Two Valentine’s Day from the two most important guys in my life (next to my dad) strike me as the most memorable. The first one is my first Valentine’s day with Butch, my ex-boyfriend. The second is the last Valentine’s Day Card that my son lovingly crafted for me. Leafing through the yellowed pages of my diary, I found a journal entry written on February 14, 1979. The wonderful thing about keeping a journal is one is able to relive those youthful years and feel giddy all over again. Oh my, were we that cheesy!? Looking back that day, I wrote I saw him through the window carrying a single red rose and a gift. Clutching the red rose, Butch chuckled at the scene unfolding before him. Just like the movies, he muttered. Three pages of sweet nothings where my sappy ex-boyfriend declared his undying love and our dreams in my paper journal. In the last part of my journal entry, he had whispered “Let’s make Valentine’s day the whole year through”. kilig. Today is our 43th Valentine’s Day celebration.
Though our love endured, it was not all roses and sweet nothings.
The childlike scribble of the I love you that my son wrote in his handmade Valentine’s day card never fails to bring tears. Tears of joy, of course. Reading through the same journal entry of February 14, 1979, Butch and I wove dreams of our first-born son who we called Jose Luis back then. (Jose, because both our fathers are Jose’s and Luis for Butch’s actual name.) Many years later, the dream of our Jose Luis materialized, whom we nicknamed Luijoe, for short. The reality lasted for six glorious years. I caress the crayon drawn heart in this card to remind myself that death may have taken our son away but his love and memories remain alive and pure in our hearts.
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As with the past 44 Valentine’s Day , we celebrate it at home with my husband. Since we could not spend Christmas Day together in 2020 except via Zoom so today, we wore our ugly Christmas shirt. Never too late to celebrate love and life.
Let’s remember what love truly is…
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t sing its own praises. It isn’t arrogant. It isn’t rude. It doesn’t think about itself. It isn’t irritable. It doesn’t keep track of wrongs. It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth. Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up.
“Because I think the Filipino is worth crying for”. David Briscoe, February 25, 1986
I felt my baby tumble with joy inside my belly as the announcement from the radio blasted out that indeed Cory Aquino was our new president. My baby is turning 34 years old just as we celebrate the EDSA People Power celebration this year. Yes, it has been 34 years since my joy came in a stream of tears. There were many reasons worth crying for: a sign of relief from the threats of a civil war, the challenges facing the new President, for the citizenry who finally showed the courage to challenge the Marcoses.
I smiled and caressed my belly, assuring my unborn baby that she will now be born in a democracy. As a new mother, I desired nothing else but peace, not the turmoil that was about to explode with the election cheating done under a dictatorial regime. Fighting the dictatorship was a struggle I fought for as a student in the state university.
Ang sarap maging Filipino.
For many years, I idolized Cory Aquino. I looked up to Cory Aquino for having the courage to fight a dictator and restore a democracy. I am forever grateful for that. Never mind if her government faced many power struggles. Never mind if Kamaganak Inc allegedly gained from her presidency. Many years in denial. It took the same daughter to shake off that “romantic affair” with the People power revolution. It is easy to romanticize while pondering at what EDSA meant.
The same daughter that somersaulted inside me 34 years ago questioned my initial support for Noynoy Aquino when I wrote the entry, Noynoy Aquino- The Gate Changer. What were his qualifications? Just because he is the son of a beloved president? I mused and perused. It took my wise daughter born at the peak of the People power revolution fever to awaken me from that stupor. I thought I knew all the answers for the future citizens of the country. Mommies can make a mistake too. This time around, I did not allow my “cory fan mode” to cloud my judgement over the euphoria of People Power. I soon got disillusioned with her presidency.
I agree that despite the people’s victory at EDSA 36 years ago, the Philippines remain beset by serious social problems. The mere changing of presidents – from Marcos to Aquino to Duterte–were not enough to change the rotten system. We should not rely solely on our leaders to achieve change.
Mommies know what is best for their children, but this time, my children knew what is best for them.
Listen to your children. Discuss the issues and their future,
Mommy power is in our hands.
Yesterday marked my blog’s 16th anniversary and this blog transcended beyond just a grief advocacy blog. The domain name, aboutmyrecovery.com not only speaks about my personal recovery.
