To My Future Kids

My niece from a cousin gave birth to my fourth grandson yesterday. She’s 20. I’m 26. And I’m shit scared. It is starting to dawn on me that I might be running out of time building my own family while I am here stuck trying to figure out how to be the person God wants me to be. I cry a little every time I see videos of babies in social media, being very cute, cuddly and smart. I cringe at the idea of bringing a person to this world but my heart melts wondering how amazing that person could be.

And so for my first born and to all my kids, I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that I and your dad are still work in progress. Being in our mid 20s we are still in this crazy journey of finding and molding ourselves to be of service to the Lord and to the world, trying to keep optimism that we bring a change to humanity.
I’m sorry you wouldn’t come into these days that my whole family still lives under one roof and having catching ups over dinners are easy. I’m sorry you’ll miss the chance growing up with Clark and Chloe and have that love-hate relationship cousins develop every play time. I’m sorry that on your first years in school Lolo and Grandma will be a bit older and may not be the ones to give you a bath everyday.

I cannot promise that at the time you are with me, I will be in my best self. But it would be the version of me who would wholeheartedly devote her life as your mother, who would, at all cost, love you dearly.

Please know that when I hold you for the first time in the delivery room, it’s a promise of a lifetime love and protection.

That when you go home crying because you hurt your toes I’ll be ready with a band aid, or a gauze, and a candy because I know we both think it’s the best remedy to wounded toe.

That I’ll have circles around my eyes every time you get afraid of the monsters under your bed.

That I’ll be the most active stage mom making you costumes, helping you practice and cheering you on from your first performance at school til the last one my breathe would permit me to witness.

That though with tears in my eyes, I’ll be there in your first heartache. When you feel lost, defeated and wounded, I’ll be the first person to remind you of your worth.

That when you finish school, we’ll celebrate your dreams.

That when you walk down the aisle, I promise to work hard to be there. That I’ll take care of myself to be there.

We’ll have dinners every night, play time after your home works, fighting once in a while, gift giving every milestones, swimming every month, badminton every weekend and mass every Sunday. We’ll know God together and we’ll live your life by His words.

But for now, like what He tells me everyday, be patient. I’m excited to know you.

We’ll meet you in God’s perfect time. 🙂

The iPad Saga

Last night we found an iPad on a chair in the park between the malls G4 and G5. Luckily it didn’t have any code and we managed to speak with the owner’s mom through Facebook. I gave my phone number since the iPad’s battery was running really low. And said we’d just wait for her call so that we can arrange how she can get it back.

A couple sat beside us and through the photos in FB we recognized the girl. My friend asked, “Are you **********? We found your iPad.” Unaware that it was even lost, she just got it back without saying a word.

Minutes after, an unknown number started calling my phone. Assuming it was the mom, I told her, “Your mom is calling. You tell her you have your iPad back.”

Wait. Di niya alam na nasa Makati ako.”

[“Wait, she doesn’t know I’m in Makati”]

(In her chat with her mom, she sent a pic of herself holding a Starbucks cup. She told her she was in Starbucks Taft when in fact I guess she was in Starbucks G5.)

And another ring.

Sabihin mo hindi iPad yung nawala. IPad Mini. Kanya (her boyfriend) yun. Nakilog-in lang ako sa FB.”

[“You tell her what you found was an iPad Mini, not an iPad. It’s his (her boyfriend’s) I just logged in using his device.” ]

“Uhmm. Kayo na lang mag-usap.”

“Uh, you just talk to her.” Then we walked away.

I called the mom and told her how I saw the iPad. I just made sure she already knew that her daughter got it back. She was so thankful she even called me an angel. 🙂

You, girl, you’re crazy. I need not enumerate the reasons why I was disappointed but I will.

1. Saying “Thank you” is one of the first things a human being learns.

2. No, you don’t! You don’t lie to your parents!

3. Be mindful of your belongings. Your parents worked hard for those.

4. Instead of thinking on how you can stop your mom from worrying, you were planning on how you can make her believe you weren’t irresponsible.

