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Posts Tagged ‘reflections’


It’s been a quiet year for me the whole of 2019.  Come to think of it, I haven’t attended any party with friends except for having dinners and lunches with the family.  Mom is getting on in years so I could not just leave the house for long when she is with us.

Except for that one week vacation in our hometown last July visiting my sick brother and bonding with some relatives, I haven’t gone any place else. It was an eye-opener too  for the family. Nissa was hospitalized twice when she had her thyroidectomy last September and her radiation therapy earlier this month. Thank God, she is feeling okay now although she has to take medications for life. Her oncologist removed her thyroid both left and right.  Thank you too for all your prayers and concern for my brother Alden and for Nissa.

I’ve been calling up friends via Messenger the past few days, getting in touch with those I haven’t seen for quite a while.  It is so nice to be updated with everyone. By the way, you can download the Messenger app on your phone or tab even without signing in to Facebook. How I wish I could talk to some of you too. It is now easier to communicate through this than through Viber. You can easily see who among your friends are online.

Some would probably think what a dull life I am leading. I assure you, I find pleasure in my small garden, so much joy in reading and discovering new books and authors. I am happy playing with Oreo. I find satisfaction in experimenting in the kitchen. Simple life for a simple me.

While I was playing with Nate last Tuesday, he showed me one of his front teeth which is now quite loose.  He will eventually lose it one of these days. Then we talked of the tooth fairy. I told him it is just a myth. He asked me what he would do with it once it comes off. I told him to just give it to his mom.  He doesn’t know where the first tooth  went but he was glad it was replaced by a permanent one.

I am now in my 149th read in Goodreads. I am presently reading a box set of four books. They are all light reads. These are relaxed days before the frenzy of meeting a new year –  new opportunities,  new dreams to uphold. I no longer keep a new year’s resolution since I could not follow it through but I always pray for good health for friends and all members of the family.

I hope 2020 would be a good year for all of us.

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I make it a point to just relax every Sunday after attending the early mass at 6 am.

That means no gardening, no scheduled time with the washing machine, just reheating leftover meals  and yes a lot of reading in between. I am happy starting  Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield the other day.  I am challenged by the Wordscape  game Josef uploaded on my tab a few days ago. And in between reading, I tinker with Block Puzzle Jewel and Match 3 Jewel. I used to dislike playing online games before but as one grows older, you seek venues where you could spend relaxing time too. Since I seldom go out except attending weekly Sunday masses, twice a month trip to the market, grocery shopping almost every week, an occasional trip to visit my internist, another occasional lunch out with the family, you might think life is boring. I assure you, it is never dull. When you are given second chances at life, you always grasp every day and embrace it with hope for another tomorrow. Another chance to shine in your own little corner of the world. Never mind the bad news you always see on television (I don’t watch news anymore). Never mind the annoying happenings which your local politicians are wont to do (mind you, you’ll get stressed out just reading the news). Never mind the traffic even in your neighborhood.

Yes, our street is busy every day of the week. When our car leaves the garage, one has to wait for a few more minutes and let the other cars, e-bikes and motorcycles pass by first. It has become one of those alternative routes going to and from other towns in our province.

Oh what bliss just spending a little of your time waxing poetic about everyday lives, getting in touch with friends  through Messenger, being updated with news on their walls.

Happy Sunday all.

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Once again

I allowed myself to greet the morning sun.

Communing with God’s glory

At six o’clock am today.

The day is blessed with your presence Lord.

And the sun spreads its light

In the deep corners of the earth.

I  rejoice.

I am happy.

 

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“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”- St. Augustine of Hippo

One of the highlights of today’s homily are these words:

“To understand LIFE, you have to visit three locations:
1. The Hospital
2. The Prison
3. The Cemetery

At the Hospital, you will understand that nothing is more beautiful than health. In Prison, you’ll see that freedom is the most precious thing. At the Cemetery, you will realize that life is worth nothing, the ground we walk today will be our roof tomorrow.”

When I went home to take care of my brother three weeks ago, I  set aside an hour visiting our beloved dead at the cemetery with my cousin before going to the hospital. Since I seldom take a vacation during All Saints and All Souls Days, I make it a point to light candles and offer prayers in front of their  graves every time I go home. There is always that nostalgic feeling,  remembrance of old days when my dad, my youngest brother, grandparents, aunties and uncles and some close relatives were still alive. Their graves are near each other.

