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Archive for the ‘blessings’ Category


There are moments when we want to reminisce about those things we enjoyed doing in the past. It’s not exactly a different world, just simple reminders of how life should be.  Life is a continuous struggle but then amidst such pain and suffering we see the light and still enjoy whatever life deals us along the way.

Last night, I woke up to this ungodly hour of 1 am and it was hard to go back to sleep. My mind was full of images of places I’ve been to not long ago. I can’t even recall if they were just snippets of dreams I had earlier.  I had this fear of going back to the hospital even for a simple check-up. I had phobia of  those people lined up outside a doctor’s clinic  waiting endlessly and patiently for the doctor to arrive.That feeling of being treated for a simple allergy then they find something more serious than those red marks on your skin.  Fifteen  years ago, I was hospitalized  for almost a week because of allergy and then one of my doctors  (my OB-Gyn) suggested that I undergo TVS ultrasound since I was already there.  After two years of treatment, there was no option but to undergo a first major operation …total hysterectomy because of endemetriosis.  My second major operation was in July 2009. They had to cut a portion of my sigmoid colon and remove the affected parts.  A few months after my last chemotherapy, I underwent a kidney bypass and had to be hospitalized again. For almost six years now, I am in remission from colon cancer. I thank God for second chances at life, I thank God that He let me see the beauty of life despite all the setbacks.

Three weeks  after my so-called “graduation” from chemotherapy, our friendly neighbors invited us to join them to visit a place in Tanay, Rizal, a two-hour trip by car from our place. I was even hesitant to go, I was thinking I would not be able to endure that trek down the place and the climb back later to civilization but it was one of those trips that I would remember vividly.  We brought along my then six-year old niece who stayed with us during the Christmas break.  The log cabin where we stayed was still in the middle of construction so we fetched a tent and enjoyed the cold breeze of the countryside. All you can see was the long-range of the Sierra Madre mountains from afar.

Sierra Madre Mountains

Sierra Madre Mountains

Simple life, simple joys...

Simple life, simple joys…

We roasted marshmallows, grilled hotdogs and milkfish and brought along a big pot of adobo and a pan of pancit. Everything tasted so good but the company was even better.

the best place to commune with nature...

the best place to commune with nature…

And the best sharing about life was done inside that tent with Jane, our neighbor and Nissa, my daughter while the two younger kids were looking for ants and other insects just outside the tent  and the men in our group explored the place. Looking back, I felt so happy that I was able to endure  the 15-minute walk, a kind of litmus test after six  months of treatment/chemotherapy. I felt so good that it was nice again  to go back to being normal, if normal means there were no more pain of the IV and the effects of the drug, if normal means going out  and bonding with friends and family, if normal means you could forget the endless laboratory  tests and the hospital and seeing your oncologists.

the trek back to the top

the trek back to the top

Chasing dreams and remembering the good old days, an escape from the ugly realities of life. Sometimes, life is full of angst and broken dreams but it’s nice to reminisce about something that would put a smile on your face again and you could face the world one more time with more dreams to pursue and happy memories to recall.

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Of course I didn’t forget. This is just a little late but I am extending my greetings to all the blogger moms here at WordPress. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO US!

I’ve blogged about Mother’s Day celebrations since 2010 I think documenting those moments of bliss, lovely sharing with the family  and choosing where to spend the day – those special moments that make me smile just remembering. I still could remember the places where we spent lunch and how much we enjoyed bonding together as a family. Early this morning Josef and I heard mass together. He came straight from a night shift so I suggested that we just go home so he could rest. Besides, the place where we want to have dinner is fully booked until next week.

All  moms who attended the 9am mass received a special prayer/blessing from the presiding priest. There was a time when they gave a white rose each to the moms after the blessing. It might be just an ordinary day to some people but I must admit that moms are special so celebrating that one important day in their lives is kind of special too. Having a great mom is one of the many gifts and blessings a child could ever have.  I have one and I am blessed.

“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor  by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”

That’s a lovely quote from Washington Irving.  I had a good laugh hearing Nate greet me earlier. Nissa taught him to say “Happy Mother’s Day Nonna” but the one clear word I heard was Nonna. Listening to him say “love you” made my day.

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One shy smile

One simple hello

Could change a cloudy morning

Into a sunny day.

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Almost a month ago, I blogged about my key chain collections and one of my online friends here, a fellow blogger offered to send me some from the UK. Yesterday, the package finally arrived. They are priceless gifts, something that I would treasure for always.  Wow, I now have some lovely key rings from England.

I love them all but I like the Big Ben best...

