Moving…

I decided to look for another place about 3 weeks ago because I couldn’t stand seeing the pots and basins on the middle of my living floor trying to catch the water leaking from my ceiling. There’s no rain… these are just water from the 2nd floor neighbor. Whenever he switches on his air conditioner, our living room floor gets flooded. It’s even worst, if it rains or there’s a storm, our bathroom floor gets flooded too from the roof gutters of our neighbor adjacent to the house. I got so fed up calling my landlady who also kept trying to ask their handyman to locate the source of the leak, to no avail. They said they will put a roof on the 2nd floor rooftop to finally stop the water from seepinng through our ceilings. But she said she will have it done by January of 2019! I told her I can’t wait that long… we’ll all end up with pneumonia by that time, even Maxie is already experiencing constant coughing, and that makes me nervous because dogs can’t tell us how they’re feeling.

So here I am, just recently found another apartment who’s owner agreed to have Maxie with us. The new place is nicer and newer than the old one. It’s a 4-unit apartment building and I chose the last unit because of the beautiful old mango tree which shades the apartment from the intense sunlight coming through during the afternoons. Hence, it’s cooler which means I can still postpone buying an air conditioner because I know its inevitable to buy even a small one in anticipation of the very hot summer here in the country.

Another chapter in my life here in the metropolis… I’ve moved so many times, I can’t recall how many. I couldn’t or wouldn’t want to go home to my hometown considering that our family residence (the house where we all grew up) there is a whole lot bigger than all the apartments I’ve lived in, in Metro Manila, because every 5 or more years, a huge flood almost always happens. The flood reaches to as high as 5 feet inside our living room and I don’t want to have that neither, with all my laptops, printers, gadgets and paraphernalia, that I need for my everyday living! My hometown, is a coastal place, very near the sea, yet it gets flooded now and then now NOT because of seawater but because of waters coming from up above the mountains 65-80 kilometers away which is practically 3 cities away… Our mountains are bare already, no more trees to hold back the rains… “Forests and trees make an essential contribution to food security by helping to maintain the environmental conditions needed for agricultural production. They stabilize the soil, prevent erosion, enhance the land’s capacity to store water, and moderate air and soil temperatures.” – FAO. We’ve known this since we were kids in Elementary School, and in High School, and even in the University.

“Extreme weather made worse by unchecked mining and logging projects in the watersheds of Northern Mindanao have rendered thousands homeless in the aftermath of Typhoon Sendong.” Louise Dumas. Photo courtesy Davao.com

But we never learn. As a result, we suffer. So many literature online and in books about the effects of soil erosion, forest destruction, ad infinitum and yet here we are again and again… the floods keep coming… Our governments file bills and make laws about Climate Change and re-forestation but Government bureacrats and officials from the same Government agencies are opening their hands (for bribes) so companies most of them multinationals can continue pillaging our lands and steal our natural resources (Nickel, copper, flora and fauna, etc.)

2013 1 20 img_5314 overlooking markoe cove, puerto galera philippines

Everywhere you go in the mountains, or near beaches, there are still a little bit left of the Philippines utterly compelling natural beauty. Taken in January 20, 2013, overlooking Markoe Cove, Puerto Gallera, Mindoro Philippines. Credit: Author

“The Philippines is considered a mega-diversity country rivaled only by a few countries in the world when it comes to variety of ecosystems, species and genetic resources. Many of the island comprising the archipelago are believed to have a very high degree of land and animal endemism. The country hosts more than 52,177 described species of which more than half is found nowhere else in the world (Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Priorities: A second iteration of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, 2002). On a per unit area basis, the Philippines probably harbors more diversity of life than any other country on the planet.”  http://bmb.gov.ph/388-protection-and-conservation-of-wildlife/facts-and-figures/786-status-of-the-philippine-biodiversity It’s mind boggling, how one can willfully or with utter greed can destroy such beauty in our lands. God help us all!

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The Day I Lost My “Daughter” to Another Man

Aisha Hope on her wedding day May 26, 2017 – 2 days after her 33rd birthday.

