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Sunday, October 30, 2011

What turning 38 means

It's true what they say that age is just a state of mind. I feel I have not gotten old. Although I admit, I do see physical changes. My older friends talked to me about spider veins 10 years ago and I didn't have them then. Now, I am thrilled that I finally have them! I know, it's weird of me to have that kind of reaction. Maybe I think differently about age..and aging. 

I see some lines on my face but I know they ought to be there. But it doesn't mean that I don't care. I do! There are ways to slow the aging process down. I'm just blessed to be friends with the owners of Ammara and they are one with me on this endeavor. I call it that because it needs time and a little effort too. 

I've thought of a perfect analogy for taking care of my skin. Or the perfect justification so as not to feel guilty. When we were in school, we had leather shoes. I remember my mom telling me to polish them 2 or 3 times a week for it to maintain its shine and suppleness. She told us this because we could not buy a pair anytime we want. We HAD to take good care of it.

The same should go with our skin--the largest organ in our body, right?

But more than taking care of the physical is taking care of relationships…but now that I think about it, it is also physical because it involves the HEART. Turning 38 means I am blessed with another year to spend with my family, loved-ones, true friends. When I was younger, we were surrounded by family, and as kids, it was sort of required. How time flew and as one of my nieces (Jazzie) said when you are older and are marred by responsibilities, you seldom get the chance to get-together. Reminisce about the old times, remember embarrassing moments and just… LAUGH!!! Like little children again!

I tell myself now, with some friends dying too soon, I need to be reminded always that life is fleeting. You will never know when your time will come. I know it’s cliché: to live like it were your last day. Constantly, I think about it.

We came from Zamboanga a few days ago. It was the first time that my sons met their relatives there. They are cousins, aunts and uncles of my former husband. The first time I went there was in 1999. Over the years, I visited and slowly each time, I hear news of the death of one of the elders. Uncle Mil, Auntie Margie, Auntie Meng, may they all rest in peace. Uncle Mil called me a few days before he passed and he said, “It is nice to hear your beautiful voice” and he tried to listen to my stories over a long-distance call… it brings tears to my eyes! Auntie Meng’s letters are still in my keeping. I was able to see her 2 years ago. She would call to greet during Christmas or New Year. Little gestures to make me feel loved and that I was a part of their family. They were able to leave a legacy. They were able to touch my heart. They have truly lived well and their lives indeed remain an example to me. I still call them my own. I feel I belong even if I am technically no longer a member. I cannot thank them enough for making me feel welcome over the years.

This is what life is about! Love for family, love for friends and even love for the “unloveable”. A real test and a tough challenge! God has given me good and bad times. I sometimes question Him why He sends them my way. I want to believe it’s because He has such faith in me that I would be able to overcome them. At times, I tell Him, “wag naman masyado, Lord”. (Not too much, Lord!). 

I would like to share this guide for starting successfully from John Maxwell. I try to live it. I am not there yet but I hang this where I can read it every day.

1.)    Know Yourself
2.)    Settle your family life
3.)    Determine your priorities
4.)    Develop your philosophy of life
5.)    Get physically fit
6.)    Learn your trade
7.)    Pay the price
8.)    Develop solid relationships
9.)    Prepare for the future
10.) Find purpose for your life

I’m already 38. I have to start living life and I feel that there’s not enough time!
Final words? 

Estar con amor y familia kada tiempo puede. Kada Hora preciosa!
(Be with love and family whenever possible. Every hour is precious!-translation care of Michelle E.)

Until my next chapter! Amor con amor se paga (Love begets love) – (Sorry, hangover from Zamboanga.) 

