As Abraham Lincoln once said, ““And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

I look back at 2011 as a year that brought more fun, travel, readers, and social media engagement.

New Year brings joy, hope, and wisdom. With every passing year, I have learned to develop a keener understanding of my new normal without my son. It’s a new normal for the past 11 years. Life continues to be a learning process and I do gain valuable tidbits of wisdom along the way from old and new friends. I have learned to live my life without regret. So with the coming new year 2012, I embrace it with renewed energy.

Here is my New Year’s greeting to all my readers, friends and family. Below the video are the top stories for 2011 which I think you should read. There are stories on parenting, grief recovery, social media, relationships and just about life.

Click on the links for each story.


1. What the daughter does, the mother did

Of all the haunting moments of motherhood, few rank with hearing your own words come out of your daughter’s mouth. I discover this to be true now that my daughters are adults.

2. Love your inner child

Without a mom and far away from my dad (since I became independent after college), I learned to summon my the parent inside me. True, there is a parent inside each of us, as well as a child.


3. A letter to my son in heaven

I wrote this on the 11th angel anniversary of my son, Luijoe. Love never died even if my son was gone from my embrace. Eleven years ago, I felt the world swallowed me up. I thought I could not live with the unbearable gut-wrenching pain in my heart. At times, I thought I went crazy. I barely survived. I had to find that courage to live because of my two daughters and my husband. That difficult journey left me literally with a broken heart but not too broken because why did God give me a second wind in life to make a difference in this mortal world?

4. A Letter from Heaven

Let me share one of the first grief poems a few weeks after we buried Luijoe. After all the friends have condoled with you, one is left alone to grieve. Now reading this ““A letter from heaven” poem eleven years after his death, I see the words that inspired me to move on with my new life. I forgot all about this poem. These words may have been subliminal but it played a big role in my healing journey. If you have lost a child, this poem may give you some measure of comfort. The words didn’t really strike a chord at first. I remember wailing ““but I want my Luijoe here beside me, bugging me with his toys.”


5. True friends are never apart maybe in distance but not in heart

This friend is special to me. I don’t know if I am special to this person. For a while, I was mad ..but how could I stay mad at this person who introduced me to the Holy Bible, to be open to other religions other than the Catholic faith? How could I get hurt for long knowing that love does not keep a record of wrongs?
How could I feel abandoned when my friend never left me? The friendship remained in my heart.

6. The Honeymoom Phase

Come to think of it, this current phase of our marriage is the honeymoon phase. Ray Bandy asserts that ““the honeymoon is the only period when a woman isn’t trying to reform her husband.” We have arrived at this point in our lives that we have learned to accept each other’s quirks, that there are things beyond our control.

I am enjoying married life with my husband now more than ever. It’s been 2 years since we last had a major squabble. That’s a feat.

Social Media

7. Willie Revillame humiliates a crying 6 year old boy as he dances

When I tweeted “I think What Willie Revillame did to this 6 year old kid may be in violation of R.A. 7610 Section 3 (b) “Child abuse””, the tweets were endless. I then wrote this blog entry and bewailed … This is just so disgusting. Willie Revillame, you are the lowest of the low.

What Willie did is humiliate this boy repeatedly in front of millions of people. Where is the dignity in that? Why does he subject Jan-Jan who is obviously crying, to that kind of torture. The adults who taught him to dance that way? Ugh, the very same people responsible for his well-being.

The awareness of child abuse went as far as Congress that they passed the HB 4455, ““An Act Promoting Positive and Non-violent Discipline of Children” on April. It is pending at the Senate.

8. You are what you tweet

The Willie Revillame brouhaha gave me thousands of new Twitter followers and paved the way to more social media engagement in other critical issues.

There are many lessons and quotes in social media I learned in the last two years especially in Twitter. Starting out with only 500 followers in September 2009, I now have 7100 plus followers because they wanted to hear about news not found in tri-media. Compared to big media networks and celebrities, the number is a drop in the bucket. The numbers do not matter. Let me tell you how it is.


9. How I relax while tweeting with a cat on my lap

No time to get totally annoyed at useless tweets with a cat on your lap. As anyone who has ever been around a cat for any length of time well knows cats have enormous patience with the limitations of the human kind.

10. Simple tips and lessons in life

Lastly, whatever happens, just remember these simple lessons in life.

1. Don’t promise when you’re happy
2. Don’t reply when you’re angry, and
3. Don’t decide when you’re sad

Finally remember the five simple lessons in life to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred – Forgive
2. Free your mind from worries – Most never happen
3. Live simply and appreciate what you have
4. Give more
5. Expect less

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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