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Archive for the ‘family life’ Category


There’s that trigger again reminding me to start another blog post. I feel so lazy. I haven’t visited WordPress in a while.

I had a conversation with a friend from Canada (there were four of us when we were in college). Grace met an accident last Easter Vigil, had multiple pelvic bones fractures surgery which was not successful so she had a hip replacement surgery. Then she got infection in her gall bladder so she went under the knife again. Among the four of us, she is the only one who was not affected by cancer. All three of us had it, the two with breast cancer and me with colon cancer. Three survivors. Grace introduced me to their parish priest who also blogs about all of his homilies. I visited his site and left a few words via e-mail. He answered, how nice.

Last January, Sr. Thea, an FMM nun, told me that she was diagnosed with lung cancer this time after several years of being free from it. I don’t know about Precy since we haven’t gotten in touch for so long now. She changed her cellphone number.

Grace told me to be gentle and allow myself to grieve. Sometimes though, I still feel so low and couldn’t think of something nice to blog about. But I read, I am on my 82nd book this year. I found a book with Japan as the background during the 15th century. Just started so I don’t know yet if it is worth-reading or not.

I was laughing finding this on my newsfeed except that I no longer use a library card. I mostly read e-books nowadays and have my virtual library at Goodreads.
Another image the words of which I find provoking but it’s true. I remember a friend who told me once that the journey to life is not always a straight path.

Have a beautiful and peaceful weekend😘☺💐🌷🎉🎈🎊

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His full name is Alvin Josef. At home we call him Sef or Osef but his officemates call hi Alvin.

It is his 38th birthday today. Every year, I would take a photo or two on his birthday. There was a time I collated all his birthday photos which I started when I was new on Facebook. Every year we get to celebrated by ordering food online and sometimes I cook one or two viands when I am not so busy. I took a shot early this morning before he left for work at JP Morgan Chase bank. If you’re wondering why he is in maong pants, they are allowed as long as their shirts have collars. All their clients are US based.

I went to the wet market early to buy something to cook for dinner although Sef told me not to prepare anymore.

For the first time in a while, I saw the orange hue of the sky breaking into an early morning. The clouds looked three- dimentional paintings in the sky.

HAPPY AND BLESSED BIRTHDAY JOSEF. Love you so much.

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Have you ever experienced being alone in a crowd? Have your loneliness got the better of you and you felt crying?

When we were in the province more than a month ago, I saw so many relatives and friends that I’ve never seen for years. I felt elated for a while talking to them, sharing about life and death and dying. Many of my cousins volunteered to cook every day and prepare snacks (until Alden’s funeral) for our guests who attended the 6-day wake.

I would look at his coffin and I would cry silent tears of goodbye. How hard is it to let go? How hard could it be losing a sibling who is very supportive of your own family?

I think of people leaving this earthly life, is dying like falling asleep but you never wake up? I remember my sis-in-law’s story when Alden died. She was at his bedside. According to her, he smiled and said, “panalo na”. Panalo na means we won or I won. I really don’t know what that means except maybe to tell the world that he was finally free from pain. He won over the three difficult years of his illness.

I lost interest in politics when Alden died. It seemed like there was a vacuum, some unfufilled yearning that I can’t define. This sense of loss brought me again to the question, “what is happening to the world?” They elected an unworthy man, a crook, a thief and a liar instead of a proven and reliable incumbent vice-president. They don’t want someone who is fit and experienced when it comes to people they promised to serve. Until now, there is still a question of election fraud, that those electronically transmitted results were padded. Imagine having transmitted more than 50% votes in two hours. They say we have the worst internet connection but the fastest transmission of the election results.

One time, my sis-in-law, niece and I were outside just letting the hot afternoon go by, watching Mae’s cats and their pregnant dog. I told Mae that she accompanies me to the sari-sari store nearby to buy something to munch on. “No need tita”, she said. She brought out a big box full of different biscuits and let me choose what to nibble on.

My other cousin twice brought mangoes from their tree during our novena prayers. Another cousin prepared pansit and soup alternately for our afternoon snacks during the novena. Two more cousins alternately lead the rosary prayers. You see it is the small things that count.

Feeling alone again and reliving the happy days.

