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Archive for the ‘inspiring stories’ Category


Too lovely not to share….

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Last Tuesday, my son-in-law Obet brought Nate to the hospital after his class. Nissa was napping when they came and when he saw his mom, he asked his dad if he could kiss her. He said he’ll be careful not to touch her bandaged throat.

As soon as Nissa woke up, Nate gave her a folded note which he placed inside the plastic box of Nissa’s rosary. How sweet of him, this was what he wrote.

He was so attentive of Nissa, giving her water to drink and he even talked to the nurses and doctors when they did their rounds. One of the nurses asked him if he wants to be a doctor too and he answered “yes”. We just smiled  and when Nissa’s doctor asked where he was studying, he readily answered, “ICAM”. The doctor smiled and said that it is probably one of those international schools and Nate said, “it’s Immaculate Conception Academy”. The former even commented that he is quite tall for his age at six.

When they left later, Nissa showed me some of his earlier notes which he rolled in a small empty canister of M & M. So sweet of Nate writing these notes at his age.

When they left, he told the nurse that he’ll be back. Of course that was the only time Obet brought him to the hospital. As Nissa is still on sick leave for another week, they have a lot of time to bond.

I remember Nissa and Josef when they were at similar age. Everytime we went home, there would always be love letters written in sometimes torn page of a notebook  pasted at the door. What mattered was the love freely given and the thoughtful gestures behind it.

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We were blessed and lucky, we were not much affected by the floods that hit some parts of Metro Manila and the surrounding provinces.   But my brother and his family together with  my cousin  were trapped in some  parts of Luzon while going home to our town after they brought Mom here again  yesterday because she was not feeling so well.  A normal five-hour trip turned to twenty-four hours agony on the road. Good thing they brought a van instead of the  small car my brother owns.  They spent last night in a motel. My gosh, you can’t see the road, they were under water.  Typhoon Josie definitely  brought so much amount of rainfall.

It’s my third day of having a daily antibiotics injection.  I don’t know why the medicine was not covered by my health insurance. The Medical  City satellite clinic has a different rule from other  outpatient facilities covered by Intellicare.  Bought the medicine with closed eyes, it is that expensive.

I met this very friendly nurse yesterday. She was the one who administered my injection.  In the course of our conversation, she mentioned that one of her relatives died of cancer six months ago and when she learned that I am a survivor, she kept saying “ang galing niyo ma’am, you endured all that. We talked of so many things while she was preparing and mixing the solution.  I told her I blog and she does too but in a different platform. This morning she was again on duty. Exchanging ideas, talking of our pets, talking about books we read. I say we are kindred spirits.  Carla was so accommodating, we even exchanged our blog sites addresses. When we parted, she said, “can I hug you ma’am?” I was touched. We hugged each other. We were both teary-eyed.

When you meet people who are kind enough to know what you are going through, you are simply touched by the gestures. Even those small words of saying “sorry po”  while she was injecting a one gram ampoule made the difference.  I admire those health workers who reach out to make a patient feel welcome.  Being shown compassion is one sure way  of gaining that much-needed confidence to face your ailment.

Doing your little bit of good to others, showing kindness, these make for a wonderful attitude towards your fellow human beings.

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I was thrilled to see my three pots of turmeric sprouting new leaves. The leaves are oblong compared to the narrow green  leaves of ginger.  I read somewhere that turmeric produces lovely flowers too. I can’t wait to see them bloom. Seeing earthworms in the garden reminds me of those days with mom.

During the last days of summer and the onset of the rainy season, I would sometimes go with mom to go fishing in the river. Yes, we use the old-fashioned hook, line and fishing rod made of thin bamboo pole  and  earthworm as baits. Back then, when the ground is soft because of the rain, it is easier to dig large and fat earthworms near our vegetable plot. We would place them on a fine plastic net or a tin can with holes and a small amount of soil on top of the can so they could breathe and would not die.  We would bring boiled banana, sweet potato or rice cakes for snacks and a bottle of water.

Ah, we would normally catch biya, those small fresh-water fish and grill them  in charcoal.  Sauce from fresh green tamarind is the best partner for this and  freshly cooked rice of course.   There were times when crabs would cling to the line. Fishing with mom was such a wonderful memory that I would always cherish.  Those were the days, I think I was in grade school back then.

I remember those head gears which the old folks used to protect themselves from the rain. Believe me, they were even better than your sturdy umbrella. The takoko which is made of  dried palm leaves and woven into a wide umbrella-like  thing was so popular then.  It is not complete without the kalapiaw,  a native raincoat made of the same material, with a cord tied at the neck.  I tried them before but they were always too large for my small frame but believe me, they  were the best things to wear when the rain was hard. They were  so cozy and warm.

