That’s the funny thing about writing your life story. You start out trying to remember dates and times and names. You think it’s about facts, your life; that what you’ll look back on and remember are the successes and failures, the timeline of your youth and middle age, but that isn’t it at all.
That’s what I remember when all is said and done. For so much of my life, I thought I didn’t do enough or want enough. I guess I can be forgiven my stupidity. I was young. I want my children to know how proud I am of them, and how proud I am of me. We were everything we needed – you and Daddy and I. I have everything I ever wanted.
That’s what we remember.
When a book makes me cry, I give it five stars. Yes I know, the quotes sound cheesy, it’s a YA book after all. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah in one such lovely read. It’s my 17th book on Goodreads’ 2016 Reading Challenge. When I review a book, I don’t summarize it for other people to read, it’s more like sharing what it made me feel. Was I inspired with the story? Was it interesting enough to recommend to other readers who love stories on life-long friendship and family and how genuine love plays through it all?
You can always read the summary and some book reviews on Goodreads, some maybe disappointed, some find it wonderful. The story line is such that it made me cry. When I started college life, I worked in the university library for almost three years and there I found true friendship with some of my colleagues. We’ve been friends since I was seventeen and the three of them are still my friends until now. We don’t normally get to see each other but we get in touch despite the distance. Thea is now a Franciscan nun, Grace has migrated to another country and Precy is a successful businesswoman. Except for Grace, the three of us experienced life-threatening ailments that made us closer together. Precy once said that we had to undergo the same kind of pain that cancer brings.
Near the end, Firefly Lane delivers such painful reality of losing a mum, a close friend, a daughter and a wife. It pains me to remember the agony of being not 100% fit, and I do remember vividly what it was like going thru chemotherapy . Sometimes though, life let us experience something that makes us stronger, ready to accept the ugly realities and grateful for the blessings in between.
Really, when a book makes me cry, I give it five stars.
Posts Tagged ‘friendship’
Posted in book review, books, friends, friendship, journeys, life, literature and Fiction, thoughts, tagged book review, books, friendship, Goodreads' 2016 Reading Challenge, life, reading, thoughts on February 21, 2016 | 10 Comments »
Posted in friends, friendship, inspirational, journeys, Richard Paul Evans, tagged friends, friendship, inspirational, journeys, life, quotes, Quotes from Richard Paul Evans, true friends on March 28, 2015 | 17 Comments »
They always say that everything happens for a reason.
I believe that too. It’s the same thing with friendship. It goes a long way, a lovely journey of discovery, a truly meaningful sharing with kindred souls. It’s hard to find true friends but when you find them, they are more valuable than gold. I treasure the days that I share with my friends. Some are there to make me laugh and make me realize that it is okay to cry, cleanse our eyes and hearts with all the hurts and pain. Some are there just to listen, no words needed but a ready shoulder and loving arms to make you feel you are truly worthy of being a friend. Some are there to give advice and make you see the truth no matter how painful it is to face. Some are there for a long time, guiding you, lifting you up, rejoicing with you in your triumphs and empathizing with you when you are down. Some are there to make you smile and make the day worthwhile.
What a wonderful thing friendship is. What a wonderful world friendship brings. And it’s true, “what a difference having a friend makes”.
P.S. For those friends I met through this blog, I could not thank you enough. You made a difference in my life.
Posted in Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, friends, friendship, journeys, life, my AFCC family, photography, tagged Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, friends, friendship, journeys, my AFCC family, photography, pica-pica party on March 16, 2015 | 19 Comments »
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
I love quoting these lovely words from one of my favorite writers, Henri Nouwen, for they exactly describe how friendship should be and what it really means to me, when you could be just as you are with them, when they accept you in their lives and in their hearts, warts and all.
Last Saturday was another lovely celebration of friendship. A few close friends came over to just celebrate the day with me and mom. Two of them will be celebrating their birthdays this month and what a fitting way to share laughter, smiles, hugs, serious stuff (you would not believe this but most of our topics touched on our faith and the beauty of being a Catholic) and food of course. Mom was so amazed to learn that they came from places outside Metro Manila and she was full of questions like how I met them, why they are visiting me when we could choose to go out and spend the day in malls, she asked where they work, things that a typical mom wants to know. When they have left, she said “ang babait nila”. Mabait in English has no exact meaning but it encompasses various traits like being kind, gentle, friendly, generous, amiable, considerate, you name it, it is all in there in that single word. We had a good laugh of course while we were taking pictures. They brought their cameras and we took some shots.
We were all so full we just snacked on polvoron (yummy powdered milk candy from Red Ribbon), boiled peanuts and adobo peanuts while sharing and discussing so many topics, touching even politics and world affairs.
It was a lovely day to celebrate friendship.
Some friends are coming over tomorrow, friends I’ve met at my online Apostolate when I was just starting as an admin there. Time flies, it is almost five years now since I met them. They are definitely younger than I am, some call me Mommy, a lot of them call me tita (an adopted auntie) and I consider them my extended family. They help me grow and in the process, I am learning a lot too. There is no dull moment when they are around because we could talk about anything under the sun, we could share some serious stuff about their lives and their families. Sometimes, I wonder how we have bonded this close considering we don’t see each other often, they are just a text away though. Two of them are celebrating their birthdays this month so we decided to hold an informal gathering here at home. They told me not to stress myself preparing the food as they will just bring it over so I will just probably bake marble potatoes and boil a kilo of fresh peanuts which I bought from the market this morning. I already prepared a laing dish, a personal favorite. Laing are dried and shredded taro leaves cooked in coconut cream, diced pork or shrimp and chili. It need not always be spicy, but the chili goes well with the coconut cream and that is applicable for some dishes that use the latter.
