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Posts Tagged ‘family life’


For the past three weeks, Mom has been attending Sunday masses on TV.  She finds it hard to walk when it is raining and the streets are slippery when wet.  Sometimes, she drags her feet when she walks. This morning though, I asked her to go with us to attend the Sunday mass at the nearby parish , a five-minute tricycle ride from our place.  The weather is just right, nary a sunshine in view but it is windy.

Sometimes she complains that she finds it hard to breathe so my brother has to accompany her to her internist for another check-up. She underwent an ECG and was prescribed a blood thinner which she has to take for a month on top of her other medications and maintenance.  I explained to her not to focus too much on what she feels, that is so stressful.  She always tells me that what she does here is “sleep and eat”. I told her to take a rest while she is here with us.  I know, she sometimes forgets that when you are getting old,  the aches and pains  are more pronounced.

She used to avoid having her photo taken but that has changed  in the last few days. I always tell her that I’ll send her pics to my youngest brother whom she hasn’t seen for so long because the family is based in Tulsa.  She is amazed at the number of photos kept in my gallery mostly shots of flowers, food and Nate with the latter having the most of it.

Mom at 87....

Mom at 87….

The wrinkles and gray hair speak of  life’s journey, the number of lessons learned along the way  and wisdom’s highlights too.  Some people always say that when you reach the age of 80, you are so blessed and beyond that, everything is a bonus.  Maybe that is true in a way because life nowadays is so stressful.  My mom is the youngest among four girls so you can just imagine, the eldest is now around 95 or older.

Sometimes I wonder, are we luckier than their generation because we are surrounded by gadgets and things that make life easier? Mom never learned to use a cellphone except to shout over the phone (she is hard of hearing so she has a tendency to make her voice louder) to us and say, “kumusta“? She never learned the use of computer but she knew how to use a typewriter, not the one-finger touch system but all fingers locked into their proper places on top of the keyboard.  Sometimes, I wonder what she is thinking while deftly playing solitaire every afternoon  before  watching the three-o’clock news. She  depends on the news tickers because she could not understand the newscast. Oh but she enjoys a good movie on CinemaOne and always waits for Maalaala Mo Kaya  every Saturday night. She shouts with  Luis Manzano’s audience  on Minute to Win It every afternoon.  Come to think of it, she is more updated with the news than I am.

She  always asks  why some people do not want to bury Marcos at Libingan  followed by a question of why  there  are so many people dying on the streets.  Let me see…it is hard to explain, can you?

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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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He asked, “are ghouls baby ghosts Nonna?” I answered “they’re not.” So he went back to his mommy and ninong and shouted, “ghouls are mother ghosts”. I think they didn’t hear him because they were busy talking.

I asked him how many stars he received in school. He pointed to his wrist and counted….eight, nine, ten. Then he laughed, a typical Nate laugh, what a joy to hear it 🙂

He saw our candy jar in a corner and asked if he could have one so I told him that’s a cherry menthol candy. He looked at me probably thinking about that “menthol” taste then he said, “I’ll give it to Mommy”. Wise kid.

It was another lovely day spent with Nate.

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Do you remember my blog post  a month ago about  our dog Noki and a newly adopted kitten we now call Mimi? I’ve long wanted to take her photo but every time I make an attempt, she moves and try to grab my tab.  Well, here she is finally :)  I caught her napping near our dining area a while ago. She  has grown chubby. Do you   think she needs to diet?  She always meow for food even if she’s done eating and Noki would allow her to take his bowl and eat again.  They are friends now. One of these days, I would take a photo of them together.

Our adopted kitty Mimi!

Our adopted kitty Mimi!

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I’d like to borrow this quote from Anne Geddes which I think is a perfect description of what a father should be.

     Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.
Just saw this in one of my notes at Facebook early this morning. I know I posted this here somewhere but I can’t remember the exact date I published it. I usually blog about him during his birthday and birth anniversary. We lost him one December night back in 2007.  We will be celebrating Father’s Day this coming Sunday.
I am reposting a blog I wrote eight  years ago barely a year after we lost Dad.  I can still remember I was crying while writing this little tribute to him.  Good memories will always linger in one’s heart. Treasuring the times that he showed us how much we were loved.  I wrote this on a Father’s Day too.