“To lose a child is to lose a piece of yourself.” – Dr. Burton Grebin… Truer words were never spoken. I lost my daughter to another man… she fell in love! I know I should be happy for her, I truly am but then when I saw her walk the aisle to marry her would-be husband, I felt such grief that I cried the entire wedding ceremony and I thank God I was at the back of the chapel and only my sisters Ruby, Pearl and sister-in-law Erlinda were beside me to see me break down. It was the third most gut-wrenching experience I have had in my entire life. The first was when my father passed away. Second when I lost my mother and this… She isn’t my biological daughter because she’s my older sister Hope’s daughter, whom I took care of when she was just an infant until she was 6 years old then I had to leave for another country to work so I left her with her siblings under the care of my sister Pearl.

Aisha Hope at 6 months old and I was 33 years old here.

Aisha wrote letters while I was away, they were funny and honest and I used to yearn for her child-like handwritten letters so I kept them til this day and read and re-read them sometimes bringing tears to my eyes and sometimes I laugh because of its innocence. When I came back she was already 12 years old and on her 5th grade and I thank GOD the closeness was still there despite the years of separation. I continued taking care of her education until she was on her third year of high school then she had to go to my sister Pearl on her senior year. Then the teen years came and that feeling of disconnect is beginning to surface… I guess this is inevitable? I don’t think so… maybe its because she was staying at my sister Pearl’s place on her senior year… then she again moved to my other sister Ruth’s place because she was on her first year of college at a nearby university so to save money on transportation she moved to Ruth’s place. Then when she was about to finish the first semester of her first year in college, she

Aisha took her aunts to an Elton John Concert as a christmas gift in 2012. L-R My sister Charity, myself, sisters Ruth and Pearl and Aisha.

began modeling for clothes, perfumes, even Coppertone sunscreens. I was so touched when she suddenly showed up one time in my office to give me a pair of earrings saying… “I wanted to give you something from my first pay”… and of course I cried again. I could still remember that day like it was yesterday. Then she worked at the place where my sister Ruth worked and that’s where she met Paul her future husband.

Aisha Hope with her husband Paul on their wedding day. Click on image to enlarge

I suddenly thought of her that’s why I wrote this piece about Aisha Hope… because I miss her even if she’s just a phone call away, or just a text message away… she’s now staying with her husband, trying her best to build a home and with a baby on the way! Thank GOD! I pray you and Paul will have a wonderful family and life together “Bok” (my nickname for Aisha) and I pray to GOD to grant you all that you wished for in life… just know that I will always be your Tita (Aunt), waiting in the wings ready for you if ever you need anything – advice, moral support, material support, etc. I love you so dear…

“Having a little girl has been like following an old treasure map with the important paths torn away.” – Heather Gudenkauf, author The Weight of Silence.

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The Daily Grind of an Online Newspaper

Myself with Maxie – my constant daily companion…

We hear this phrase everyday long before the Internet was born and it still resonates today, in this age of the Internet… working for a newspaper is a daily grind. I’ve worked for an actual physical newspaper for seven years on the administrative side of it and it still was a daily grind, even more so for the production department and yes, you read it right… a real physical production department (this was where the actual printing of the news takes place using rolls of newsprint paper and barrels of ink!). I make sure the number of copies to be circulated for the day gets printed then distributed to the local distribution channels (Newsagents, Newsstands, convenience stores, etc.) at approximately 1:00 a.m and this is 24/7.  Making sure too… that when the reading public wakes up in the morning, the newspaper is already on their doorsteps by the time they sit down for breakfast. It’s not just in the newspaper industry, working is really the “grind” here, or has become synonymous with the word. How did Newton define work? Work = force and displacement… w=fd. Hence, moving a single matchstick is considered work because it already is displaced by the act of pushing it a bit and there are times I wished it  were just match sticks involved here.

Now here I am… with a feeling of déjà vu, editing and proofreading articles… trying to beat the clock, reporters/writers emailing various articles and press releases for publication… then I edit and proofread all these bunch before I publish them. Publishing here means I click a button that says “publish” (or literally the keyboard mouse), then the news/article appears online in our newspaper/magazine. This goes on almost 12 to 13 hours a day and sometimes feeling so drained I wanted to drop everything and go to Coron, Palawan or anywhere far where there’s no phone, computers or a place where folks have never heard of the Internet. But this is my bread and butter, my job also sends my son to school, pays the rent and puts food on our table and as Einstein once said, “work is the only thing that gives substance in our lives”… So we should hold it dear in our hearts, make sure to do it well and if we feel so stressed then pause and take a deep breath… and start all over again.

“Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time…” from Desiderata by Max Ehrmann © 1927

 

 

 

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Walking with A (Wo)Man’s Bestfriend

2018 10 15 DSC_0257 828

One of our favorite places to take our walk is the “La Mesa Eco Park” in Quezon City, an oasis in the middle of a concrete jungle.

Maxie just turned 4, a month ago. Click image to enlarge.

Every other day I try my best to walk Maxie and today is one of her lucky days! So I am at her beck and call on this sunny and quiet Monday. The only drawback here is my fear that Maxie would suddenly pull the leash and try to ran after a cat or another dog she sees because she will then turn into a massive and aggressive 78-pound 4 year old German Shepherd who is unstoppable when she’s after some prey. And I look so puny beside her. So I try to shorten the leash so she won’t be able to easily put all her strength on her shoulders and most dog owners would agree that it’s just even a fraction of what they are truly capable of.

So I avoid the route where I know there’s lots of dogs and cats loitering about or simply make sure we finish our 3.5 km (average distance according to the MapMyWalk app that I turn on when we have these walks) quiet route which is usually a 30-35 minute walk around the block near the house just to ensure that Maxie and myself were able to really have a good walk and a pretty good sweat. There are times we go to La Mesa Eco Park, a wild jungle carved into a recreation park in Quezon City (2 kms from where we are located now). It features towering trees, botanical gardens (pictured above), camping grounds, and other sports activities. An oasis in the middle of the city.

This is Maxie when I tell her that there’s “No Walk” today (when it’s raining etc.) … the look on her face speaks volumes! Click image to enlarge

Walking Maxie is a very fulfilling experience specially if there’s no distractions (cats, dogs barking, etc.). The walk itself is very satisfying, you get to stretch your legs and your canine friend also gets the exercise she needs. So we both look around, enjoy the scenery, fallen leaves on the pavement, view the beautiful green trees on both sides of the road with the blue sky as its background. And with the gentle wind on our faces, so utterly relaxing and satisfying… and a most welcome experience for me and my dog with me stuck mostly on my computer chair banging on the keyboard the entire week and Maxie just lying in one corner of our flat most of the time sad and wishing I’d take her out for a walk…

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Amy is Coming Home…

The skyline of Mactan International Airport as seen at 35,000 feet. Credit: Author

It’s been such a long time that I haven’t written on this space on the net… And I thought now is as good a time as any…

Amy looking out through the airplane’s window… coming home after 36 years! with my sister on her left. Credit: Author

A cousin of mine who we will call “Amy” (names are changed to protect the privacy of the individuals whom I hold dear in my heart) left in her 30s in April of 1982 due to personal reasons to a place called Sandakan, Borneo in Malaysia. That’s the nearest City in Jolo, Philippines, the Southernmost tip of the Philippines. She left in a rush and her sister Macy, whom I lived with (I was in college studying) when I was staying with them in Cebu Philippines, asked for help from Helga, Nadia with their brothers who were residents of Malaysia then.

Amy couldn’t go through the normal channels of travel (i.e. Airports, Ports) because some people of shady backgrounds were out to get her (literally)… hence the reason why Macy contacted cousins Helga and Nadia in Malaysia… and we were able to contact Helga and Nadia because their two brothers Fabio and Gerry were studying in Cebu City.

Why Malaysia of all places, why not just the Southern Philippines? The people Amy “riled” in Cebu were people of high places and comes from the old rich so to speak and who could literally locate a single individual among Ninety Million Filipino citizens… they have their own guns and goons, practically a small army…  they were and are that powerful still. The Philippines’ I am embarassed to say, still has a very systematic form of corruption as what others would call it… they instill fear among its citizens to pay their travel taxes, process their documents properly when they go outside the country to travel, of course so the government can raise money for its coffers, which what every country do to make money. But that is not all black and white… there is a small town in Tawi-tawi and Zamboanga where it has become notorious where one can easily go out of the country and come back in unnoticed in broad daylight. It has even become so notorious that the locals and people who use this system call it “Bakdur” funny yet clever… because it literally is the Backdoor way of going out of the country… The Philippines Customs Administration there, turn a blind eye to these shenanigans because each time Customs deck inspections are done on every ferry traveling from Bongao, Tawi-tawi or Zamboanga to Sandakan, Malaysia they make money. These people going out the “bakdur” just hand out their usual “fee” to these so called government authorities and off they go to wherever they want in Malaysia or vice-versa.

