical needs. There is emotional, intellectual, and spiritual responsibilities. It is a mission for life.

No mother is perfect. Not even me. We just keep doing our best to give our children a good life, a solid foundation that will guide them even when we will no longer be around. We keep doing our best in giving them happy memories.

Play with them, read to them, converse with them. We keep praying for them.

This song I played is dedicated to all the Mommies in the world. It is entitled “Sa Ugoy ng Duyan, ” a Filipino lullaby co-written by Lucio San Pedro and Levi Celerio, who were both National Artists of the Philippines.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sa_Ugoy_ng_Duyan

“The lyrics are written in the first person point of view. It is made up of two stanzas, with four lines each.

In the first stanza, the singer wishes that his childhood and his memories of his mother will never fade. He also wants to hear his mother’s song again, which to him is a song of love.

In the second stanza, he describes his sleep as being peaceful, while stars watch and guard him. For him, his life becomes heaven whenever his mother sings him her lullaby. Finally, he reveals the reason for his longing: he is enduring some hardship, and this is why he was longing for his mother’s lullaby.

In the final line (coda), the singer addresses his mother and wishes that he could sleep again in his old cradle.”