I love them all but I like the Big Ben best…

Pete regularly comments on my blog posts and I am glad that I am also updated on what life is like in a far away country like the United Kingdom. I find his blogs truly interesting and a joy to read.  Take time to visit his blog.

I asked the post delivery man why they still collect a certain amount when delivering  such small packages and he said that it does not go to the Post Office but  to the Bureau of Customs.They used to charge P40 pesos for it but now it has gone up to P100. Are they overcharging?  I had this previous experience with a private courier  about two years ago.  The package was delivered to me two days after my friend sent it from the US via FedEx. She sent me three paperbacks and paid for the special tariff fee but when it reached me, I was made to pay P1,600 pesos, way more expensive than the total cost of the three books. That is one of the reasons why I never order  anything online, be it books or gadgets that would cost you double the amount when it arrives here.  A friend told me that it is cheaper to send something via ordinary mail but then you are not assured if it will arrive at its destination on time , if it  arrives at all.  I am glad mine did, thank you so much Pete for these lovely key rings.

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Maraming, maraming salamat LORD

sa lahat ng umaapaw na biyayang ibinigay Mo sa amin

na kasama si Pope Francis.

For all the inspiring and uplifting words,

for the messages of hope and love,

for making us feel so blessed,

Thank You.

We will continue praying for our beloved Pope Francis.

Please heal our hearts, heal our people, heal our land.

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Early this morning I updated our Catholic page and posted a paragraph from a previous blog about giving during the Christmas season.  When you give, give from the heart. It does not need to be in terms of money.  Give time, some precious moments that would make someone smile, some words that would give comfort to a friend, give time to reach out and show how much you love your family, a hug, a kiss, an embrace, these are definitely priceless.

I’ve always said that prayers are our best conversations with God. It doesn’t matter how simple it is because He definitely knows our needs even before we utter them. Given what I went through the past years, having to undergo life-changing ailments –  two major operations in a span of ten years, chemotherapy treatments and kidney bypass that I never expected to undergo barely a year after I was done with my chemotherapy, sometimes I get so wary of feeling a little low health-wise. I have become so cautious of what I eat, what I do (should not be taxing enough to sap my physical strength) and  the ache and pains that are quite normal for someone who is growing older. I always pray for health more than anything else. As they say, health is wealth and I truly believe it.  Praying for health for the whole family, relatives and friends is number one on my list.

Do you believe in the power of prayers? I do. It’s what keeps me grounded. When you are blessed with something you don’t really expect, your heart shouts with joy and thanksgiving.  I prayed for a little surprise this Christmas….answered prayers.  You won’t believe it, this afternoon I received a lovely gift in the form of  stock dividends from another bank I invested in before I retired from work fourteen years ago. 65% is more than enough for that little surprise that I prayed for.  Unexpected blessings!

When you say “God is good”, Nate would answer, “all the time”.

 

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Sometimes you wake up and realize how alone you feel and your world seems a grey place. Sometimes you wake up and you  think of the times you were happy in some far off place and it puts a big smile on your face. Sometimes you wake up remembering a dream that keeps recurring and you don’t even know why. Your thoughts are just jumbles in your head. The best times are those moments seeing the beauty of the dawn, when the morning light slowly shows its face and you realize that even in  darkness, you can see the light, a wonderful vista of  twinkling stars. Somewhere up there,  you can see the brush strokes of a great Master and you feel blessed to be alive, to enjoy another day, to drink another cup of blessings.

It’s what I love about gardening, the hours spent quietly in the company of your own thoughts  – the stillness of the moment, the silence of the hour, a therapeutic  contemplation of the days gone by. Yesterday, it rained for a while and my rain lilies were happy. I smiled when I saw a few blooms while trimming the carabao grass. It is always a pleasant surprise to see something unexpected. It puts a smile on your face and the dogs think they are in for a treat. They are happy too when they roam around the garden and bark excitedly at every passersby that they see.

Rain lilies in bloom...

Rain lilies in bloom…

The last two days, I was engrossed reading two books.  Still Life With Bread Crumbs  by Anne Quindlen, my first time to try one of her books, a moving story, a journey into the life of a woman, her mind, her dreams, her career. It’s an e-book and e-books are sometimes hard to read. I read another fiction book , one of my stash from Books for Less. Imagine the joy of not expecting something lovely but it gives you  more than that, a feeling of joy  because you found a treasure.  Blessings! I would like to thank my good friend Pete Johnson for including my blog in his list and wrote an inspiring paragraph about it.  Visit his blog here. It’s a lovely and inspiring read.

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