I catch myself smiling while  editing this post. Maybe that’s what lovely memories do to you, they become more keenly felt and remembered as you grow older.

I had a similar experience fishing with dad in another blog post which you can find here.

 

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“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but Really loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get all loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

I always love reading and re-reading The Velveteen Rabbit, a poignant and deeply touching  story about friendship and love. The book is an endearing and simple story on what love and loving is all about.

What is real in your life?

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It’s been a while. A week of not writing my thoughts seems like a month of empty imaginings. I got so used to blogging everyday that a few day’s lapse loosely translate to not knowing what to share here.

Gosh, yesterday was a scorcher. Metro Manila is really, really hot. Imagine registering a 35.4°C, the hottest in Metro Manila so far this summer. I went out though and spent my morning at MetroEast Mall. I need to have some documents photocopied and our printer is out of ink , a perfect excuse to go out and visit Booksale despite the heat. I decided to have some pictures of our baby Nate printed. I have hundreds of photos since he was born and he does not even have a framed photograph. At least Picture City still charges a reasonable fee for photo enlargement, although cropping the picture is not much to my liking. One of their staff explained that it is kind of different when you’re using a  printed copy, you can’t edit it in their computer the way you want so you have to be content with raw shots directly from the flash memory card.

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It has now a pride of place atop one of our side tables in the living area. I have to source an 8 x 10″ inch frame for his picture. I smiled like crazy when some of the salesladies at Robinson’s exclaimed, “what a good-looking baby”. And I answered, “he is my grandson”. Fancy a proud Nonna in their midst. His other pictures are also my wallpaper displays on my two cellphones.

A bookworm can’t miss out on checking new titles at Booksale. Every time I get the chance to visit, I enjoy looking at the titles and find  one within my budget. Although they sell second-hand books, they’re still a  bit pricey. If you’re lucky though, you can find nice titles below P50.00. I have a growing stash of summer reads, light novels from some favorite authors that I collect. Of course, between these are my inspirational books that give me a lift when I am hungry for lovely words  – they inspire, they make you love life all the more, they make you long to write too. Didn’t we, at some moments in our busy life,  dream of writing our own stories?

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The Hot Zone was a nice find. It’s a true story about terrifying virus found in monkeys. Just looking at the picture on the book cover reminds me of another book I’ve read so long ago written by Robin Cook. Outbreak  was made into a movie and it’s about Ebola virus. Of course, Maeve Binchy is the Maeve Binchy and her books are nice family sagas of redemption, love, struggles and relationships.  I am collecting books by Anita Shreve and finding another one although it’s just a paperback copy made me smile.  Yeay to An Amish Christmas,  a handy hardbound copy that I also found yesterday at P95.00. It contains four Christmas stories. Fancy reading a book about Christmas when it is only the start of summer. I love Christmas stories that really tickle the heart.

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I was looking for a nice essence for this lovely tea light candle holder but found them too strong for my liking. I love a clean scent, not too overpowering but would give that sense of peace and tranquility in a room. Can you suggest some?

And to cap it all, a close friend sent me a picture of a portable hard drive which she bought for me and she said, it’s for all the pictures of Nate I’ll be taking in the future and as back-up for my blogs. You see, she is an honorary grandma of Nate. How lucky can one get?

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I am truly blessed and it was a perfect ordinary day 🙂

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.…and if our lives are but a single flash in the dark  hollow of eternity, then, if, but for the briefest of moments, we shine – then how brilliantly our light has burned.

and as the starlight knows no boundary of space or time, so, too, our illumination will shine forth throughout all eternity,  for darkness has no power to quell such light. and this is a lesson we must all learn and take to heart – that all light is eternal and all love is light. and it must forever be so.

I just finished reading The Christmas Box Collection  by Richard Paul Evans, three novels in one book. A re-read actually but it never fails to fascinate me.  Evans is simply one of the best authors that I love.

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I just feel a bit weird just thinking, where has September gone? I used to say goodbye for each month that passes and greet the new month with so much hope and wonder. But when September comes to a close, I am excited that October would show its face again, for the simple reason that it’s my birth month. I am not exactly looking forward to another year of getting older,  it’s more like I am excited about our coming baby. I only have one wish this time, I am praying that baby Nate would have the same birthday as I have.  What a lovely celebration it would be if that happens.

