A Retelling of Life

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Dear Baby

Dear Baby,

Oh how excited we are to see you.  It is early days yet but I want to assure you that you will grow up in a home full of love and affection.  I pray that the Lord will help you grow strong and healthy while you live in my tummy, these next eight or seven months.

Your big brother is such a loving little boy.  I am certain that you will have lots of fun together.  He knows how to make the sign of the cross now and starting tonight, we are including you in our night prayers.  We love you very much little one and we thank God for blessing us with you.  Take care always.  Hugs and kisses.

Your mommy.

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News

This month marks the 2nd year anniversary of cancer’s entry into our immediate family.  My mom has been declared cancer free since, but the fear remains.  I have in the recent months developed a fear for lab tests.  I am scared that the big C will touch more lives in our family.  It is a black thought that I constantly and intentionally keep at bay.

My dad is undergoing an MRI now.  Again, we wait with bated breath for the results.  I think positive, surrender all my fears to my friend above, our great healer.  I pray for healing.

My dearest Lord, please bless our family with good health.  Bless us that we may live long and prosper. I surrender our lives, our future, to You. Amen.

New Beginnings

My heart is beating fast. Thoughts flash through my mind faster than my thought processes can break down.  Yes, I am giddy and excited again.  Apparently, all it took is to rouse me from my lethargic stupor was change.  (Although, I guess the cup of coffee I just drank helped too.)

Change…Oh, what a leap we have made.  I am away from home again after six years, away from the comforts of a loving family and supportive friends, away from my favorite haunts, my secret places and loves.  Although this time, I am just a ferry ride away, this change breathes permanence.  We are making our home here.  Our house, the one that witnessed our growing pains, has been leased to a young couple who like us, are also growing roots in a new city.

It takes some adjustment to be renting a home as we have been constrained to do here.  It has brought on mixed emotions as I feel both excited at making this new rented place a home while nursing my disappointment that it is not ours.  It feels odd making friends with neighbors in our compound who like us are mere transients.  Nonetheless, it is a wonder to see how our little two years and seven month old little boy is progressing, now that he has both his parents raising him.  He is a well-adjusted, witty charmer that never fails to bring a smile to our faces with his antics.

The games that he invents himself, like playing SM (where we pretend that we are the customers while he is SM, selling anything and everything) is reflective of how creative toddlers can be.  Last night, he woke up and asked for water and seeing a golf ball (part of a kiddie golf set) on the floor, he picked it up and told me, “Mama, here is one ball but where are the other balls?”.  He can recite “Going on a Bear Hunt” and a host of other stories from memory.  One time I heard him “reading” Elmer and the Teddy Bear.  I am so proud of how much he loves books.   One of his nanas (who has trouble reading without glasses)told me about how she read him a story and because she had no glasses, made up her own text along the way.”  E protested knowing that that was not how the story goes.

I am not very consistent about documenting our life as family.  Thus, I am making the most of this moment today while my mind is so full of thoughts that I just have to write to get it all out.

I thank you Lord for my existence, for the family I was born into and married into.  Most of all, I thank you for the family hubby and I have made through your grace.  Thank you. Amen.

A New Chapter

We are together now.  After four years and five months of a long distance marriage, H and I are finally moving in together.  E will grow up in a two-parent home.  Tonight, we will be fixing our new home.  I pray that the Lord will guide us so that we will thrive in our new home.

We left the house we boughtwhen we first found out I was pregnant with Ethan. The house that witnessed the growing pains of a new family.  I will miss our old life, the afternoon walks around our subdivision, the visits to our neighbor’s pet monkeys, birds and iguana.  Santorini-the place where our hopes and dreams were built.

As of June 1, 2015, a new family will be ushered in.  While I am saddened by this change, I too am excited about the direction our life is taking.  H and I are free to build a life together now in each others arms.  Life is good indeed.

She Walks in Starlight

Dear Music,

I have missed you.  Since my son was born, I have been relegated to Disney tunes and nursery rhymes.  While the most beautiful sound to me is still the sound of my son humming and supplying the words to his favorite songs, I miss the gripping choke-hold on my heart that a haunting song evokes.

Two years later, you found your way to my heart again.  I rejoice in your beauty, I rejoice in your resilience, I rejoice in your strength.  Indeed, you are one of God’s greatest gifts to man.

Thank you for awakening my spirit.

Love, me.

Surrender

The hammering goes on in the next room.  A noisy reminder of how life is a cacophany of sounds.  Like the little boy in August Rush, I have moments when events seem to be set to a musical score.  Some days are magical, a “Walking on Sunshine” kind of day when everything goes well and some days are set in haunting melancholy.