5. You wanted other people (your boyfriend) to be seen as careless when in fact it was you.

6. You don’t talk to older people like that. I know we are small ladies but it was plain obvious we are older.

7. Be polite to strangers. You don’t just give orders leading them to be bad people.

8. Don’t you involve me in your telling lies to your mom. I was raised to be an honest daughter. I sure know your mom tried to make you one, too.

Your mom was really nice. I hope you got her manners.

Be thankful I was told by God to not choose who I help.

Puzzle Solved!

My friends and I decided to have a date early today for our regular catching ups. The initial plan was to try the Breakout Manila, it is a bonding activity where the players would plan and solve puzzles as a team to be able to escape from “dangerous” rooms. Of course we were really excited as it is where we can practice our crazy critical thinking skills once more. Playing intellectual games was our thing way back college days. But due to our stinginess since the activity would hurt pockets of small groups like us, one of my friends recommended that we go instead to a specialty cafe her office mate owns. (She had discount coupons)

Its name is Puzzle.  The food was great. Delicious, really! The ambiance was homey. And the servers? They are amazing kids with autism.

I learned that one of the servers was the owner’s brother. He stopped going to school and his family decided to give him something to keep him busy. With his love of organizing things, his sister planned on putting up a convenience store where he could arrange the products on the shelves- by type, maybe by color, by size, any way he wanted. The idea later on evolved into being a cafe where two walls are shelves still with products, still arranged by the brother.

In my three hour stay in Puzzle, my tummy was filled, and so was my heart.

At first thought, people who knows the story behind the cafe would probably perceive that everything was planned and implemented for the brother- that he is lucky to have a sister who would cater and perhaps enhance his capabilities. Indeed he is lucky, but I realized, the both of them are.

They had found and had been fulfilling their purposes in life. Through each other, they were guided to the directions they would take in their lives. The brother’s condition led the sister to venture into a business that supports kids with autism, a noble deed. The sister’s compassion for her brother resulted in a much graceful heart that radiates to the people around him- to the chef, to the crews, to the customers, to the family

If life’s puzzle for their family would be solved through love, I’m certain they had put the pieces together even long before.

Dear Granddad

I missed

the idea of you.

Growing up, it had me wondering

Who my father runs to when he fails to remember how to repair a faucet at home

Who he asks for advice when he knows no longer how to fix a fight with a wife

Who he sees as a model in raising a family and in facing life.

I wanted to know you.

But I can’t keep asking my father for more stories, like funny loving exciting and magical bedtime stories before I sleep beside my parents at the age of 25 for I don’t want to waste time not being with them, one trait I surely didn’t get from you. Because stories of you are never about fun love excitement or magic. So stories of you had been kept for so long, and when he finally speaks of you, his heart cries and forgives. In that one moment he uttered the word, “Dad”, it was a language alien to his own tongue and a familiar ache in his heart.

For a while I imagined

your hand giving him a thumbs-up telling him you were satisfied to have seen him doing well in life.

your hand tap his back telling him that whatever there is to face in life, he will be alright.

your hand raised as a sign of a promise

but went left right, left right, left right.

I can never believe that even in that small world I created in my mind, my father still gets goodbyes.

That in that imagination, your face is just a blur and your heart just so bare.

I do not know you.  I never had the chance to. But with all honesty Lolo I thank you.

I thank you because you not attending his high school graduation, and not to mention his wedding to my dear mom, he never misses a single birthday, a graduation, a holiday, a special occasion in my life.

I thank you because you showing that you have the liberty to be with another woman in your life, he loves my mother with all his heart, serves her well, treats her with respect.

I thank you because you leaving your family to “work” and coming back to my Lola when you were already sick, he too had the bravery to work away from his family for 16 years but went back without four children from another woman’s womb.

I thank you because you not showing him how a great father is like, I’m telling you, he learned how to be one.