Amy went from one job to the next to make a living and to survive in Malaysia and I admire her for her survival instincts because she did survive on her own for 36 years with no contacts to any of her own family, her relatives and most of her friends where she came from. She kept houses, cleaned houses, even taught English, acted as a secretary in a construction company and God knows what else. Nevertheless, she made a close friendship with one of her neighbors from these wanderings of her own and became very close with her… Let’s call her Sally… Amy and Sally became very close friends and Sally came to know her and her background from the Philippines and admired her for having come that far. Whenever Amy is in a bind, she would call Sally for help whether its financial or just plain company. Sally never stopped helping Amy… and we are very grateful for this kind-hearted woman.

Sally (second from right) gesturing while talking to my sisters in NAIA.

Sally’s hometown in the Philippines is in Tangub, Misamis Oriental. Sally constantly travels between the Philippines and Malaysia for business reasons. She happens to have a neighbor in Tangub who’s a teacher and who happens to be our relative Geli. They were talking one day and Sally sometimes mention Amy to her so Geli knows a little bit about Amy. But then in one of these talks just last year 2017, Geli realized that Amy’s surname was the same as ours and she said not in so many words “…holy mother of God!” she is our long lost cousin! So Geli ask her cousin to try to locate us in Facebook and then one them tried to request friendship from my sisters, then from me … and this took several months. We’ve all seen the facebook friend request and no one took heed because it came from a completely unrecognizable first name and you know how it is when a friend request comes from a total stranger… Finally Geli’s son Mario asked one of my brothers and my brother and Mario became facebook friends. Mario explained why he kept trying to befriend anybody from our family then and explained that he knows where Amy was at that moment and gave Sally’s phone number in Malaysia (she was in Malaysia at this time). I then phoned Sally in Malaysia and Sally gave Amy’s number. So I called Amy after so many years hearing her voice made me cry… and Amy kept saying I just want to go home…

Amy and her sister hugging on her arrival from Manila in Mactan International Airport’s arrival gates.

We made contact with one of our cousins in Malaysia Fabio, who is a CPA/Lawyer there and told him we’ve found Amy via our cousins from Tangub and Amy has no travel documents at all, she lost all her papers going from one job to the next all these years alone. So Fabio helped us with the travel document and took Amy to the local Philippine consulate so she can be issued a temporary travel document in lieu of a passport. The day she was issued a travel document, my cousin Amy was so happy as recounted by Fabio and so grateful to him. I spoke to Amy several times on her coming home and purchased a ticket for her coming home. She has to go through Manila (where we are located) since there was no direct flight from Malaysia to Cebu. So that’s what she did, she flew to Manila on July 2018 and stayed with one of my sisters for 4 days because I couldn’t accompany her yet because I still have work. Nevertheless, on the 28th of July Amy with myself and 2 of my sisters accompanied her to her hometown Cebu where we were met by her sister and her sister’s grand kids. Arriving home, was like a dream for Amy, she met her sister’s husband and family and her brother’s family and it was the culmination of several months of anticipation and excitement. We are so grateful for angels in our lives, like Sally who befriended Amy, like Fabio who helped with the travel documents and to GOD who made all these possible and enabled all of us to facilitate Amy’s coming home… Praise GOD!

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The New Year’s Weekend Trip to Batangas

Front: My sister Charity, Toni Anne (Ruth’s 3rd child). 2nd Row: Nicko (Charity’s oldest), Myself, My sister Ruth, 3rd Row at the back: Harry, Maxie and Moie (Ruth’s 4th child). 4th Row: Mico (Charity’s grandkid), Gene Rudie (Charity’s 3rd child) and Maru (Ruth’s youngest). Back Row: Charity’s maid Evelyn.

Spending my New Year’s weekend with my family is one of the best days of my life. This is usually held in my brother Rodolfo Jr. “Rudy’s” farm in Alitagtag, Batangas. A unanimous decision among us siblings for the Batangas location because its the biggest place that can hold the entire clan! But of course not everybody can come due to one reason or another. So we start it with a road trip, I rented a van that can hold my tiny family (Harry, Maxie and myself), my sister Charity’s family (with her son Nicko, daughters Gene and Nickie, and grandson Mico, and with my sister Ruth’s family (those who were able to come with us on this trip i.e. Ruth, Toni, and Ruth’s 2 sons Moie and Maru). So we were quite packed in the van. The trip to Batangas takes approximately 3-4 hours, 4 hours if there’s too much traffic. My sister Pearl’s family (husband Aurelio, sons Martin, AJ, Jack, and Mateo) will be on a separate trip with their maids, dogs, etc. using their own van. Aisha Hope (Hope’s 3rd child) with her husband will be using their own transportation too.