My blog aboutmyrecovery.com now encompasses the recovery of our country and the struggles to achieve it. It is now about a mom trying to make a difference for the future of my children and the future of my country.
“Enemies of democracy will as usual try to use the last 30 years of failed governance to downplay 1986. Not because they care about addressing the failure of both pre and post ’86 governments, but because they want us to forget that the people hold the true power to create change.”, says Diego Magallona
I hope that the current generation continues to uphold the lessons of “people power” and continue the struggle for national freedom and democracy. We should continue to intensify our collective struggle because we cannot rely on government or any politician to achieve radical, thoroughgoing change.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
(this is an update to my post originally written ten years ago)
I know I will embarrass my husband with this post. I wrote this list a couple of years ago but I just want to revive this for Valentine’s day. He tells me that his friends read my blog but I assure him I only write the good stuff. haha.
For now, Let me count the ways:
1. I love the way my husband smiles across the room as I sit down and write this entry. To this day, my husband gazes at me lovingly (on random moments) as if it’s the first time he met me. As if I am the most attractive woman in the world.
2. I love my husband’s persistence. He refused to let me go when I told him that “I have had enough. I want a separation”. With courage and love, we got our second wind.
3. I love his courage to change, the way he let go of unhealthy behavior patterns as we worked on achieving our new normal after the death of Luijoe.
4. I love living with him one day at a time which requires so much faith in us. We don’t look back at the past unless healing from the past is part of today’s work. We look ahead to make future plans. We focus on this day’s activity, living it to the best of our ability.
5. I love that we sit down and laugh over our favorite show, or laughing together at the silliest things on TV.
6. I love the way my head fits nicely on his chest when we cuddle in front of the TV set.
8. I love the warmth of his hands as we hold hands in the mall.
9. I love those random wet kisses even if I tell him “not now, the kids!”. The random display of affection in front of my horrified girls who often shriek ““Dad, Mom..no!” Their disgusted looks are priceless.
10. I love the way he took care of me at the hospital when I broke my leg and needed surgery. I had already left him that time and insisted that I live with him.
11. I love the affirmation. He assures me that I am beautiful even during those days I feel ugly or just having a bad hair day.
12. I love his frugal nature even if it means buying roses close to midnight of Valentine’s day.
13. I love our inner child moments when we play with our imaginary cats in “Neko Atsume”. It’s just good that we can giggle and let our hair down more often now.
14. I love to reminisce over our love story and the ups and downs that came along in our marriage. We like to look back and laugh at our stupid mistakes.
15. I love that he allowed me to own a pet cat knowing that he is allergic to cat fur.
18. I love our emails. I always close my email or chat with ““your loving wife”, or ““love and kisses” or ““your sexy wife” ““love you”. In turn he affirms my email with ““Dear Loving Wife..” or ends our chat ““see you , dear or I love you”. We never tire of saying sweet nothings to each other.
19. I love the daily text messages that affirms his love for me. And vice-versa, of course.
20. I love the recipe books that he regularly buys me.
21. I love the way he pretends to be shocked when I suggest something “sensual”.
22. I love random romantic moments. Buying me flowers when there is no occasion. Butch rarely buys me flowers but there are those days when he buys a bouquet just because.
23. I love our movie dates and munching popcorn. Just being there , holding hands and acting as if we are still steadies on a date.
24. I love his endearment to me which is calling me a punk. I don’t know why he calls me punk but I find it such an original endearment. I admit I can be a punk and a bitch.
25. I love that the good stuff I listed above more than surpass his annoying ways.
There are more than 25 ways my husband shows his love to me. We often say that we will love each other till eternal life. Our wedding vows are ““till death do us part” and should end there. Our belief that our son is in heaven gives us hope for eternal life. We look forward to more loving years of togetherness.
They say marriage is for better or for worse. Couples try to support and care for each other, through good times and bad. Usually, when one of us hits rock bottom, the other can try to be the mainstay for a little while, to help the other along. But what happens when our child dies? The couple is now cast into the same dark place, struggling with the worst thing they have ever faced. Couples are there together, but they may discover that they are also there alone.
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Now not all couples in grief experience this dilemma. I believe that marriages with “wounded bird syndrome” suffer the most. What is the “wounded bird syndrome”?
