Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Happy Birthday Mom 10 days from now and always and forever!

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Sept.4, 2013
This morning, I finished  just a few pieces of laundry within one hour. Then, I had my quiet time. My thoughts were going here and there as I sat reflecting on  the  poster color art work Marina just finished of the Sidra Tree. It was perched on the music stand of our e.piano.
My thoughts went to my mom who is soon to celebrate another birthday while she is in heaven.
Marina just asked me if there would be a birthday cake up there?
hmmm.... yeah maybe a party. I dunno.
One thing is for sure, she is having a great time what would she say or feel if say perhaps she was still walking this earth today?
Would my life updates to her  bring a smile to her lips and make her heart wings flutter like an eager butterfly trying to fly to higher heights?
I remembered each and every one of her offsprings.
I thought of her first born having his own offspring as well after almost waiting for 10 years. This little boy is almost the age of my first born as well. Luigi is  making his parents really proud as well by getting into sports in a very good school back in Manila. 
Then I thought, if Syria is attacked soon, and Russia retaliates and blows Qatar into  smithereens in chemical warfare because of the big US facility here, what would  I do these last days?
So, I started to reflect hard on the one singular thing I would like to thank my siblings for. It was not hard to count beyond 10 of  what I would like to thank each of them for and tell mom about but let me just focus on one.
I’d say Dave, thank you for lifting me one day in college with your short  yet meaningful letter to me. I was smarting from a very grievous offense and almost scandalous insult hurled at me during an extra curricular activity I organized as the president of the Economic’s Society.
 I will never forget  how he wrote to me about oysters.  He said, the oyster goes about his business opening and closing his shell to breathe and eat. In the process, sand gets inside of it. Maybe, that is not a nice thing as well for the oyster. And yet, it is patient with the irritations of underwater life. Big or small. And  after a period of time uses the same irritation ( sand ) to make something so valuable. A pearl.
What a life saver you threw my way that day. Thank you!
I will always be proud to boast that  when Bill Gates came to Manila  years ago,  you were his country manager and were  with him and the then president of the Philippines, FVR, on a front page photo  of the major dailies that time.
Mom was super proud of you that time and will always be.
Hazel, your 2nd born mom. She is like you if you were alive. She calls me every now and then. She inquires on my girls and is not fearsome to tell me the areas I have to work on in the care of my kids.  I will be forever  grateful to her for being the real big sister to me. I will never forget her taking a day off from work to bring me to  the financial district of Makati for my job interview at Bank of the Philippines Islands just a few months out of college. I marvelled at the Makati triangle park while riding the love bus like blue transit we rode on that day. Thank you for your fabulous wardrobe that I would raid now and then when I don’t have anything to wear and not return them back on sequestration notice.
Mom ,her Nina is such a beauty. She just got into college. She wants to be a lawyer.
Chubby...your  American looking baby. The one that resembled dad so much as a child. Well, is one good example of a disciplined person.  He has abstained from pork for more a decade now I guess and is  into  marathons. He is developing  Manicaan into an organic working farm called Luisa’s garden. Your garden.
The one thing I will always remember Chubby for is the memory of him cooking me noodles soup while I was sick & serving it with crackers. He was home from a long flight as a steward for Phil.Airlines and I was absent from work. Long before the fad of chicken soup for the soul, he nourished me in that very simple gesture that left a very good memory that is nice to look back to now and then.
Pong...your closest confidante during the turbulent years of Ozamiz.  Those were the forgettable for some, but unforgettable years for me.  Pong showed what being tough was  when the  going really got rough. He gifted me &  my 2 year older than I  sister  Jennie,  with dresses for Christmas when there was not much to go around with that time. With that simple gesture, we felt much better going to Christmas mass having in our hearts the true meaning of giving. Giving with no expectation of anything in return.  Giving with the heart because the heart knows the real need from just the frivolities of life.
He showed me what giving was  even when it hurts already and did not show it so we do not feel bad. He sacrificed a lot in giving us those dresses. Also, he sent me a plane ticket right after graduation, so I can look for work in Manila. He showed me how to ride the jeepney to get to CM Recto so I can have my resume typewritten. Computer shops and/or computers were rare things those days in 1989.
Pong’s boys now mom are in college level as well . They are good looking and responsible young adults.
Chinkie, ah your middle child. Your junior look a like. She is one strong one. She has a heart as big as the ocean. She has the resilience of  a bamboo tree. Bends low but never breaks despite the storms in her life. She early on taught me what a go getter she was. She taught me by her stake to being dad’s girl to know my place and embrace it. I learned how to give way when I have to.
One day during kindergarten going home time, I thought they forgot all about me. I was waiting and waiting for mom to pick us up in the grade school waiting benches. Maybe I forgot  it could have been the other campus gate of which there were 4 I think. The WMSU campus was like super  huge for a 6 six year old like me. I was really lost and confused was in tears already...after what seemed like ages,  I saw my big sister coming to get me. Oh how I felt saved. And many many times she has done just that through all these years.  Getting tired maybe now and then, but never stopping to help her younger sister/siblings. Just recently, she saved me from shelling out dollars for 30 kilos excess coming to Doha. Her Qatar Airways  gold card mileage card took care of it easily and with not a break of sweat. Whew!
Thank you for the gift of forgiveness and reconciliation dear Sister.
And Oh mom, her daughters are growing up so fast. Patricia is a super sociable  adult already and  nurse with compassion. Cheska is in high school active in military training in school and is quite a head turner. Chinkie’s  handsome Raymond is almost to finish medical school and is serving without nary a complain in some remote village in Mindanao, risking life and limb to be part of this community in sensitivity and  immersion lessons. He is going to become a fine young doctor in the future with his head and heart in the right place.
And Jennie, your 6th child, She loves jewelleries and  plants like you. She  is another one with a magnanimous heart. She dotes on her nieces and nephews. She almost had a full circle experience for almost all of us going back to Zamboanga City to lead a bank there. Dad and all of us are very proud of her for this and many more accomplishments up her sleeve.
One of the many things I am forever indebted to her is her sponsoring my 1st trip to Bohol for the Single’s for Christ conference there. It was a life changing occasion that  challenged me in a particular area : Are you still going to praise God even when life get’s rough?