September

I’ll always remember this month as the start of the Christmas season here in the Philippines. Through the years when September comes, you’ll always hear Christmas songs on the radio being played the whole month of September. And I was surprised when I saw Christmas trees on display at National Bookstore this early. And they are not in the traditional color  of green, they come in shocking shades of purple, silver and gold. I was wondering, what color of decor would you combine with a deep shade of violet? Would it match the beauty of the Christmas colors of red, green and gold? I think I’ll forego putting up the Christmas tree this time. I want to have a nativity crèche instead. I am inspired about the story of how the Christmas crèche came to be.

      The history of the Christmas crèche in art and literature is a story in of itself, but the real turning point was St. Francis of Assisi’s inspiration. For the Saint, Christmas had always been the Feast of Feasts, yet he did not think it had been celebrated as it could have been, The poverty of Christ had become lost in the extravagance of the Christmas festivities An idea occurred to him and while on a visit to Rome, he received permission from the Pontiff to put his idea to work.

       The story of how St. Francis of Assisi “invented” the crib is so delightful and inspiring that it might be told or read to the children every year. We give here the account in the very words of Brother Thomas de Celano, who was there when it happened and who wrote it down:

             Blessed Francis called a friend about two weeks before Christmas and said to him: ‘If you desire that we should celebrate this year’s Christmas together at Greccio, go quickly and prepare what I tell you; for I want to enact the memory of the Infant Who was born at Bethlehem, and how He was deprived of all the comforts babies enjoy; how He was bedded in a manger on hay, between an ass and an ox. For once I want to see all this with my own eyes.’ When the good and faithful man had heard this, he departed quickly and prepared in the above-mentioned place everything that the Saint had told him.

            The joyful day approached. The Franciscans were called from many communities. The men and women of the neighborhood, as best they could, prepared candles and torches to brighten the night. Finally the Saint of God arrived, found everything prepared, saw it and rejoiced. The crib was made ready, hay was brought, the ox and ass were led to the spot and Greccio became a new Bethlehem. The night was radiant with joy. The crowds drew near and rejoiced in the novelty of the celebration. Their voices resounded from the woods, and the rocky cliff echoed the jubilant outburst. As they sang in the praise of God, the whole night rang with exultation. The Saint of God stood before the crib, overcome with devotion and wondrous joy. A solemn Mass was sung at the crib.

              The Saint dressed in deacon’s vestments, for a deacon he was [out of humility, St. Francis never became a priest, remaining a deacon all his life]. He sang the Gospel. Then he preached a delightful sermon to the people who stood around him, speaking about the nativity of the poor King and the humble town of Bethlehem. (source: catholictradition.org)

I would love to share this story with baby Nate when he is old enough to understand why we celebrate Christmas. And how lovely and significant it is that we remember the Christ Child who is the reason for celebrating the season. Let it not be cloaked in grandeur but let it be as simple as the child in the manger.

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I now have almost a hundred quotes from one of my favorite authors, Richard Paul Evans. I am sharing more….

 

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What started as a gloomy and depressing morning  was a  delightful day after all. Talk about surprise finds and nice endings. Don’t get me wrong and don’t be mislead by the title. I am just talking about books here, yes books I found this afternoon in one of my rare trips at Booksale. It’s that moment you find something unexpected and you squeal with delight, a scandalous  shout of YES  and people looked at you with indulgent smiles on their faces. One of them said, when I told her that I’ve waited too long to find a copy of this one, “It’s your lucky day.”

A year ago, my daughter borrowed a copy of On Writing (A Memoir of the Craft) by Stephen King and I made a short review in one of my blogs here. Guess what, I found a hardbound copy of the book this afternoon, a  steal at P130.00, it’s brand new complete with a dust jacket. It’s a must-read for those dreaming of writing one day, a lovely companion for those who love the written word.

 

I actually bought four more books, a little over the budget but I simply can’t resist Luanne Rice , Rosamunde Pilcher and Anita Shreve.  I love Anita Shreve in Resistance and The Pilot’s Wife, I hope  All He Ever Wanted won’t disappoint. Here’s a nice quote from the cover of Luanne Rice’s Safe Harbor:  No matter where life takes you, you’ll always come home.” Nice, isn’t it?  And I am lucky to have found Rosamunde Pilcher’s The Rosamunde Pilcher Collection, an omnibus copy of her three novels, one of which I’ve already read but I think is still worth-rereading.  And this is a nice surprise, More Glimpses of Heaven (Inspiring True Stories of Hope and Peace at the End of Life’s Journey). I think this book would help in my reflections for my apostolate work at AFCC.

I was invited by the  Dominican Community (Order of Preachers) as one of the guest speakers in their upcoming Social Media Summit this October. I am keeping my fingers crossed, I hope I would not disappoint them.

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