Many times a nurturer will marry a wounded bird who is extremely dependent. They need their spouse to fulfill their every need. As a result, it puts a lot of pressure on the relationship. The person who is the nurturer feels as if the weight of the relationship is upon them and they feel smothered. The wounded bird is frustrated with the nurturer because they never can take care of every need that they have. What the wounded bird is trying to do is to have their needs met by someone who is not able to meet them.
A wounded bird in grief will seek someone to fulfill this unmet need.
I never knew what this meant until I got a text message one day from Cecile (names and events are changed to protect their identities). She asked “How can I tell Peter,my boyfriend to move on without being insensitive?” Then Cecile and I talked on the landline phone. She explained that her boyfriend lost his 5 year old daughter , Samantha in a car accident over 6 months ago. Not that I am nosy or anything like that, I asked if she was the mother of the girl.
“No. Peter and his wife were already separated a year before the accident” Cecile said.
Would it have been rude of me to ask: “Where’s the proof they are separated?” I just treated Cecile as a support system to Peter. For the next three months, Cecile and I were in contact. She wanted to comfort her boyfriend in his most difficult moment. Knowing how important support is, I gave tips on Handling the Bereaved. Then one day, a friend asked me to help a bereaved mother.
My friend said “Emma lost her 5 year old daughter to a car accident a few months ago. Can you talk to her? “.
DING-DONG. Something rang inside my mind.
I asked my friend “Is Samantha the name of her daughter who died on May 13, 2005?”
My friend affirmed.
What a small word our grief circle is!
The succeeding text messages infuriated me. I felt like a fool. I found out that Emma and Peter are very much married.
I immediately texted Cecile and confronted her about this revelation.
Cecile pleaded “Please don’t mention we talked”
I shouldn’t have given advice to Cecile in the first place. She used Peter’s grief to her advantage so they could get close and continue their trysts. Like a wounded bird, Cecile nurtured Peter with the grief support I provided. I was so mad.
I met up with Emma finally. I wanted to tell her about her husband’s girlfriend. A couple’s grief gets even more complicated with a third party. I waited for the right opportunity and allowed her to unload her thoughts and feelings. I found out that she knew about the existence of the girl even prior to Samantha’s death. As far as she knew, that relationship ended. I felt that I could not continue talking to Emma until I revealed the truth. I felt like a hypocrite if I withheld that tidbit.
I released the bombshell.
Emma’s face crumpled.
I wanted to cry when I saw her pained expression.
I thought she would kill me with this revelation but thank goodness she was full of gratitude.
I told her that she is not alone with the wounded bird syndrome. Another bereaved mother experienced the same situation with a “girl friend” of her spouse. What helped the couple was the knowledge that couples grieve differently. The Compassionate Friends, helped with this revelation. The spouse found comfort and strength in talking to other parents who have battled through similar difficulties and survived them. There is hope in Emma and Peter’s marriage. I introduced her to Angie, the bereaved mother who almost lost her spouse to a cunning girlfriend.
It is often said that a relationship is like a dance: we have to find a tempo that works for us both, but then each of has our own steps. Grieving will probably intensify our awareness of each other and our sense of ‘together yet alone’. The need to remember our child and to share memories will always be there. But our lives do continue, and the insights into our relationship that have been so painfully discovered as we grieve may enrich our partnership in the years ahead.
When a child dies, it’s not the natural order of things. For many years, I struggled to find the meaning of my son’s death. Five years and a lot of pain later, I finally found the answers. It all started with an email to Cathy after I invited her to join as co-founder for the Compassionate Friends Philippines.I have to mention that this support group is not around anymore, but I continue to offer comfort in my aboutmyrecovery.com blog.
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She replied and readily agreed to join. What struck me was her statement:
I now know that we are called to serve in different ways because we have different missions. Setting up Compassionate Friends in the Philippines is clearly yours as Migi’s Corner and Grief counselling and death education are mine.
How could that be? If I wanted a mission, a foundation seems a more noble idea. “The Compassionate Friends” is not an original idea. So there I was thinking, Alma, Cathy and Pia initiated foundations all in the memory of their children. I don’t have any memorial or foundation in Luijoe’s name. I felt a bit sad, but Cathy’s words stuck in my mind for many days until I remembered a conversation with my son during Holy Week.
