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Posts Tagged ‘a bit of myself’


That early morning thunderstorm drenched the garden, Yahoo, I won’t have to water the plants today. I hate the heavy rain though, it always makes me feel insecure. Good thing it has stopped.

Good morning world.The sun is showing its face again.

I’ve been reading some of my older posts last night and some are uplifting  lines that I already forgot. To think  all of  those introspections which I’ve done a lot in the past.  Experience taught me so many, many things – how to take care of my health, how to be always positive in life, how to trust,  how to appreciate even the smallest things that give joy and happiness. Yes, I learned to be happy.  Experiencing something life-changing helped a lot too.

How could you not be moved by Nate’s smiles, at his shouts of Nonna every time I get to talk to him over the phone, his many stories about his classmates and about school, the way he appreciate  the food we have on the table by always saying  “yummy” even if even  it is just a simple meal of pork sinigang? 

How could you not appreciate every sunrise that meets you when it is not raining? How could you not smile at Oreo’s bark of welcome every time he hears the car at 5 pm? How could you not hug him back when he bestows sweet kisses to your face when you say goodbye and he is inside the car? They are little things but they bring joy.

How could you not shout when you find a lovely book or discover a new author that you like?  Years ago, I was browsing the books displayed at Booksale and saw a hardbound volume of Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. I thought at first it was some sort of autobiography but the book was full of writing tips and reminders to would-be writers.  I have re-read it twice already and still find his words so helpful. It is one of the best books I’ve ever come across.  And I wholeheartedly agree when he said: “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” 

How could you not appreciate those blogs written by some friends here and knowing how life is in other lands?  How could you not be uplifted by those lovely  quotes they share on their wall? How could you not utter “oh” and ‘ah” when you see wonderful and amazing photos that they share?

When you find magic in music too and listen with rapt attention. Sometimes you can’t help but sing along.

Oh, I hear the birds singing outside.

You see, happiness is just that, enjoying simple things in life.

 

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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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Some call it the big C, I don’t.

The big C for me is Christ. At one time in our lives, we experience such life-changing ailments and fear for our health, we are afraid to die. But let’s face it, when our time comes, no matter how careful we are, no matter how we show the world how brave we are, then it is really time to go.

It takes courage to face something we didn’t even expect. It takes a brave outlook in life to go on.  Today is my 9th year since I underwent sigmoid surgery because of stage 3 colon cancer.  Six cycles of chemotherapy, almost six months in the process. I’ve said before in my other blog posts that every July 13 for me is a celebration of life, a life of second chances.

Yes, life has changed since then. I gained more friends here, I  got a wonderful gift when my grandson Nate was born, I’ve been strong enough to face those everyday challenges that are part of life. Additional nine years of bliss, small miracles that happen every day, wonderful  things that made me laugh and smile and cry sometimes because of joy.

Life is a miracle. Every day that we are alive, there is always sometime worth-celebrating.  There is always something that makes us stronger in our faith, courageous in life’s battles and  having  enough confidence to face life itself.

Courage is not just the strength to go on, it is going on when you don’t have enough of it. The journey is not always a paved highway, but sometimes they are back roads, the roads less traveled.  The destination doesn’t matter much but the journey does. We will encounter obstacles, make mistakes along the way but we will learn through it all.  Sometimes we discover beautiful paths.

For we walk by faith, not by sight. – 2 Corinthians 5:7

 

 

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A former grade school classmate created a group for our batch. Since I only spent two years with them before I graduated from elementary, I  no longer remember some of their faces. The names are familiar though.  What comes to mind  are those early years spent in our small barrio where I spent Grade 1 to Grade IV. Back then, all of my classmates lived in the same place as we did. Most of us are even distant relatives. We had only two teachers until Grade IV. They taught two classes in a day. My teacher in Grade III and IV was mommy’s first cousin.

Uncle Berning as we used to call him was quite strict when we were in class but outside the classroom, he was a caring, loving  and kind uncle.  When we were kids and when Mom spent some days with Dad here in Metro Manila, we stayed with my  maternal grandmother and an unmarried aunt in the big ancestral house they used to have back then. Uncle Berning had lunch with us every day, from Monday to Friday.  He would take a cat nap after lunch before starting afternoon class.  Since the school is a walking distance from the house, us kids (my cousins, older brother and I)  would run ahead when the bell rings. We never walked back to school with him. We were in awe of our elders and specially our teacher.