Sunday, October 02, 2011

The Heart Run

September 17, 2011 (Heart Run) Davao City--I believe that most everyone wants to be healthy. The hardest thing is doing something about it! I have been hearing about these fun runs for a long time and this is the first time that I finally joined one.
It was my youngest son Tommy's idea. It was encouraged since it was a school activity. He came up to me one morning, announcing matter-of-factly, that he was going to run. 10 kilometers, at that! He asked simply if I wanted to join him. I almost choked. Of course, I wanted to. It's just that...the MIND is so know the rest.:) 
The Route was People’s Park, Quirino Ave. going to Gaisano Mall Bajada then straight to Victoria Plaza and vice versa. Schedule was 4:00am – Assembly
4:30 am – Registration
5:00 am – 10 K Run
5:15 am - 5K Run
5:30 am – 3K Run
That was where we belonged. The humble 3K. In my mind, I thought to myself..easy. It’s about time my malling (SM, Gaisano, Abreeza,etc) pays off. 3- 5 hours of window shopping?? What harm can a 3K run do to me? 
But was I wrong!! I was out of breath from just a few minutes of steady running. I didn’t expect it to be that hard. Children and teenagers were getting ahead of Trix and I. And what’s funny was, some people are already coming back from their 5K run and we have just started ours!
While I was panting, thoughts run through my head. One of them was to take a taxi back to the starting ground! I could think of a lot of reasons why I ended with 52 minutes for a 3K run. Let me state them:
1.) I had no consistent and regular exercise
2.) I didn’t have enough sleep from watching dvd from the night before (and had to 
wake up at 3:30am)
3.) There were a lot of stop signs
4.) I couldn’t catch my breath and feared I might collapse 
5.) I had to tie my shoelaces several times
6.) My socks kept sinking (they are actually called sinking socks!) so I had to stop and 
bring them back up. 
7.) The sole of my rubber shoes finally gave in! It’s flapping like crazy!

But at the end of it all, it was a sense of accomplishment when we were given plastic bands to mark half of our run and at the finish line-- finisher’s certificate. 
Lessons learned – take note of all my excuses and... buy a new pair of socks and running shoes.

Sunday, September 25, 2011 not so little anymore

Call me dramatic, emotional, too much of a forward-thinker (if there is such a word) but I already think about her debut...:)

I saw an Oprah episode where a mother was diagnosed of breast cancer. She only had a few months to live and she had a six year-old daughter. I was crying through the whole episode because the mother had to videotape everything that she wanted to tell her daughter...

She knew that she won't be there in the most important moments of her daughter's life..All the stages and phases..She told her about how to live..she even taught her how to put on make-up! :)

Now the daughter's 18 and she cried when they heard her mother's final voice tape. The last one she was able to make before she died.

When I said to God that my life was in His hands, it was so easy to say, "Bahala na,Lord, kung oras ko na" but you know this's different.

My prayer is...Lord, make me a good parent...and let me live long enough to see her through her, see her grow into a young lady, choose her life partner and be a good mother herself or..just whatever you wish her to be.

Bless me with good health, Lord. I want to be there for this little girl...:)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

An Angel Left Too Soon

Angel died. 

The reality of that statement is not sinking in. It doesn't ring true. I have to say it over and over again. 30 years old. Why.....

How fleeting life is.. Even if we know that death is certain, we do not know when it will come. What about your little girl, Angel? Why did I let months pass without getting in touch with you? We will miss you...your laughter, your sweetness, how you always made us pose for pictures in an embrace or a kiss...You try to make everyone happy. You give generously. I still have your gift. I wonder if I have really thanked you for it. My boys adore you because you took time to listen to them. You have shared...YOU. You are beautiful!

I am just so sorry I wasn't able to tell you all of these. You just left us too soon.....

May you rest in peace and find comfort in God's loving arms. Until we see each other again, please say a prayer for us here.

Leaving The Way Open

I received some news which devastated me. I know that I should accept the fact that I cannot please everyone. That people will say the meanest of things and out of spite. You try to do good, be good, be at your best...but you will still get hurt. I wrote a note a few years ago and I've included it for printing. It's entitled "It's Your Choice". And now, I am still writing about the same topic..

I was angry..and hurt. I wanted desparately to avenge myself or say something but I know that anything I do out of anger won't help. Should these people's words really matter....

But then, God wanted to tell ME something...

This email was sent by Bon Patdu. I want to share this with you.