In the hospital when you’re passing by the halls, you’ll see all kinds of reaction from people looking so sorrowful and staring in one direction, people texting or those who spent the night sleeping  along the corridors waiting. I haven’t tried visiting a prison yet but some years ago, I went with my high school classmates to visit a former schoolmate at the National Center for Mental Health where patients are like prisoners caged in open  (with grills of course) rooms  with several beds adjacent to each other.

It is quite depressing sometimes to be able to see hospital patients and those in the mental hospital.  And yes, health is one commodity that makes us rich in life even without those material trappings. Good health is not something you can buy.

I’d like to end up this post with these words.

“Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend.” 
― Lao Tzu

 

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Been to Medical City twice since I arrived last Saturday from the province. I had my urinalysis last Sunday then had a check-up with my doctor this morning. There is still a slight infection so he gave me five more days to take antibiotics.  Saturday night, I had skin allergy, took antihistamine and it was gone.

You realize the importance of family as days pass by and each of you is living his/her life apart. It used to be when we only get to see each other when my  brother fetches or accompanies mom when she goes home or when she wants to stay with us here in the city. In between, we just have occasional calls and texts to say hello.

The past week is one of the longest times I stayed with my brother and his family. It was a novelty for me listening to his stories about work, their mission in visiting far flung areas to give donations from the municipality where he used to work,  his daily routine at the municipal hall conducting meetings and such. He said it was stressful but a somehow fulfilling job. He and some of his office mates have co-terminus stay with the previous mayor who appointed them so when local election was held last May, they were all dismissed by the present one. Sad really because he got sick when he no longer has a job to speak of.

We spoke of some relatives whose attitude towards their own flesh  and blood leave something to be desired. I guess that is quite inevitable specially when they have experienced living abroad and their lives have improved somehow. In Tagalog, we call it a little “mayabang”. But such is life I said.

We spoke of his plan to make an additional room at the house one of these days. The house is old and there are many things that need fixing too. Even our garden there has become wild with overgrown trees and ornamentals that need trimming.

I believe in the goodness of our Saviour but sometimes I think of the “what ifs” and my mind wanders. This morning, while my brother and sister-in-law were accompanied by a nurse in an ambulance going to the provincial hospital for his CT scan, I  offered rosary prayers for his health. If and when he gets well, I hope he recovers for good.

GOD works miracles. HE  is the GREATEST HEALER of all.

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For those who don’t read my favorite poet  Mary Oliver, this is a borrowed title from one of her lovely works. A Thousand Mornings is a book of poems, a small volume with a silky cover. Just love rereading it.

The last time I wrote about the same title was at the end of August 2018, almost a year now. So what’s it’s all about? It is a month-ender blog. I usually summarize what happened the past month and what I expect the following month. This time though, June was a bit too silent for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love silence and I love the quiet that each day brings. Just sometimes I think I am becoming a recluse. I am still active though on social media, aware of what is happening around, disappointed, dispirited and discouraged by what is happening in our country. I won’t delve on that though, it is too early to whine.

Except for visits to the doctor and labs, family day the other week for Josef’s birthday, the usual twice a month marketing and weekly grocery shopping, everything was quiet.

A year ago, I wrote these lines on my wall at Facebook and I just saw it on memories:

Time flies too soon and June is rapidly coming to a close. It’s been a lovely month spent reading a lot and gardening despite the heat. I hope the month of July would be kind to my weary bones and aching joints.

Got same wishes for this month  of July, maybe more time to read and complete my Goodread’s Reading Challenge. I’ve been cleaning my e-reader lately, deleting those titles that I have already read. I saved those titles that I want to reread.

I am trying to avoid eating sweets but the other day, Jovy made coffee jelly, mango float and mango panna cotta. Just had a few bites. Yesterday, it was a home-made Fudge brownie for our afternoon snack. I am due for blood-sugar testing anytime soon.  I am just too lazy to go back for more lab tests. Maybe when it stops raining, I will. I am feeling good, thank God.

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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Another new month.

More adventures, more happenings

to write on the pristine pages of your journal.

Your soul rejoices

Looking forward to what shall be.

You find joy in everyday things

Never mind shedding a few tears

once in a while.

It’s part of the cleansing process.

And your soul rejoices once more.