Then there is your 8th. The youngest for 10 years, Mike. He is still everybody’s ginger bread boy. I guess he will be forever be a boy in all of our eyes. Maybe, he lost something in his heart the time you had to go and has never recovered from it ever since.  He is doing good in sales  now.  I look forward to seeing pictures of his trips here and there.  His boys are super good looking. Ryan  and Louie are done with college already. Miguel is now in high school and the beautiful Stephanie is super brainy and good people person. I am happy that she and Marina  are good to each other and have had nice memorable moments together that they can look back to  when they are all grown up ladies in the very near future.
I will forever look back and be thankful to him for playing tea party with me & my dolls  even if he did not like to. I had to play marine commando with him though afterwards in our roof turned playground causing such nuisance and  noise for the bank employees under. So, it was an early lesson in give and take as well. I was always  the 3rd wheel in his tandem with his dog fluffy and their adventures.
And finally, the youngest, Peach.
( I had to take a long break to take care of other domestic business. It is 3:53pm. Marina is tackling her math problems. Lilli is tinkering with the piano)
Ok, Peach. Mom, when you passed on, she was barely fresh out of college. And a lot has happened in 13-14 years.  She has found a good man to be her husband, Vince and now have a very smart and cute fashionista of a daughter. They have been in Manitoba, Canada for more than  3 years now.
God gave her to us later in our family life for a very special reason.  You had her at 45. I tried and learned to be a good big sister to her. I found just lately her letter to me when she was just 7 or 9 years old. It made me sob uncontrollably. It had her  drawing of me  complete with eyeglasses and with my 2 moles in my left cheek in my school uniform in highschool. She made my biography. It made my packing up efforts so hard to do for our great move to come to Doha. Small mementos like that cannot and will never be discarded. They are fragments of our hearts made visible...and evidences of  being loved and loved back. Priceless.
One thing I will never forget about  her is when I was pregnant with my 2nd baby. She kept on bugging me about my baby’s gender. She was so  eager to pass on to me her lexie’s stuff if my baby was a girl. And oh my goodness, it was a treasure trove of  the good stuff.  Barely worn dresses, books, toys  and clothes and good shoes and the brands of which I can only hope for and wish.  So,  to our forever baby sis, thank you. You make me want to have a super fab life now and then.
There you have it.
Mom,  I know, how blessed your life is because of how much sacrifice and effort you put into bringing each one of us into this world.  You were so blessed to leave this earth with all of us around you and   your  BFF of more than 30 years Tita Ely, your sister in laws and of course dad holding your hand to your last breath

The parting was most painful but will never be bitter for your are enjoying the fruits and rewards of living a good life. Giving us a good name. Teaching us right from wrong. Showing us the way to God from our cradle and surely beyond our graves.

Thank your for loving us in our each own special way. Never making us feel less loved from one another. Always being proud of us for just being your child. And that was all that mattered  and not for any laurel that we bring home to you. No, you loved us just for being ourselves Imperfect and all. Unique, different and  very very special . Each child to you was indeed most beautiful and special. Thank you.

notes on the 5 pictures:
If my memory serves me right, these was mom's 2nd to the last  New Year with us. Nina was still a baby. Hazel was in red, Peach was in denim blue skirt, Jennie was in yellow, chubby was in red shorts, Dad was in olive green and she was in maroon.

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