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Archive for the ‘Happiness’ Category


Back in October  2012, I wrote about A Thousand Mornings, a title I borrowed from one of the books  of my favorite author and poet Mary Oliver. I still read it now  and then and my soul is uplifted every time I do.

Christmas.

Early this morning, I chanced upon  a radio station playing songs in between the recent news in our country. Then all of a sudden,  he inserted  a Christmas song in between. What? Christmas in August? Oh but he said it’s barely two weeks before we start the BER months. Believe me, here in the Philippines  Christmas celebrations start as early as October and end as late as February the following year.  I ended up listening to some Christmas songs on YouTube. What a joy to reminisce and remember those past days of celebrating Christmas.

Books.

I love visiting Booksale. They have so many branches in different malls here in Metro Manila.  Aren’t you thrilled going out of a book store armed with several titles of books you’ve found in your foray? They are not necessarily books by authors you love and follow but you find the texture of the pages and the  designs on the book covers so beautiful.  They speak to you of those lovely days you spent in your youth discovering new books at the library. Of course when you really want books, one could always visit National Bookstore but the books are quite expensive.

Flowers.

There was a time that I used to take shots of every bloom in my garden. I don’t have my camera now, it got broken and the other ones were destroyed during typhoon Ondoy back in 2009.  I use my tab and my phone cam once in a while but I don’t take photos as much  as several years ago. I intend to buy  a camera one of these days. Although cameras on cellphones are more convenient, I could not take those high-resolution photos that I love. I guess I have more than a thousand flowers shots saved on Photobucket.

My Garden.

And all because I love  the rich soil beneath my hands and watch things grow. Every year, I would plant bonito  ampalaya, a pot or two of chili peppers and turmeric.  Occasionally,  jute leaves sprout for a time, to grow again during the rainy season.  We have two kalamansi trees and two jackfruit trees in the garden aside from the ornamental plants that I cultivate.  Our Arius is like a  Christmas tree just waiting to be decorated with lights and tinsel.

Blogging.

But of course. I meet so many friends here. In Facebook,  my feed is full of hodgepodge of unpalatable news.  At times,  I just ignore them and make some shout outs to my friends. I don’t go public on Facebook.  I meet lovely friends here at WordPress, read beautiful blog posts and  see wonderful photos of other places that I haven’t been to.  The day won’t be complete without visiting WordPress.  I have 2,046 posts including this one for this main blog alone.

Family.

Family always comes first of course.  Now that we have Nate with us, it is always a riot when he is around. Smiles are not far behind.  I remember those days when my two kids were growing up and were left in the care of two yayas. It was always a problem for mom and dad to look for yayas for us in the province.  Nowadays, it is even harder to find household help that you can trust.

I remember those days when  I used to go up the stage every recognition day  and so proud of my kids receiving those medals. It was a thrill when my daughter graduated Magna Cum Laude  and we were given choice seats at the  venue.  Tears of joy for the standing ovation from her professors and classmates when she received that medal upon graduation.  We were so proud of her.

Clouds.

Did I say I like taking photos of clouds and watching them move when the sky is dark? I love though when the sun is hot and the day is just perfect for cloud-watching. They look so mysterious out there. These are photos  from  some years back.

I could go on of course with a thousand more mornings but I think this has gone long enough.

“All night my heart makes its way
however it can over the rough ground
of uncertainties, but only until night
meets and then is overwhelmed by
morning, the light deepening, the
wind easing and just waiting, as I
too wait (and when have I ever been
disappointed?) for redbird to sing”
– Mary Oliver, A Thousand Mornings

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Yesterday was another lovely day spent with the kids.  I am  always happy when they come and spend the day with us.  Nate has grown taller than a month ago. Sometimes he talks rapidly and you have to catch up and understand.  The excitement to share is there of course.  He always points to his toys when they are around. He has  a bag full of blocks and assorted toys here and  he always plays with them when he is around.

We enjoyed some moments reading his favorite books although he doesn’t know how to read yet but he has learned to memorize and recognize  his alphabet and numbers.

I took some shots on my tab while he was busy with his books.

Books and more books…..

 

Shall we start with this Nonna?

I hope when he grows up, he would appreciate more books. We had a great time  picking kalamansi together for them to bring home.  He was so excited seeing the big ones high up.  We told him to take a bath afterwards and he asked, “Are we going home after my bath? I don’t want to go home. I like to stay with Nonna.” We all laughed. He always equates taking his afternoon bath in going home soon.  He even asked his mom how may more sleeps till he goes to school again.

Family togetherness, it makes the day complete.

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It started with their liking our Catholic page on Facebook back in 2010.  The following year, we had our first gathering, our first time to see each other personally. It was a lovely affair exchanging thoughts and ideas, participating  in group games and eating lunch together.  There were other events that we attended together and most of the time, they come to the house to visit me.

The smiles would always be there, the “kuwentuhans” would always  be hilarious affairs. The laughter is a given thing when we are together.

 

Their favorite activity is picking kalamansi (Philippine lime) from the two trees we have at the garden. Yesterday, they got more than a kilo of kalamansi. Reymon made a glass of freshly squeezed kalamansi juice.