The Last Five Times I Tried to Say Goodbye But I Couldn’t

“FIVE”

When I knew.
When I got that unanticipated message.
Memories came into me like wind that blew into my hair, my roots, my leaves as I walked home.
It almost crippled me, but I warmed myself.
I was certain that, just like it, it would pass.
And I just wanted to reply with, “Okay.”

“FOUR”
When I heard it.
When said right to my face.
You were leaving.
I looked at you with my indignant eyes.
Do not give up. Do not be silly.
You were tired. Who isn’t?
There was no reason to stay. Am I not?
But you’d made up your mind,
without batting an eye.
That I couldn’t do anything about it.
That you were happy to had come to that liberating decision.
That you actually felt glad upon having this opportunity.
I wanted to leave with a goodbye, with livid traces of the sharp misery.

“THREE”

When I begged.
When I asked for a few more days, a few more weeks, a few more love.
To show you that you weren’t the first to taste life’s hostility
And others devoured the challenge with a boundless fight.
Looking at you was what matters most in the world.
Looking at you seemed to be that one thing I was doing right.
Looking at you, I never thought, could suddenly be, at that moment, the most heartbreaking scene of my life.
But, still, let me look at you.
I couldn’t bid goodbye.

“TWO”
When I prayed.
When I uttered a plea of no words or voice.
I screamed, with silence, the hope of giving us relief of strength.
I whispered my resounding heartbeat trusting that whatever those rampant sounds desire He would be able to comprehend.
When one prays and cries at the same time, it was trusting that He would still listen.
And He would let me know that He decided what’s best.

I wanted you to stay,
yet I couldn’t keep you if it meant your body being crushed,
and your heart being unwilling,
for you had made it clear long before that you would do everything to be with the very person who holds your heart.
You had found your one great love, you said.
It hurt.
Like your eyes shutting no longer wanting to see me,
your head turning on the other side no longer wanting to rest on my shoulder,
your body freeing from my, I know still, warm embraces,
your hands slipping away from mine no longer yearning for my massages.
I lived each day knowing that you are that one person who would always care for me.
I lived a life knowing that whatever happens I got you.
But I looked at you as you walked away never to come back.
I tried to say goodbye and face the somber music.

“ONE”
When I…
When I…
I’m pleading God to finally give me this last “One”.
One time when I hear your name, see a picture of yours, remember your voice…
Or look at your grave,

I’d be able to say, with my sincerest and purest happiness, “Goodbye, Mama”.
Goodbye, Mama.

Deserving

Eversince I was little I have been having this attitude of believing that I need to work really hard for something to deserve it. I had to study every single day to be the class valedictorian, I had to practice all over and over again to be the oratorical or dance contest champion, I had to eat less and less rice and sweets to be not diabetic. Every single thing I wanted should have to be worked hard for. And good news, everything paid off.

But when I started to grow a little older, I feel envious of the people to get to have the things they want in just one snap of a finger. They dont need to be a working student to get their degree. They dont need to work extra hours so that they can buy new clothes or school stuffs, even. They dont need to have three jobs and a business just to be able to provide for their families.

Things are a little unfair, I say. What have they done to be deserving right there and then of the things they wish? What have I not done?

I stopped receiving gifts from my parents when I was 12. Or 10. People get their cars on their 18th birthdays. I stopped receiving allowances from my parents when I was three sems away from finishing college. People receive condos as graduation gifts.

Being envious is a posion that emotionally kills people and is one thing no one wishes to feel, but things are a little unfair, I say. What have I not done to be deserving of these things in an instant?

Am I really undeserving?

But hearing stories from people around me made me think otherwise.

Their parents disapprove of their choices in life. They cant speak to them because it is either they are too busy or they just dont get along well. Complaints about being unsupportive are here and there.

And when I look at my parents and see how they show compassion towards me and my siblings, I get to thinking, what have I done to be deserving of this kind of love?

I love you Mom and Dad. Thank you.  🙂 I love you. 🙂