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I was having my own reflections while watching the sharers of  The Seven Last Words. A long time ago, during one of the  retreats I attended, our guest speaker asked what was our favorite passage in the Bible and this came to mind.

It sums up everything that Christ did for mankind. He died so we may live.

Last Friday, lots of thoughts played in my head. The times when I had problems with my health, the times when everything was not okay, the sacrifices we have to endure with the family not complete, the things we dreamed of but not fulfilled. Everything seemed to be all complaints  with no sense of gratitude. When you are at that point that everything seems to be topsy turvy, sometimes you can’t even think of the good things coming your way. You seem so focused on the problems and not how to go about it until one day you wake up and say “problems are not really bigger than our lives”. You wake up to the fact that they are part and parcel of our lives.

Gosh I thought, I was just dizzy. The table was shaking and so was my monitor. There was a strong earthquake a few minutes ago while I was writing the first paragraph. I was so afraid, I have just Oreo in the house with me and he is pleasantly asleep in the comfort room. My monitor was shaking. God please protect us from such calamities. 

I lost my train of thought. Nissa just called me up asking how I am and how strong it was here. So many comments on FB. So it was 5.9 here in Luzon and  Metro Manila. 6.3 in Pampanga. Oh my.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will take care  about itself.  Each day has enough  trouble of its  own”. -Matthew 6:34
I love this passage too. Sometimes we worry too much to the point that our health is affected. We must learn to let go at let God.

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Just watched The Seven Last Words from 12 pm until 3 pm on television.

Ang Huling Pitong Wika.

It’s Jesus’ last seven expressions on the cross as recorded in the Scriptures. I watched the SVD presentation this time with seven SVD priests reflecting on the Seven Last Words and also seven sharers  who made me cried some, laughed a little and reflected on their shared reflections.

I was particularly touched by the woman who shared her life, abused as a child and further abused by her stepfather growing up. Her wrists are full of marks brought by suicidal tendencies.  She thought of ending her life several times but eventually found her way back to the Lord. There was this priest from the Discalced Carmelite Order who was bullied as a child and while growing up.  He has club foot and find it hard to walk but he persevered to become a priest. Another one is a cancer survivor who bore a premature child while having treatments.  Her husband and little girl were  there while she was sharing her journey. Another became a chef even without both hands. Then Fr. Orbos, an SVD priest shared about his accident two years ago. He thought he died and it was thru his accident that his doctors found it that he had stage 2 lung cancer. He is a survivor like I am.

I often watch  Fr. Jerry Orbos when he celebrates mass on tv. Our journeys in life  are different from the journeys of other people. We may take different roads but the destination is the same, our paths take us to God. With Him nothing is impossible. Fr. Jerry emphasized just to let go and let God always.

What a meaningful and inspiring program. Every year I get to watch each episode, different stories, lovely sharing.

A blessed Good Friday to all.

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Holy Wednesday ended up with a visit from our neighbor who is a good friend. We had a lovely and enriching sharing. She gave me a jar of pickled papaya.  Yum!

Last night I also watched the Sambuhay TV Mass Holy Recollection 2019  with Fr. Pao Asprer who is also a friend at FB.  Sambuhay is sponsored by the  Society of St. Paul. Learned a lot about faith, temptations and prayers. It was a very meaningful and inspiring Recollection. Fr. Pao is that good, a young priest who was ordained four years ago. I jotted some points which he discussed.

  • Proximity to power is power in itself
  • True prayer is listening.
  • If you know yourself, that’s a sign of true wisdom.
  • In the face of temptation, we’ll know ourselves better.

He touched on some quotes by Thomas Merton and I am glad I am reading one of his books at the moment.  The Seven Storey Mountain is a 467 pages book  with so fine prints.  I don’t read it at night because the prints are so small. Good luck to my eyes. It’s not that kind of reading that you have to finish in one go. There are so many words that you can reflect on.  This book has been on my wish list for quite a while. Maybe Grace (my friend from Canada) saw it on Goodreads so she gave me a copy.

By the way, Grace posted  the photos they took when she and her husband were here for a while last month.  She was the one who gave me a copy of the book. I grabbed this from the album she just posted, the two of us together at the lobby of Richmonde Hotel in Pasig City.

We’re getting old, imagine more than four decades of friendship. and I’ve always said that  “when friends meet, hearts warm”.

 

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