The actual picture that Luijoe pointed out in his prayerbook
Then one night while we had our usual prayers before bedtime, he pointed to the picture of St. John the Apostle which was found in his Rosary Prayer book. I explained that Jesus told John to take care and comfort his mother when he dies. Luijoe seemed to be touched by St. John and the following nights, he kept repeating the same question and this time he was asking how John was related to Mother Mary. I found that to be a very deep question, and I just said he was one of Jesus’ apostle.
Now I realized the meaning. It was like Luijoe was making sure I would remember John. I did remember our conversation during the wake .It touched my heart that my son was worried about my grief.
I realized Luijoe wanted me to carry on the comfort to others. The St. John symbolizes compassion. By working with The Compassionate Friends, I would act like a “St. John” to other bereaved parents. This memory brought tears of joy and nostalgia. Even if I am no longer around in this mortal world, this grief support group will still continue on. Truly, God works in mysterious ways and He uses our children to help us find and shape our ministries. It is our children who remind us of the bigger work that God has set out for us in this world.
I wrote this post a long time ago when I was still active with “The Compassionate Friends”. But I continue to talk to parents who have lost a child through my blog and sharing this podcast. My son never let me forget that there are many “St. Johns” in my life. Today, Good Friday reminds me Luijoe is never entirely gone
We didn’t have Oculus Virtual Reality headsets, PlayStation, Nintendo 64, X boxes, video games, cable TV with over 100 channels, VCR’s, surround sound, cellular phones, computers, online chatrooms.
Instead we had…
1. Dance parties that started at 4:00 PM because martial law imposed a curfew at 12:00 midnight. A permit was required whenever there were more than 5 guests.
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2. Portable typewriter instead of a laptop. When you made a typing error, you had to use a correction fluid . No delete buttons. And you had to have your content ready before typing.
3. Four TV channels: Channel 3, Channel 7 and Channel 9 and Channel 13.
4. No call waiting. No direct dialing. One time, I had the shock of my life when an operator rudely interrupted a telephone conversation with my suitor because of an incoming long distance call.
5. No Automated Teller machines. Since I resided at a dormitory in the UP campus, my allowance was sent through telegraphic transfer. Queuing at PNB for 30 minutes or so was not fun at all.
6. PONG . If you don’t know what PONG is it is a rudimentary side-view tennis game, the ball bounces off a long horizontal line at the bottom of the oscilloscope, and there is a small vertical line in the centre to represent the net.
7. No email. I wrote letters to my siblings with a pen, of course, and rode a jeepney to drop my letter at the post office. Often it takes a week for our letter to arrive. If we wanted instant messaging, we had to use the telegram such as RCPI.
9. No bottled water. I drank water from the faucet or from a hose in the backyard.
10. No portable music player. No Napster. No. torrents. No MP3 ‘s. No IPod. No Spotify, Apple Music. No podcasts. Vinyl records and cassette tapes were so cool. I brought my friends over to the house to groove with the music and dance along with the music- 12 steps (not the 12-step program, duh), LA walk, the Swing.
11. No tablets or iPads. No macbooks . No IBM. No Microsoft. We had a TRS 80. And the RAM was either 4 or 16 kilobytes of RAM . Whaa?
12. No USB flash drives. No CD’s or floppy disk either. Instead, we used cassette tapes to store computer data. If the tape got torn, you splice it.
I wrote this 13 years ago, but I thought I’d update it again because today is our couple anniversary. I like to look back at the good old days and dream about the future together. Here is our story:
I gaze at my two lovely daughters and smile. I realize they are much older than us.. when we, their parents, were just college sweethearts. My two daughters wailed and wondered when they will meet The One. Will they be as blessed as their parents who found their true love from each other? I have no ready answers. Love just happens when you least expect it. Who would have thought Butch and I would end up together for better and for worse? He became my boyfriend for the most shallow reasons, which was “I wanted a cute boyfriend”
Butch and I met through my college roommate at the University of the Philippines Shopping Center ‘ restaurant. It was not love at first sight for me. I think Butch was stricken by Cupid’s arrow that fateful night. To my great annoyance, he kept staring at me “You have beautiful eyes” all night long. He never let go of me since then. Though Butch was utterly charming and really cute, I wasn’t interested. First, he looked really wild as in “jeprox” (the slang word for punk during those days). Second, “mestizos” are not my type. Third, he was two years younger than me. I knew he was 18 years old, yet he lied that he was 20 years old.
