Last night, my nephew, the son of Oscar, my late brother asked me if I knew the notes of his dad’s award winning composition Pangarap ng Musmos (Dream of the Youth) which was played over 30 years ago in an Ateneo College Music Festival. I told him I didn’t have it but if he can hear the notes, it is easy to take it down. Honestly, I haven’t heard my brother’s composition for a long time now and decided to turn it on again. As I listened to “Pangarap ng Musmos”, the tears just rolled down my cheeks as the lilting music streamed through my bedroom. As I watched a video of my brother playing Love Story on the piano, the more I sobbed. What irony! He was dying of leukemia as he played the melody.

I missed my brother so much and listening to his music made me feel he was right there in the room, playing it for me. The heartfelt passion as he played every note in the piano moved me so much. I also missed my other brother Reuben and my dad and mom. I counted 4 deaths in my family of origin. not counting my own son. Five deaths in my immediate family.

It is easy to count what we do not have.

I cannot ignore fleeting moments of nostalgia. In my sadness, I assessed what I had. I counted my blessings.

1. I have a loving husband and two daughters.

2. I have four other siblings.

3. I have new and old friends.

4. I live a good life.

I can go on and on.

I have a lot to be grateful to my family.

Gratitude makes things right. Gratitude turns negative energy to positive energy. I started with who I am, and what I have today and applied gratitude, then let it work its power.

Like I said in my previous entry, Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.

1. It turns what we have into enough.

2. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

3. It can turn a meal into a fiesta, a house into a home, a stranger into a chum.

4. It turns problems into gifts, failures into successes, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events.

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

I am grateful to whoever converted my brother’s music to a church song. When you hear a faster beat of my brother’s composition in your church, just know it is my brother’s way of saying thank you to God for “extending his life” through his music.

Thank you for the music.

This is my entry for the November Rice Bowl Journals Collaboration Project


About Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

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