I remember those days when some classmates would stay standing for a while when they could not answer  questions from our teacher. I remember the days that we would clean the school yard after class or water the plants before we start flag ceremony. There were always designated cleaners for our room. Gardening was a must for us. We planted mustards, snow cabbage and even some eggplants at the back of the school.  We made simple school projects. I remember making a floor mat  out of coconut husk.

When school ends, we would run to the small wooden gate of the school. We  had no school uniforms and we went to school in clogs or slippers. Barrio life was simple then.  My Mom taught us how to cook rice in a clay  palayok, an unglazed ceramic cooking pot. It was my afternoon routine after class, cooking rice  the primitive way using charcoal or dried branches that we usually gather every summer break.

Nowadays, every convenience is in our hands. We wouldn’t need to labor around a wooden stove to cook meals. There is always the rice cooker ever ready, the oven for some complicated dish and the gas stove for our everyday use.

Those years.

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Just can’t help but reminisce a little – from some recess of memory.  More than  four decades ago, I was exactly in this same vein and wrote Drops of Ink in a Blue Sand which I adopted as title to my journal entries from way back. My journal is now a tattered notebook and the prints are no longer clear.

24 October ’77-Monday
2:45pm QC

October is a young girl scattering her days with life’s golden dreams, wishing a thousand wishes and dreaming myriads of dreams.

These twenty years of my life are varied hues of green, pink, blue and yellow. I think of my Octobers, this one particularly, which is rapidly melting into my twenty-first……..

But not without a tinge of nostalgia, for after all, remembering and saying goodbye to everything that has been a part is not without its tears. Twenty is a fragile thing, like a crystal glass wherein  your very soul is reflected there. It is tender, a soothing music of late night’s dreams, yes – twenty is a varied hues of green, pink and yellow.

But hope is a resplendent and effulgent thing.  and so, once more, I gather my dreams and rebuild my sand castles, look back at this lovely season which is slowly and regrettably falling into that never-never world where beautiful and pleasant things are laid to rest.

The hurt and the pain I will try to bury deep in the limbo of forgotten things lest I remember and make myself cry again. I will only recall the good and the beautiful, the nice and the pleasant:

* the evening walks along Espana on rainy evenings of August, Gilda’s and Marilen’s shout of “what are friends for” simply because they didn’t bring any umbrella to cover their heads.  the laughter, despite the knee-deep waters and the all too unpleasant smell of buses and jeepneys, the elbow-jerking and seat-grabbing with other students;

* the little talks with Grace, Emmie and Thea about anything under the sun – from Emerson to Merton or from Simon’s “Bridge Over Trouble Water” to the Carpenters.  the poetry sessions with Rey, Tony and Mike.  the little arguments, Rey saying that he never read Kahlil Gibran and Emmie insisting that Gibran is simply superb.

*and that afternoon I deliberately didn’t punch-in my time card only to see a movie with Grace somewhere along CM Recto.  how we cried at the thought of saying goodbye, at the Little Prince’s farewell to his pilot friend and the fox and the Little Prince’s secret, “it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eyes”. how we followed every word, remembering those much-thumbed thoughts and heavily underlined passages of the equally beautiful book of de Saint-Exupery. we left the movie house with misty eyes but filled with new hopes and pleasant thoughts of tomorrow and the next green, pink, blue and yellow mornings of our lives…..

*the cold feet we had in our Speech class, delivering those not-so memorized lines in front of our frowning professor who made us wonder if we got and pronounced the “th’s and the “f’s” right to her over-sensitive ears. and of course, that happy feeling of knowing that you can act after all;

These are just part of the season of my life that I will never forget. Grace, Ailene, Emmie, Thea, Rey, Mel, Fred, Gilda, Marilen, Boyet, Mike, Oscar, Sue, Nory, and Eddie……those seemingly endless names of my equally wonderful friends. Rest assured, I will treasure every moment of our times together.  Thank you Mel for the evening walks, your patience in waiting for a ride with me although you live just a stone’s throw away from UST. You know Rey, I still keep the poems you gave on that red-colored February.  Emmie, I will surely miss your sisterly advice. Grace, what about our daily exchange of letters? Someday, I will visit you at the convent to recall those green, pink, blue and yellow mornings and the thousand wishes and  the myriad dreams we had and will always have with Him. 

