Archive for December 8th, 2010

It’s another special day today.  We are celebrating the  Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Hubby and I attended the 6am mass at Our Lady of Light Parish.  A year ago today, I had my last session of chemotherapy at the Benavidez Cancer Institute at  UST Hospital.  My doctor called it my “graduation”.  Graduation from the hurdles of six grueling sessions of chemo, graduation from too much anxiety of thinking ,” no more injections please, no more hospital stay”, graduation from another phase in my life that taught me and my family how to hold on together, pray together for my health and healing.  All in all, it’s been a year of bountiful blessings.  When I look back, I just sometime smile at the thought of being so brave to face it all.  I finally learned that having the big C as some people call it is not the be all and end all of everything.  I finally learned that being brave is not just showing a big smile on your face but having the will to go on, despite the odds, that being brave is having enough faith in God that you will get well and being brave means thanking God that He has enough faith in you to carry on.

Some friends and relatives who have seen me for the first time after my surgery and chemo are one in saying, “you are looking good, parang hindi ka nagkasakit”. As I have mentioned in my previous blogs, you don’t need to show that you are weak in front of other people, you don’t need to look pathetic and hurting.  It’s a journey long enough to say, God has always been and always will be at my side.  It’s a long journey of discoveries – a long journey of faith, a long journey of sharing.  A friend once told me that she admired  the way I am so open about my illness, what I’ve been through and I always say, if someone could be inspired and touched by what I am sharing, then I am fulfilled.

A year ago, upon the invites of some close friends and relatives, I opened an account at Facebook.  I was quite apprehensive because of the privacy issues  that’s why until now, I only have  so few family pictures uploaded at the site although I share a lot of my  macro shots,  and shots I took  of some of the places we’ve been to.   I tend to compare it with the very private setting at my Multiply account.   But it’s through Facebook that I encountered the group called AFCC (Apostles Filipino Catholic Community).  Thanks to Fr. Louie Coronel, OP for the invite.  It was at first an ordinary friendship page but was later converted into a group.   Some occasional comments, more occasional visits until there  came a time that not a day passes without visiting the site.  I was hooked and I was telling Fr. Louie  a few days ago, it has become some sort of “tambayan” page at Facebook.  It has changed my idea that Facebook is not just accepting friends’  invites, uploading gargantuan pictures and what have you’s, and it is not just filling up your wall with nonsense and raising hogs and  growing your own vegetables  at Farmville. I’ve been repeatedly telling my friends that I don’t play games online, it’s a waste of time for me, time I’d rather spend blogging or catching up on my growing list of  to-be-read-books.

Last September 3, Fr. Louie sent me a short note asking if  I am willing to be an admin for at  least a week.  That one week trial became a month and  a month became a permanent admin appointment.  Around that time, we just had about 1, 300+ membership so just like what Fr. Louie did, I invited more than half of my friends to join the site.  Look at what we have now, we are definitely growing .  I am glad, so glad of this outcome.   Well, if at first I was so shy like most of the members to share  what I thought, that has definitely changed too.  I gained friends and gained much through the experience.  But most of all, I am spiritually growing too and learning a lot.  Being called an “ate” to most, big sister to Fe and Joan (hi there, you two) , and just Ma’am Arlene to a few.  It’s another journey that is so fulfilling, another journey of sharing and laughter, another journey of gaining new friends, what more can I ask for?

Reaching out, touching lives, that’s what AFCC is all about!


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Sometimes,  one is lucky enough to encounter such beauty. This made my morning – some pictures I took of this winged creature.

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. Rabindranath Tagore

The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly.
Richard Bach

Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life.  And everyone deserves a little sunshine.  ~Jeffrey Glassberg

“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.”  ~Hans Christian Anderson

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond.
~Irish Blessing

I could not find the words to express the happiness I felt  in seeing this creature.  God whispers, “I am here.”

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