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I lost weight worrying about Alden’s health before he died. It’s been 32 days since he left us. Everything is still vivid in my mind.

My cousins visited us during our 9-day novena to join us in prayers. They took some shots when we were at one of my cousins’ place. I can’t post them all here because they eat up my free space.

Our barangay is the highest place in the whole town.
Overlooking the town proper.

A few days after Alden’s funeral.

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For the past several days, I’ve been watching dog stories on YouTube. I am fascinated watching them play, it’s sad though that there so many mistreated, abandoned and left on their own. There were those whose furs have grown and they have become unrecognizable. There are many people too who love our furry friends and they bring them to the vets then adopt them later. Some are just puppies.

From sketches in stillness.

I am reminded of this photo by our eight existing doggies. Oreo, our Shih Poo is as playful as ever, our Shih Tzu Cookie is so “malambing”.

Our four other dogs have learned to adjust with just the two puppies left behind. They stay in the garage or dirty kitchen. They eat twice a day. They are our doorbell when there is someone at the gate. We named our two puppies Sadie and Max.

Max loves belly rub. Everytime he sees me, he would lie down and wait. Sometimes, Sadie would come along and lick my fingers when she sees me petting the former. She is my constant companion in the garden.

Indeed, “how beautiful it is to find someone who asks for nothing but your company”.

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Grief doesn’t end at the loss of the person you love. It grips you like a tight knot, the more you remember those days of old – the laughter and the tears.

At Maxine by the Sea with sis-in-law, niece and my brother Alden. Taken three years ago before we discovered he had cancer.

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Gecko


In the province I learned to sleep very early and wake up at 4 am. It was so quiet except the sound of nocturnal creatures like the Gecko. It appears occasionally at night with that tuk ko, tuk ko sound.

Lots of people regard the Gecko as a guardian of the home. It is said to protect the house and the family who live there.

There is this tradition to keep all the lights on at night from the sala to the kitchen down to the comfort room until the dead’s 40th day. I learned to sleep with the blazing light in the bedroom.

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The day is quiet and the sky is cloudy

I stay here in one corner, thinking, remembering

Everything seems to stand still

Except mom repeatedly saying that she lost her earring

She lost it even before the funeral

And she remembered finding it now

It is lost forever.

How could you find something that tiny?

Amongst all these

A hodge podge of everything.

I lost touch with the world when Alden left us

Suddenly becoming uninterested with the outcome of our election.

(May 24, 2022)

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He suffered for three years when doctors found out there was cyst in his liver. He opted to have alternative cure and it gave him more three years to live.

A few hospital confinements later and several blood transfusions, the result of his colonoscopy was bad. Malignant cysts have reached his other organs and he became so thin in the process. It was a downward journey towards the end.

He was just 61 years old when he left us two weeks ago. He could have accomplished more if he were still alive today. And I could no longer visit our provincial home without remembering him.

We are three siblings left now, my two brothers and I. One is gone forever but I believe he is at peace now with the Lord.

It is hard to lose a friend but even harder to lose a brother.

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It is a long road

With you at the other end

And me a long drive away.

I could barely hear your voice

Telling me in a whisper to come home

Nissa and I did.

We were able to talk to you

And you kept saying,

Pagod na pagod na ako, gusto ko ng mamahinga ate“.

I know, it was very, very hard for you even to just speak

I told you to let God and let go

His will be done.

Nissa and I were on our way back home inside a Victory Liner bus at NLEX when I learned of your passing on.

I have to bring mommy home to see you…for the last time.

It is still hard for me that the only thing I see is your picture

It is still quite hard for me to see that all your architectural drawings are still intact

I had my share of seeing all your collections of Architectural Digest and home magazines.

I cry reading tributes to you from friends and relatives

I can’t stop my tears flowing seeing the best legacy you left behind to the people of our town – the Mabini Town Hall

It’s a legacy that would survive through the years way beyond our lifetimes.

I see you in every corner of this small house you left behind

And I remember, I remember our conversations a long time ago

You made me laugh with your stories sharing the hardships and the joys of living

You made me smile remembering our childhood years – the days in between.

You were too young to die

And I miss you still.

Written on 24 May 2022

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