And always, I will keep the gifts I received on my twentieth birthday. Of course, there will be other seasons, other places and other green, pink, blue and yellow mornings but this October will always remain tender even if the other mornings turn to gray and the myriad dreams turn to ashes.

One of my close friends is now a nun  while one of them is  now a  priest. Some of them are still my friends.  We still get in touch through Facebook and get to see each other once in a while.

Sometimes it is nice to recall those days, they make you smile and  cry a little, they make you feel young again. The days of youth maybe gone but the memories remain. days to treasure, days to remember.

 

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It is still dark and cloudy outside. It rained the whole night because of the tropical depression Domeng  and a monsoon trough. They are bringing moderate to heavy rains in the Southern part of the country including Metro Manila.

It’s that perfect weather to get lazy, just read a book or stay in front of your PC.  Or you may listen to your favorite music. Listening to 70’s non-stop classic hits at the moment. Oreo is right beside me asleep. I tried putting the headset near his ears a while ago  and he just looked at me. Maybe if he could speak, either he’ll say thank you or get that away from me.

I was just checking my dashboard (yes, I do check it twice a week) and this is my 2,276th post on Dreams and Escapes. My most popular and  most read post  is still  Another Year To Be Thankful For  although it is not the most liked  and commented on post I’ve ever written.  I wrote it on my birthday back in 2013.  There is really something uplifting for being grateful for God’s blessings.

Viewers came back after I lost some of them when I didn’t blog every day. I used to have an average of 100-120 visitors a day the past days but this week, daily views  reached more than 200. It’s a nice feeling to see such even if only a few of them make comments and click like.  My  views reached a total of 530,445  recently although followers only reached 3,230  including around 90 people from Twitter.  It’s really not that important to have thousands  of followers who don’t even bother to click  “like” to your post but it adds up to the beauty of blogging.  But you are more inspired to write when there is an interaction between you and your readers.  Meeting all those lovely people here is a big, big bonus.

Got this lovely quote from Goodreads.

“Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.” – Muhammad Tabish

And I wish I could write like this, producing a blog  not only for myself but for the enjoyment of my readers.

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Summer is quite different this year. I haven’t experienced this stifling heat before. Humid, no wind, even the  chairs feel hot.

Had to be outside again this morning to buy all the things that the carpenters need tomorrow.  The hardware owner said I could just ride home with her staff when they deliver it. My goodness,  riding on a truck is hot even if the windows are open. I won’t bore you with the details.

I was trying to clean my room of old utility receipts late this afternoon when I saw my old, old journal way back in college. You know those yearnings of a teenager  for someone out of reach. You can write volumes of thoughts , you can write every day about your experiences. you can be a little more dramatic with your words. Teenage life – the days of discovery, the stirrings of first love (or so you thought).  Whoever said that first love never dies must be lying. Mine did when I graduated from college. Absence does not makes the heart grow ponder, sometimes it makes  you forget 🙂

In short, that old, old journal is now in a sack of carpentry debris and old utility bills. I saved some of my writings before during the early years which I copied here at WordPress when  I started blogging.  The rest are just ramblings of a teenager crazy in love….haha!

I am keeping a journal still and I have several journals and blank pages to fill but mostly they are a list of books I have read and still wanting to read, a lot of recipes culled online and through my readings, my monthly budget and total expenses for the year, lovely quotes from books I have read, writings about my life now and gardening of course. Really it is a smorgasbord of  thoughts  and how my life is now. My hard drive is full of Nate’s photos, those that Nissa sent to me via messenger, photos I took  from my  camera phone and my tab. Focusing on the family and enjoying the blissful years of togetherness and hoping that I still could see Nate to be a successful young man  in the future.

“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”  – Anne Landers

 

 

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