Yesterday, was  a day of victory.  My mom’s PET scan results confirm that she is cancer-free!  I still get teary-eyed when I think of that..”cancer-free”, “cancer-survivor”, these are words are family has been waiting for since that very first day when she was diagnosed with Hodgkins.  It was a “Hallelujah” kind of day.

I write again to express my deep gratitude to our Lord.  I do not know why some survive cancer while some don’t.  That is the mystery of God’s plan for us all.  What I am certain of is this:  the Lord still has a lot of plans for Mommy and for our family.  I now bear witness to the Lord’s mercy and compassion, to the fact that trials are blessings in disguise.  Our family has emerged stronger in faith and in love.  We have sought different ways in dealing with the Big C in the family but all those ways have led us to the realization that in the end, after all the medical treatments, we have one God to turn to, our Divine Healer.

I thank Mama Mary for interceding for Mommy.  After all these years of Christian Doctrine, I now appreciate Mama Mary fully as the Mother of Jesus.  My mom has always looked to Mary as inspiration, and I see in my mom, the great faith, selflessness and humility that exemplified Mama Mary and endeared her to her son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

I pray that the Lord will use me to do His good work on earth.  I am ready Lord.  Thank you for this crazy, beautiful life. Amen.

The Poetry of Daily Life

I’m finally watching Before Sunrise again. I’m watching out of nostalgia, an appreciation of things past, gratitude for the present and excitement for the future. I’m still waiting for that train ride though, not with a stranger from the train…but with my little family. Cheers to a life of no regrets. 🙂

Sensory Play with E.

I’ve been pinning sensory play ideas for months now. Today, a hundred pins later, I succeeded in giving E a sensory experience that kept him occupied for a good number of minutes. I started off with the most commonplace items you’ll find-rocks. E and I gathered stones of different sizes. After a thorough cleaning ( you never know what lay with the stones), we put it in a Fisher Price table (c/o my thoughtful sis in law) repurposed for this activity. I started off with putting a dino among the rocks. I also placed a little container with water. E started off with putting rocks in the water. Later, when I mentioned that his little Dino must be thirsty, he happily made dino drink water. A little later, he tried to fit frog in the little container, maybe thinking that his frog needed a drink too. Lol. The activity kept him busy for about 15 minutes. I pronounce the activity as a success! 🙂

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A Year in A Flash

Two weeks ago, our baby became a toddler! There have been marked changes in his behavior. He is now a little boy with strong likes and dislikes. Since he can now walk, like a tiny sized adult, he insists on doing things on his own.

Already, I miss the hours I spent cuddling him and cradling him in my arms. When I pick him up, a minute tops and he’s raring to be put down so he can resume his walking. He’s such a busy toddler. His toys can only keep his attention for a few minutes as he prefers to play where we dare not let him go and venture to the land of the “NO ETHAN!”s. The bathroom, the garbage can, the stove, the front door and the rice cooker, these are on top of his list of “to go/to do”.

Indeed, a child is a bundle of joy. Our days are filled with his shrieks of laughter and bubbly giggles. I thank the Lord for our little boy whose one year just went in a flash.

For his first year birthday, we thought of a birthday that would celebrate the first twelve months of his life. His Tita Lore came up with “A Year in A Flash” birthday that combined the elements of fun, celebration and adventure. Our little explorer loved his party and we have his photos to show to him when he’s a little older. (Photos to follow..internet is pretty slow at this hour).

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Sonata In My Mind

Sometimes you come across a movie that stays imprinted in you.  You wake up the following day still feeling the hum of the background sonata reverberating in your mind.   Sonata is one such movie.

I went to watch Sonata with no expectations. I hadn’t read any reviews and all I knew was that it was directed by Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes and was supposed to be an ode to Negros.  The film got off to a slow start.  In the beginning, I caught myself looking at my watch wondering how many minutes it would take to pick up.  Midway, I was hooked.  The precious friendship between Regina and Jonjon tugged at my heart.  I laughed and cried with the entire audience at the antics of Don Giovanni  and Pinkerton.  The stellar performances of the actors, the breathtaking scenes of Negros and the haunting background music came together to produce a wonderful cinematic experience.  

This is why I go to the movies, to lose myself in someone else’s life and forget my own for a short while, to laugh and cry and feel, to celebrate everything that makes us human.  I don’t think there was a dry eye at the theater last night.  =) Thank you Sonata for a good cry and for reminding us that indeed, it is a beautiful life. 

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