l-r: Myself, Rudy, Charity, Pearl, and Ruth

The road trip to Batangas is as always very exciting, full of laughter and even scolding and shouting towards the kids if they get too unruly. There’s never a dull moment when you are in the middle of my clan’s activities, whether its a party, a wedding, or a road trip. We arrived so excited and full of spirit… my brother Rudy opened his farm gates for us. He, and his wife were there to host the New Year’s party cum Family Reunion. The minute we got off the van, there was yelling (from the kids), laughter among us grown-ups because my brother Rudy is a very good and witty comedian. I used to tell him that he is such a funny man, he should have been a comedian but then again my father was very sick a long time ago and him and my brother Matthew agreed that instead of his wanting to be a lawyer, he should take a course that won’t take as much time since there’s so many of us in the family. So he became a merchant mariner (our countrymen call it seaman). He was one of the few in our country who became a captain at such a young age because he was very good at what he does and he excelled and made a name in the Shipping industry and I am proud of him for his achievements.

From Left counterclockwise is Martin (in blue shirt), George Anne (drinking), Aisha Hope, Harry, Nicko, AJ, Joie Anne, Toni Anne, Moie, Jack, and Gene Rudie.

So how do you put the two nights and one day of reunion in just a few words? Tough, but I will give it a shot… The kids of course had a blast… Our first night, they were singing karaoke and dancing and played parlor games (left), where they keep passing around a shot of some sort of alchohol drink. Some of the adults were also dancing and singing and some preparing foods to welcome the New Year (2018). The morning after our arrival the kids have gone for a walk to the nearby Taal Lake, then bathe in its highly sulfuric water.

Last row at the back: George Anne (with the blue towel), Toni Anne and Harry. Midrow: Martin, Gene, Maru, Mico, Moie (red shirt) and Jack (black shirt). Front is Nicko (Charity’s oldest).

I’m not sure whether that was a good idea… others tout the healing powers of bathing in Taal Lake because of its highly sulfuric content and others are fearful of it. The kids took some photos as always (never forget the selfies, it’s a crime among them if one should forget… hahaha). When I say the kids, they’re not exactly kids anymore, Aisha Hope (Hope’s 3rd child) is 33, Nicko (Charity’s oldest) and George Anne (Ruth’s oldest) are both 30 years old already, Martin (Pearl’s oldest) is 27, Joie Anne (Ruth’s 2nd) is more or less 25,  Gene (Charity’s 3rd child) is 22 years old, Toni (Ruth’s 3rd child) is also 22 more or less. So when the walking party came back to the farm, they look beat as if they’ve gone to a war and came back half alive but survived the experience… hahaha

l-r: Charity, Nicko, George Anne, Gene Rudie, Moie, Joie Anne, Ruth (far back), my brother Rudy and my sister-in-law Ate Evelyn, their grandson Randolph, and Jack.

The rest of the family were busy cooking, chatting, just more or less updating everyone of what’s been happening in each of our families’ lives… Our kind of family reunion has always been impromptu in the sense that it’s not some sort of an elaborate event planned 6 months ago or something similar, no invitations involved, just quick phone calls or even facebook messenger calls because emails take even longer. We kind of gotten used to these gatherings and became very good at throwing whatever’s needed for the trip and the event in just a few hours. If there are some ingredients lacking for a dish one of my sisters or sister-in-law will prepare, we communicate with whoever is still on the road to drop by the community markets they pass by or even a mall like in Batangas which boasts of their own SM Supermall too and just make last minute purchases for the event.

Happy New Year!!!

My brother Rudy also prepared his place for the onslaught (lol), he had a dirty kitchen set up outside of his main house, prepared his other 2-bedroom cottage for whoever wants to sleep there i.e. extra pillows and cushions… he actually set up his farm for family events such as this. Some of us brought our own pillows and beddings too because my sister-in-law Ate Evelyn, phoned to say she might not have enough pillows and blankets. The food is more or less continental with a mix of native dishes that one family member may like and with to prepare it themselves. Some already prepared it back in the city and just put it on a tight container for safe travel to the province. I usually shy away from these family gatherings because it prevents me from working (funny but true) and I know wifi is not that strong in the province. But when I do go, I always come out of it sooo very happy and excited for the next one because of the experience of seeing the familiar faces of my love ones and I get to hug them once again. There are some sisters and brothers and their families who were not able to join because they are living in our hometown Davao City, Philippines which is the Southernmost tip of our country, it takes a plane ride before they could attend such reunions. But they do get to see what occurred because we post the photos on our family’s facebook page. Happy New Year everyone!