 

Next week would be Apol’s 48th birthday so we celebrated it early by having that small Chocolate Rainbow cake and Mango Dark Chocolate ice cream from Red Ribbon.  She’s the one in the orange  t-shirt.

Though it was only the four of us, we had a blast. Apol is presently undergoing treatment for lupus. I admire the way she handles everything, still jolly and happy despite it all. Lupus is a chronic, complex and prevalent autoimmune  disease that attacks healthy tissues of the body. It is a progressive  disease.

What makes friendship? How does it bloom? It’s that being yourself with people who have similar ideals and beliefs  like you. It’s having those moments of laughter and tears and yet you don’t judge each other.  It’s celebrating those little triumphs and successes in life, being there for each other in times of trials.  As they say, it’s looking together in the same direction.

Reymon calls me Mommy, Lilet is easy with calling me tita  while Apol who is twelve years younger than I am calls me ate. Being together, enjoying those precious moments, celebrating the beauty of friendship. What more could I ask for?

 

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My daughter Nissa brought my four-year old grandson to her office the other day. He was there the whole day and enjoyed the office atmosphere with Nissa’s office mates.  Yesterday, Nissa came home after work and they had this somewhat innocent conversation:

First thing Nate said when I got home:
You forgot to bring me, Mom!
Me: Where?
Nate: To the office!
haha, nawili ang bata.

I laughed while I read this short post.  Nate is a very friendly kid. He always has that ready “Hi” for everyone.

Nate at Nissa’s office. The only time he was quite behaved was when he watched his favorite cartoon movies.

The joy of being a child. Every day is happiness.

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Had good chats with two of my close friends last night. One of my friends who is a third order Carmelite attends mass daily at Sto. Domingo Church.  He was in doubt but he asked me if Fr. Lovell was the one who officiated the mass. He said the latter’s homily was a breath of fresh air.  So I asked Fr. Lovell later, he said yes. He  even mentioned my plight as a cancer survivor, how  having a grave ailment would someday be an inspiration to others to get well.  We talked about life and survival, we talked about our families and moving on. We talked about how life seems so hard sometimes.

I do agree, there are times when you feel so alone in your struggles.  There are times when you feel like giving up but it is not an option.  There are always instances when  you feel so down. Life is all about our struggles and little victories we gain from being brave and strong.  It’s hard sometimes to show strength when you really feel so weak. It is easier to show how you’ve become saddened and disappointed with what is happening around. Problems are part and  parcel of this thing we call life.  It may get a little  complicated at times  but trying times are not always here to stay. Our attitude towards vicissitudes in life spells the big difference between living and existing. It’s survival of the fittest as people often say. I do believe though that one’s weakness becomes one’s strength  in the long run. We learn, oh how we learn to survive. Staying positive may be hard to do but it is one moving force for us to survive and accept a particular situation not to our liking. I remember one writer (the name escapes me now) who said, “When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back”.

 

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She was born premature,  eight months before I was induced by my OB Gynecologist because of pre-eclampsia.  We were worried she would not make it because she didn’t grow to be  a normal baby while she was  in my womb and was born at only 3.9 lbs. She could not even take an ounce of milk during the first few months. She was left in the hospital for about a month before we were able to take her home at 4.1 lbs. So small and tiny.

She is also a mother now. Nate is already four years old. When I look back,  I think of those early days of her life but how lucky and blessed we were that she grew up okay and well.

Last March 7, the whole family attended the garden wedding of my niece. They went  on leave from work so we could attend. We took pictures of course, a lot of Nate and some of us all together.  Here’s our latest picture together. I call it Mother-Daughter Team.

Nissa and me at he wedding…

Weddings are lovely, a promise of love to keep and to hold.

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Whatever else be lost among the years, let us keep Christmas still a shining thing; Whatever doubts assail us, or what fears, let us hold close one day, remembering It’s poignant meaning for the hearts of men. Let us get back our childlike faith again.-grace noll crowell

Remembering this lovely message about Christmas. It’s that time of year again when we get so busy with preparations. There is a much-awaited guest, a little child born in Bethlehem.

The celebration of  Christmas may not be that always  happy for everyone. There are people who spend their  Christmas on the street on a cold winter night. There are people who make use of  cardboard boxes  in some corner for their beds. There are people who never know the twinkle of the tinsel on the  Christmas tree or the bright lights that adorn it. Christmas is just another day  or night of begging on the streets. Not all of us are lucky to  open gifts, prepare a lot of food on the table, exchange warm hugs  or listen to Christmas carols.  The joy that Christmas brings is non-existent in their lives.

What is happiness? People say happiness depends on our outlook in life, the way we experience things and the way we react to them. It is not so much  of the material things in our life but more on peace of mind, contentment, purity of heart, a positive attitude towards life,  a sense of well-being,  or a roof over one’s head and food on the table.

Happiness could be found in the simplest of things in our lives. A smile makes us happy,  more so when it comes from  strangers we meet on the streets. A  simple hello would put a smile on one’s face and is usually answered with another hello.

No matter what the circumstances, remember always to be happy. Celebrating Christmas is one reason to put a smile on your face.

 

 

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