Yesterday, on my way back to Manila from Pangasinan, I brought home the Kodak Easy Share digital picture frame which contains more than a hundred pictures of dad when he was still alive. My brother painstakingly collated every picture he has in his own album and uploaded it. It’s only more than six months now since we lost him but when I watched and viewed the pictures once again, it seems as if he is never gone. Some pictures have captured him vividly –  a few months after he retired, his daily routine there in the province with mom, his joys in seeing his grandchildren in every important occasion that we had, his delight in meeting old friends and contemporaries, and always, his ever ready smile for everyone. It made me miss him all the more.

 

I am the only girl in a family of three boys so you could say, I am Daddy’s girl through and through. I’ve always found it easier sharing everything with Dad,be it simple things like the news headlines, how to plant and take care of a vegetable garden,how to fix things at home when the hubby is not around and yes, how to throw a ball in one of our rare baseball games in the province. One thing I could never forget though were his stories on how he struggled as a teenager to find work so he could finance his studies. He worked for thirty-one years in UST and that pretty much influenced all of us (his four children) to study there and embraced a true Thomasian education. He taught all of us the value of hard work and the value of always treating other people with respect.

 

It was through him that I learned the basic skills of cooking and he was the one who taught me how to make an estimate when it comes to preparing dishes for special occasions like birthdays and Christmas. I must say, dads really come in handy when they are in the kitchen. For him, it was  “hands-on” all the way. He will just watch you if you are doing it right or not and who would not learn from that? I think guys do cook better, there are more  guy chefs that I know and heard of. Or maybe, they do love to eat that is why they are more successful in the kitchen.

 

I was envious of his skills in playing the guitar together with my uncle (his brother) who used to play the violin.  One thing vivid in my mind was when we were still young and  televisions were not yet in fashion, nights were spent listening to him playing the guitar accompanied by his best friend in our neighborhood who played the ukelele. He even composed a song or two in our vernacular language. Those were the days, quiet ones seeing the other side of my father.

 

Dad was a disciplinarian but he was never strict with us. He would always say,”you know what is right or wrong, follow what your conscience tells you”. Learn from your mistakes, such familiar words that have shaped my view of things. Yes, I do remember one thing that he always reminds us,”you carve your own destiny”.  That was my dad, the ever practical but ever-loving one.

 

I miss you Dad…..happy, happy Father’s day!

 

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Good day fellow bloggers. Finally I could  (really) sit down and relax, write a short post before gardening again. The sun is still hot that is why I am afraid to go out and align/replant those rain lilies which are blooming at the moment. They are not sensitive plants so there is no problem there. Oh, what a nice surprise, I see a new color, a lovely shade of white. This morning, I planted another head of pineapple which I saved from the one I bought at the market today.

I am proud of my niece who graduated from Nursing a month ago and recently passed the Oklahoma Board of Nursing. Three nights ago, I was chatting with my youngest brother  and he casually mentioned that her daughter will take the nursing board the following day. She did it and the whole family is proud.  We have two nurses in the family now, hooray.

Josef and I will be attending mass tomorrow at Sto. Domingo Church. It’s been a while since I visited the place. Fr. Lovell left me a souvenir from his trip to the Holy Land  two weeks ago. We don’t get to see much of each other since  he is on assignment and the information desk is a handy place to leave and pick  things up. Killing two birds with one stone, that’s what!

I am about done with my second book on Jennifer Worth trilogy. Four books in advance, finally🙂

Just being grateful for simple blessings. I hope you’re having a lovely and blessed weekend.

 

 

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Yesterday, Mom got busy fixing her things, arranging and rearranging her clothes, her medicines, some groceries that she has to bring home and as usual reading those medicine prescriptions (she does it almost every day) that she has accumulated while arranging them with the newest one on top.

She came to my room with a copy of a passport size print and said “keep this in your wallet so you won’t forget my face when I die”.

I wonder where that came from, I mean her statement on dying. So in jest I answered, “Mas mauna pa ako sa inyo” meaning  I’ll die earlier than she will.  We both laughed. True, while she visits her doctor regularly complaining about the normal wear and tear of growing old, she looks hale and hearty at 87.  I’ve visited the hospital and been confined for a number of illnesses  more than I can count. I had a phobia of going back there, just the smell of antiseptics reminds me of those days when I was struggling with my health.

She is going home tomorrow and she said that there are lots of things to do there.  I will surely miss her and her appreciation of anything that I put on the table. She said, “parating special ang ulam natin”.  Those are ordinary fare I serve every day but in her eyes, they taste even better.

Life with mom, there is never a dull moment when she is around.

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