 

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Mama

Bye Ma

I used to think there’s nothing much to talk about my mother because we were separated from her when I was six and she came back into our lives during my father’s wake, when I was 17. So I was already a teenager when I met her again… and I hardly new her. All I recall were the “horror” stories of the fights, the running away, so much baggage. Now, it turns out I was dead wrong. I remember my friend Jenny telling me when I was so full of “hate” (leaving us when I was so young and growing up without a “real” mother …), that remember the Ten Commandments Faith? The FIFTH one says, “Honor thy father, and thy mother. It does not say Honor thy father and mother if they are good, etc.” It’s unconditional. So honor them for what they are (warts and all) just as people should, with each other. No labels, since we are in no position to judge because we ain’t perfect ourselves”… I keep repeating this myself … trying to remember what one person said… that “I should walk the talk…” Since that day that Ate Jenny said those words to me. I went cold turkey. It’s like the slate went clean. She is so right. I am in no position to judge my mother for the sins of the past. I don’t even know the history of that “past”.  My other friend Shereen, told me too when we talked about my mother…”She’s still your mother Faith…” just those words. So concise yet it just hit the nail on its proverbial head…for those who knows how to read between the lines. It sums up the explanation of Ate Jen.

NOW I am in such… not a state of “alarm” which is such an alarming word (no pun), more like conscience-stricken state of finding ways to make amends with her. Try to do as much as I can to tell her that I do love her and I do understand why things happened in the past between her and my father… But then I am in the capital region and she is in the deep south, Davao my hometown with my sister and her family. I was able to visit her with my son two summers ago and again last summer and tried my best to connect. I held her hand and just stare at her longer in the hope that there’s a glimmer of recognition. I thought sometimes her eyes would light up and that’s a sign for me that she understood what I said…but I wasn’t sure then… although I thought her grip on my hand got a bit tighter. If you call that grip because she’s so weak now and so frail. Recently, she just got taken out of the hospital because the doctors told my sisters, she is almost 80, whatever it was they found in her body, if it was cancer then … “you might as well take her home and let her enjoy the rest of her life because she won’t be able to survive all the chemotherapy, tubes, meds, etc at that advanced age.” So my sisters Ate Ruby, Ate Balin and Hope took her back home. My sisters says my mother just wanted to die so to speak, not very cooperative, doesn’t want to eat sometimes, doesn’t even want to get up from her bed. We recently bought her a wheelchair and I felt good when my sister Ate Ruby said, they went to the beach with her and sometimes she eats fruits. Thank you Lord.

Mama, looks so shrunken from a photo Love (Audrey my niece) posted on her facebook page… I wanted to hug her… tell her it’s ok Mama, we are going where you are going too… So just wait for us, we’ll be together again (just whispering silently to myself hoping to get the message through by staring at her shrunken body online), also trying to reassure myself and calm myself … deep inside I am so afraid because there’s so little time and I keep praying to GOD to please please Lord don’t make her suffer too much pain… she has had enough of those during her active years, physically, mentally and spiritually. Can a human being suffer too much, is there a limit to one’s suffering? I just realized now, Mama survived an anguished life and she experienced it more during her later years with us. The rejection of her own kids (including myself), the ridicule she received from her own family (including me), the painful words from her own family (including me)… I kept thinking, she must have been numb from the constant painful words and rejection… and it marked her all through her later years. Invisible scars, yet visible to those who love her and know her… Despite those harrowing experience, she was still able to move on, she smiles at us before she got bedridden, even held our hands too and I used to ask myself… God bless Mama, she “forgot” what I did to her… or maybe she is just too numbed from it all? I do not want to torture myself of the thought. I know I have to move on, do things now, if ever at all possible and just try your best to treat her as lovingly as possible.

My mother passed away on Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at the age of 80. My sister said it was around 5:00 a.m. but they really don’t know the exact time… So she died on her sleep. Bye Ma… We love you very much…

 

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