“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for God's wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay requite, says the Lord” Romans 12:19

We all go through situations where we’re not being treated fairly. Maybe somebody is talking behind your back or trying to make you look bad, maybe you were overlooked for a promotion or cheated. When we’re being mistreated, the natural thing is to try to defend ourselves and set the record straight. Human nature wants to get even and get revenge. But the Bible says, “Vengeance is Mine… says the Lord.” That means God wants to make your wrongs right. He wants to pay you back for every unfair thing that has happened. He is a God of justice. Notice: you can either avenge yourself or you can let God be your avenger, but you can’t have it both ways. If you take matters into your own hands, then God is going to step back and say, “Go ahead, do it your way. Looks like you don’t need My help.” But on the other hand, if we choose to stay on the high road and say, “No, I’m going to let God be my avenger and trust God to bring justice into my life”, then you are leaving the way open for God to move mightily on your behalf.

God bless us!

Giving Birth

A few days to go. I’m having the ultrasound today to know if it is alright to have the C-Section earlier than the 21st.  I am excited…and again anxious…about the future. It sounds a long way off but I can see it all. Taking in the good with the bad.  I don’t want to go my cynical way. I have to make a different scenario altogether for this little baby girl.
The two “kuya” 's have started sleeping in their own room. Bought a double deck for them and they have been camping there for days with their cousin Kyle. Mind you, their room has been a long process of negotiations, conditions and encouragement. I am excited for them and at the same time, sad that they wouldn’t be sleeping in the same room with me anymore.  The most glaring sign that they’re..growing up.
A crib now sits beside my bed.  It is quite an unusual sight after more than ten years.  The prospect of sleepless nights, 3am feedings, doesn’t bother me that much. Maybe because I am much older now than when I first had Edman and Tommy.  When I look at my sleeping boys in their decks, it is almost like they’re in their own cribs but insanely bigger and longer.
They are both excited for their little sister, Castielle. Edman is saying he’ll be graduating from college when Cas enters Grade School.  They’ve got a lot of things planned for her… I’m proud of the Kuya’s. They have accepted their situation. That was how they were over the years, trying to take things in stride at such an early age.  I think this is also how they have matured.
My marriage ended when Tommy was three. He was so young to understand what was happening. Now that they’re older, I still try to explain to them why it happened.  I also told them I was sorry it happened. Edman said in his 5 year old voice, “Hindi mo sadya, Ma.”
I promised them that I would make everything better, if not right.  I have been responsible for them since day one…as I will also be responsible for this beautiful gift from God.  My little angel Castielle. ..coming out in a few days. I pray fervently to God that I would be a good mother, that she would be stronger than I was, to be born in a world I have created, a fault not of her own.
It would not be fair to this little creature of God, to be welcomed this way.
Overflowing love and happiness must envelope her!! That is all she deserves!
Thank you, Lord, for this gift. Give me strength as I go into the operating room.  Bless the hands of my doctors..
My life has always been in Your hands and now there is another life that matters…

On The Clouds

I'm on the plane again...

It's usually during these times that I put my thoughts to paper, put my mind at ease. For a while at least. :)

It's also in these times that I realize that my life is not anymore in my hands..(Here I go again, worrying how the plane is going to carry us all passengers across with the poor weather).

I try to calm myself by saying a little prayer. I am at peace. I appreciate the silence.

I think about my kids, who said goodbye to me this morning...countless times with wet, sloppy, heavenly kisses...(that just placed a smile on my face as I wrote those lines).

I look out the window and I see the vast green landscape, so much like those in the movies I've watched. Tuscany.

In a few moments, I will be on the clouds. The wonder of technology..and the awesome wonder of God's creation.

How easily you can get lost in its beauty.

Brought back to reality when I heard the plane's crew announcing the start of its inflight game. (Hmm, yes Cebu Pac). And would you know? It was my seatmate who won a prize! She said it was the first time she ever joined the game.

I told her that my shyness (?) takes over and even if I knew the answer I wouldn't dare raise my hand...

Doesn't hurt to talk to strangers once-in-awhile...share the joy...spread the cheerfulness. LIFE IS GOOD!

A familiar thud and the plane's landing gear is in its place. I look outside and see evidence of El Nino..unfamiliar surrounding.

A few more days to go before I'm home...

April 28, 2010