We chanced upon this fresh alupihang dagat in the wet market today and my son told me that he hasn’t tasted it for more than a decade so we bought a kilo. I have to make research on what it is called in English, it’s mantis shrimps. The only downside is, it is hard to get the meat because of its pointed shell but I think it taste better than shrimps. It was a yummy lunch paired with sautéed ampalaya with eggs.
Bear with me, I am just excited meeting old friends again. Never mind the gargantuan task of preparing and washing drinking glasses, plates, utensils for us to use tomorrow because I a not a fan of disposable plates and such.
When friends meet, hearts warm. I just love this Scottish proverb. It always holds true.
Posted in blogging, book review, books, guilty pleasures, literature and Fiction, more books, silence speaks, tagged 2015 reading challenge, books, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, friendship, guilty pleasures, Jennifer Worth, literature and Fiction, Milan Kundera, Mitch Albom, reading, silence speaks, Sue Monk Kidd, thoughts and ramblings, Umberto Eco on March 11, 2015 | 6 Comments »
How long has it been since I last posted here? It’s almost a week and I need to catch on the many blog posts that I missed over the last few days. Busy, busy, busy – busy gardening, busy searching for books to read, busy reading at night until my eyes hurt from the glare of my cellphone. Oh well, it is nice to be back. I am just glad to know that even if I’ve been away for a while, I finally reached 320,000 plus (320,180 as of this writing). Not that it matters much but it is important to me that some readers go back to my earlier posts and leave comments. Having more followers of course in the last two weeks are an added bonus.
Last night, some thoughts were playing in my head but I was just too lazy to jot them down. Regrets come always late of course because I could not remember them now. I’ve been to my once-a-month hair trim at David’s this afternoon and as usual I had a nice chat with some of the staff and their other customers there. My hair stylist told me that they will be transferring to Oasis hub by June and I asked her why and she said that the present site will be converted into a mixed-use structure with a mall and residential units. When it comes to the latest news, they are always updated.That pretty started our conversation about developments in the area. Ever Gotesto mall which has been here for almost two decades will finally close its doors on Sunday. I asked them why and they told me that it was sold to a larger entity whose owner is the richest man in the Philippines and included in the Forbes list of billionaires in the whole world. “You mean we will be having another SM mall here in our area?” They nodded in unison and a customer exclaimed “Good luck sa traffic”. I wanted to buy some kitchen towels but when I reached the mall, almost everything is packed and even the grocery shelves are almost empty. I felt sad for those employees who will lose their jobs because they were hired from an agency. Some tenants are just waiting for their contract to end. I asked one of my favorite shops there, a small entity that sells all things Japanese, meaning, their shelves are full of things made in Japan if they are going to transfer too and the cashier said they don’t know. I always visit this place every time I go to Ever because I love looking at their small kitchen gadgets, I love looking at their tea sets and Japanese mugs/cups used in tea-drinking. Come to think of it, we have an SM mall at every nook and cranny of Metro Manila and suburbs, I am just wondering how many more they would build in the future. Do we really need all that much? It will always be a welcome development of course, I am just wondering what will happen to those small enterprises which are still existing in the area.
Yeay for good books. I finally found some books that I’ve long wanted to read. Some of them are e-books which will be part of my 2015 Reading Challenge. Here are some of the titles I’ve added to my TBR list. So excited to read them all. I am six books in advance for this challenge. I hope I make it this time.
- The First Phone Call From Heaven by Mitch Albom. I’ve been on the lookout for Albom’s books since Tuesdays With Morrie.
- The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. Just started reading a few lines. This is my third book of this author after the legendary The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair. I wrote a short review of The Secret Life Of Bees long ago and watched the movie too. If I have time, I will look for the movie adaptation of The Mermaid Chair on YouTube and will watch it too.
- The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. Finally, after a long search
- The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. My book club friends rate this as a five-star. War torn Barcelona, 1945. So curious about the story.
- The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. I’ve long wanted to read this too but I could not find a copy. I wonder why it belongs to the 500 must read books and one of the 1000 books you have to read before you die. It’s a friend’s favorite book.
- The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy and Hard Times (Book 1)by Jennifer Worth. Set in East End slums of post-war London.
- Shadows of the Workhouse (Book 2) by Jennifer Worth
- Farewell To the East End (Book 3) by Jennifer Worth. I read the short summaries of these three books on Goodreads and I can’t wait to start plus the book covers of two kids on the last two say a lot. I love memoirs.
- First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen. I’ve read books of this author before and I love the magical touch of paranormal in her stories.
- The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson. I love every title with the word book in it, that’s why. A first novel so maybe it’s worth it.
I wonder how long it would take me to finish these ten titles. We’ll see. How about you? What books are you reading now?
To feel the soft breeze
to see the gentle unfolding of the morning
to listen to the silence all around
priceless gifts that another day brings.