He was very persistent. Riding on his yellow motorcycle, he’d zoom past the dorm as if “by accident” and pretend to be surprised to see me. I liked the attention but felt he was too dangerous. But see, Butch had a way with words (think “bolero”) which would make any girl giggle. Fear engulfed me when I began to fall in love with him. His wild and dangerous looks were just too tempting. What was it with “bad boy image” that attracted me to him? For years, I poured over my books just to get excellent grades, but for what? College is supposed to be fun. I wanted to have fun. My motto that semester: be adventurous and grab a cute boyfriend. After all, graduation loomed the following semester. I decided I wanted to have a boyfriend. Not just any boyfriend. He had to be a cute.
My greatest fear though was he’d seduce me. Butch looked really reckless and seductive. Heck. I threw caution to the wind and “went along with him” the night he announced to the world that I was his girlfriend.
I thought, “I am his girlfriend? How did that happen?”
Whispering sweet nothings to my ear, “I will marry you one day. I will be a lawyer. You just see.”
I was laughing inside and mused I would never marry this guy. He’s a bum. I won’t have a future with him. He is my boyfriend because I just want to have fun. I hate my boring student life.
True enough, the following month, I found out he didn’t meet the university requirements of passing 21 units, 60% passing of all subjects and to have a passing grade in at least 4 units. He scored a grand slam. The verdict was expulsion from the state university. I knew there was hope, so I dragged him to the college secretary for a reconsideration.
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“No, I don’t have hope. I will move to San Beda then take up Law after college” he moaned.
“You are going to graduate AB Political Science from UP and proceed to the College of Law”, I convinced him to appeal.
Thanks to Dean Martin Gregorio, Butch was granted a reconsideration. Since we became steadies, he passed all his subjects and eventually studied Law.
Despite Butch wild streak, he never took advantage of me. Haha. I should give him credit for being a gentleman in that aspect. In fact, we enjoyed a clean and responsible relationship. Friends doubted that we practiced abstinence. True, Butch would suddenly wrap me in his arms and plant a kiss on my lips right in front of my horrified friends, but that was it. We were a romantic couple for 7 years. Locking our hands together, we sat by the sunken garden and watched the sunset as we wove dreams of being together forever and having babies one day. Amidst the Beegees “How Deep is Your Love”, time stood still for love struck us. Well, mostly his dreams. I wasn’t too sure if he would be a suitable husband.
Two years later…
Holding pizza and a dozen red roses , Butch took me by surprise as he knelt down and proposed marriage. How roooomaaaantic, I gushed .
My brain woke me up from fantasy land.
I said “God, No. You’re only 20. You don’t have a job. You haven’t graduated from college”
We married 7 years after we first met in college.
Our love story is quite long , romantic and crazy so I am not boring you to tears . But see, our love spans 42 years. We have two anniversary dates: March 7 when we first became college sweethearts and May 5 for our wedding day. And of course, celebrating the day we met on January 26, 1978. That sums up 38 years together as a couple who are still so madly in love with each other. You know it is true love when you have gone through the worse moments in marriage and yet managed to survive and make the love even stronger than it ever was.
It wasn’t all roses, sweet nothings, and icing on a cake type of relationship.
We nearly separated 16. years ago. Grief had overtaken us so much. Our marriage suffered during the first few years after my son died. My husband and I had different ways of coping with our grief. He wanted to talk about Luijoe’s death. I preferred to keep quiet and be by myself. This created a distance between us. Sometime in 2005, I packed my bags and muttered goodbye to a tearful Butch. I couldn’t stand him anymore. I wanted a new life without him. I made sure the girls were settled in their dormitories for me to make this great escape.
Alas, God destined me to stick it out with Butch.
As I moved in to my new pad, I lost my footing on the steps and fell to the ground. Were those firecrackers I heard? Oh dear, that awful popping sound came from my ankles. Holding on to the lifeless ankle, my ex-landlord helped me into a cab and brought myself to Medical City emergency room. Fuelled with pride, I refused to contact Butch but asked L to bring me clothes for my confinement. I suffered a fracture which required insertion of metal rods onto my right tibia and ankle bone. Butch got hold of my accident and drove to Medical City. He insisted on taking care of me.
I had no choice but to live with him and work things out. Truly God works in mysterious ways. It was as if God said, ” you can’t run away from your marriage. Try to fix it”. Eventually, with the help of a caring grief counsellor, we sorted out our problems and renewed our commitment to work on our marriage. The secret in the renewal of our marriage was reliving that first time we fell madly in love with each other.
For the next 6 months, I was confined to the wheelchair or crutches . Sounds like those cheesy Filipino scenes in a movie, huh?
Our love is best seen as devotion and action, not just an emotion. Our love during those college sweethearts ‘ days were based on shallow emotions towards each other. Today, our devotion to each other has truly led us to true love.
Yes, young love is possible, dear girls. Our love will always be a work in progress till death do us part
Often when the revival of Beegees “How Deep is Your love” plays in the airwaves, the meaning of the lyrics rings true then and now:
Chorus: How deep is your love I really need to learn cause were living in a world of fools Breaking us down When they all should let us be We belong to you and me
I believe in you You know the door to my very soul You’re the light in my deepest darkest hour You’re my saviour when I fall And you may not think I care for you When you know down inside That I really do
Epilogue- March 7, 2021
I took this picture on December 30, 2020 when my husband arrived home from a two-week hospitalization due to an asymptomatic case of Covid-19. This illness is so unpredictable that I thought the worst. Would he die? Would we both die? I don’t know how I survived those two weeks. Fortunately, my household staff and I tested negative for the coronavirus. But I prayed so hard that we survive this because we have so much to live for. Our coffee project is just starting. We still have to a meaningful life ahead of us. Despite all the hardships in our marriage, I would rather face them than live without the love of my life. Treasure each day with your loved ones. Celebrate life.
March 7, 1978
7 Years Later
25th anniversary shoot at the UP Campus, March 2010
December 30, 2020 – The day my husband went home from the hospital where he was confined for two weeks because of asymptomatic covid-19
Every man ought to be a macho macho man,
To live a life of freedom, machos make a stand,
Have their own life style and ideals,
Possess the strength and confidence, life’s a steal,
You can best believe that he’s a macho man
He’s a special person in anybody’s land. (Village People – Macho Man)
Dad dancing Village People “Macho Man” at a Christmas Party in the late seventies
It’s the booming laughter I remember the most. It’s a laughter that runs across the room that never failed to cheer me up. My father may have passed away 17 years ago today but his sense of humor, the laughter and the positive attitude remains alive in me.
My earliest memory of dad was his round belly that looked like a pillow stuffed under his polo-shirt. I was convinced that fathers also got pregnant just like mom. As I grew, a little older and a little wiser, I realized his paunch stayed the same way, and no baby would ever come out of it. That often puzzled me. I often laid my head on his soft paunch, but only just for a minute because dad would find it uncomfortable.
My sister , Myrna believes that dad’s legacy is his example of strength and perseverance to us, the seven children and eighteen grandchildren. I learned by watching him suffer from the ravages of Stroke, that I should never give up on life, and to hold on to every precious moment with my loved ones, fully aware that, like a candle’s flame, life can flicker out in an instant. His laughter just resonated . Enthusiastic, effervescent, so full of life!
Above all these, the best thing dad gave us is his legacy of true love and family devotion. Even though he is gone, that love and strength of character live on as we now pass these to my daughters, to our granddaughter’s’ children, and so forth down the generation line.
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Today, I want to remember my Daddy old boy, round and pudgy, full of life, his voice confidently booming across a room, his loud laughter rising above a crowd. He may not have the body of a muscled macho man, but he lived the style, the ideals, the strength and confidence of a true-blue macho man.
My dad has always been my role model. I may have been a late bloomer in citizen empowerment and community work, but Dad was always at the back of my mind all these years. I hope he is proud of his children, who in one way or another are following his lead. My Dad, Jose P Lardizabal, was our role model for community service and leadership. Dad was an accountant and a corporate man but he was very active in PICPA, Jaycees, Rotary (a Past District Governor), Caritas (Board President), Sacred Hospital and Southwestern Univ, St Martin de Porres (for special children), Enercon (chairman), Sinulog (Chairman), UP Cebu MBA, and many more.
Dad is a special person in anybody’s land. He is alive and well in my treasured box of memories. May Dad still be smiling down upon us from Heaven, happy about how our lives have turned out.
I am such a sucker for keeping a memory box of my children’s art work , writings, anecdotes or their milestones since they were toddlers. I bought a treasure box for each of my children to hold all of these memories. One of my favorites are the childhood anecdotes that I kept in my memory journal. Children say the cutest things ever. I love reading some of these anecdotes, just to smile and remember the good old days. They speak the most innocent and precious words that either warm our hearts or make us laugh with delight and simply saying ““awww…”
I’m sure you have your own collection of cute kid’s talk. Now to spare my adult children from being teased, I will not mention names . Let me refer to them as my Young man, Cute kid and Adorable kid.
3-year-old cute kid
One time, while watching TV , commercial breaks filled the TV screen. For instance Tide Bar is compared to Brand X, and the same goes for shampoos . Cute kid kept bugging me Mom, buy that every time a commercial came out. I explained to her that commercials intend to persuade us to buy their products . They also claim it is superior when in fact it’s not . Cute kid mused and thought for a moment on my meek explanations.
Then her eyes brightened I have an idea. Let’s buy BRAND X instead.
4-year-old adorable kid
Miriam College Pre-school is known for its environmental consciousness. They are taught early on the segregation of biodegradable and non-biodegradable garbage. One afternoon, adorable kid played with her ball along the streets but the ball rolled to the drainage eventually gone forever. Noting her distraught face, I promised that I’d buy her another ball.
Her worried look touched me.
Mom, garbage that clogs the drainage can cause floods
I comforted her ““it’s okay, it’s just one ball. One ball won’t flood Manila.”
The following week, my girl played with the new ball I promised to buy her. Unfortunately, the ball rolled again to the drainage. She cried her heart out. I was wondering why she was inconsolable.
I hugged her ““It’s okay. I can buy another ball”
With tears pouring down her cheeks, ““Mom , two balls already fell to the drainage”. I continued to hug her ““That’s okay . It was an accident”.
Then she covered her face ““You don’t understand , mom. Manila will now get flooded because of me”
““Awww, no dear…” as I hugged her.
6-year-old Young Man
My family and I went up to the mountains for a vacation on my husband’s side. My son urged everyone to gather around the bonfire so we could talk. Sweet, I thought. As we huddled around the fire, he declared “let’s talk about love”.
3-year-old Cute kid
In the late 80’s women bangs are often puffed up with hair spray or fizz.
Cute kid watched me intently as I combed my bangs and finally setting it in place with a hair spray.
She looked triumphant with her impish grin.
That does it mom! No more cockroaches
Don’t you just love the funny things our children can come up with sometimes? Care to share them here?
I am grateful for the New Year 2021 and the challenges we faced in 2020.
“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” MARCEL PROUST
The hot and humid afternoon coupled with a lot of deadlines made me lazy for the rest of the day. A text message arrived. It was from my husband.
I have something for you…_______________ because I love you. See you later dear.
*kilig* His text message thrilled me to pieces. No, it wasn’t the gift. It was the reason…”because I love you”. I am pretty used to my husband’s flowery words via text message or email but that afternoon, I was full of gratitude that his text message spoke of love. Random moments like that just lifted my spirits.
I replied back “love me? kilig naman” as if we are still steadies. I couldn’t help smiling the rest of the afternoon and shared it with my best friend.
My husband is not perfect. There are days when I just clam up and huddle up in my sanctuary while he retreats to his cave. (Yes friends of hubby, I know you are reading this so please don’t embarrass my husband and cite my entries. He doesn’t read my blog. )
But that afternoon, I affirmed an important concept to get me through this stressful time and that is gratitude. When my husband arrived that night, I gave him a hug “Thank you my dear husband” and it was not meant for the gift. I thanked him for being sweet and romantic at random moments.
If I had the time, I will write a book for men on “How to Flatter a Woman”. Through the years, I scrawled down snippets of sweet nothings in a diary, when my husband would pour his endearments to me. I like looking back at them to remind me that his strengths outweighs his weaknesses. I choose to focus on that strength. Gratitude makes things right. Gratitude turns negative energy to positive energy.
I am so thankful that my husband is loving and devoted to me. My heart is filled with gratitude.
Yes, the sweetness of gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. I have learned the magical lesson that making the most of what I have turns it into more. It is not material gifts that make me happy. It is love. I can affirm my gratitude any day I want to but I want to dedicate this gratitude entry especially to my husband.
Thank you my dear, husband.
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy