Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy Reunion

That's Helen with me.  She is a dear friend and classmate from Nursing school, and we had not seen each other for 19 years.  So we decided to meet at the mall.  I said, don't tell me where you're seated.  Just tell me what color shirt you're wearing.  She did just that, and of course, it was a BIG mall with an equally BIG food court.  My eyes turned as round as saucers when I got there.  But slowly I walked.  From table to table.  Scanning faces.  On the look-out for a green shirt, thinking, what in the world did Helen look like now?  

Then I spotted a bewildered-looking girl who probably thought she was as lost as the one looking for her. Ha!  What a joyous reunion.

I thought I'd post it here because Sir Joey sent me a beautiful sentimental email (the one that has nostalgic music against a picturesque background), and it made me think of good friends, happy memories.  You know how it is when you say good bye, and you just can't finish?  That's the kind of friend Helen is.  Well, I hope you remember one of yours this holiday season and catch up. 

It's a good feeling.

Oh, yeah, bring it on!

Tomorrow's the 31st, so out with the old and in with the new. 

Curtains, bed sheets, cushion covers, towels, rugs - we changed them all. The laundry room's busy, there is absolutely no piece of clothing to be left behind.  Wash, wash, wash.

M put coins on the windowsills.  Yup, attract the gods of the finances, to always keep them in order.  Only round fruits on the table.  "Mom, onions?"  "No, dear, just fruits."

No broken anything.  I have a vase in one of the bathrooms that I fixed with superglue a few weeks back.  That has to go, too.  My china and utensils have to be in perfect shape. 

Only good thoughts now.  That's right, bring it on!  Let the tiger ROOOAAARRR!!!

What are you doing to usher the new year in?

Falling Leaves

I watch the leaves fall to the ground

Before the wind rushes

To take possession of them.

The leaves are the reddest, fiery and golden.

They tease the senses

At their most transcendent.

I watch enticed

Only for so long.

In a whisper, they all glide away with time.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


picture source:

The electric bill came up to $146.00 for last month.  Whew.  That alone makes me shiver even more.  But we can't help it (or can we)?  It's the winter break, and the kids are mostly at home, we've had some guests over the holidays, and it's REALLY  just cold.  It's 22 degrees outside right now as I type this.  I crank the heater way over 70 almost everyday because despite sweaters and socks and quilts (thanks, Ms. Sandy, AJ takes his Thomas quilt everywhere around the house), it is still freezing. 

I think I'm getting better, though.  When I talk, my voice is raspy, booming, whispery, or not there at all.  I am following everybody's advice, thank you so much, and since I'm off  today and tomorrow,  I hope to get the rest I need.

How do you all cope with this winter chill?  Brrrr!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Understanding Jesus

On December 9th at 11pm, Debbie was not to be seen.  It wasn't like her to be late.  She was one of the CNAs scheduled to work.  But before I could find out what happened, someone blurted out the news.  At 5:30 that afternoon, she was caught in traffic by the train tracks in her SUV with her two young sons aged 9 and 6 sleeping at the back, when the Amtrak train barrelled down on the car.  The boys were instantly thrown off the vehicle and killed on the spot.  Deborah was rushed to Duke, and survived.  All that the witnesses could remember was an explosion and Debbie's screams.

My legs crumpled.  A staff member fled to the bathroom and threw up. 

Later that night, I gathered my staff in a circle and,  holding hands, we offered individual prayers for the children's souls and for Deborah's peace of mind.  Fourteen months ago, she had just lost her first-born son to a shooting incident, and before this recent event,  was still visibly grieving.

I don't get it.

I don't get that we have to die in such a violent way, especially children -  in which case, people are bound to point fingers. Why leave the living in anguish and pain?  Debbie was heard to say later, "Somebody up there must really hate me."

I married late, and it took three years before I became pregnant.  It was an ecstatic moment, more so knowing we were to have twins.  But I miscarried at 13 weeks.  They would have been the first grandkids on both sides, and the third generation of twins on my side, at least.  We buried the placentas, but the memories lingered. I saw the pain in my mother's and my husband's eyes, which compounded my grief.  I felt the burden of guilt and blamed myself for the longest time, even though I am a nurse, and knew better than to do so.  My mind did, my heart didn't.  Nobody blamed me, but I tormented myself. 

Earlier this year, I was pregnant again, but lost the baby in June, at 6 weeks.  Matthew wept and the memory of my 6-year-old clinging to my bosom wailing the loss of  "my baby sister" (as he was sure it was a girl) continues to sting my heart.  My husband cried a silent tear. "She" has a simple resting place by the tree behind the house.

I am comforted by the thought that we have three angels watching over us, and that the twins now have someone else to love, and they won't be so lonely.  It takes a lot of explanation to Matthew, and I know I am not equipped.  He is on a journey to knowing Jesus, while I keep on stumbling on my way to understanding Him.

Jesus died in the most violent of fashions.  His disciples and the multitude of His followers were stricken.  They felt horrified, and scared.  And they also pointed fingers.  They were guilt-ridden.

Debbie must feel the same wretchedness as the disciples, the same unworthiness, loneliness, and grief beyond all griefs at the untimely deaths of her sons, leaving her to bear the brunt of suffering.  Fingers pointing her way must feel like a thousand daggers, even as her mind screams for mercy, and her heart wails for her loss.

I draw my analogies as I type, and so forgive my lame attempts. 

One day, I hope to understand what I have written. 

A Very Sore Throat

Does anyone please know of any remedy?

I had the H1N1 mist about a week ago, and then, with FULL warning of course, started feeling an exodus of symptoms.  First came the backache, then my finger joints just felt sore, my muscles hurt like crazy, everything was out of whack - I had to ask my husband to give me a good massage right away.  My whole body was on fire, it was unbelievable.  Eventually,  Extra Strength Tylenol quickly got rid of all that.  (I still take it PRN/as necessary.)  But then came this awful, awful sore throat that I can't shake off.

It is so bad I've had to apply Vicks on my neck and wrap a short kind of scarf around it TO and AT work for two nights now.  I've been drinking hot tea, eating nothing but soup, and pumping up on vitamins and pain killers, to no avail.  A friend suggested ginger.  I'll probably have to drink the water I boil it in, I forgot to ask.

My throat feels swollen, (though I don't believe it is), and swallowing is extremely painful.

What a nightmare and a half.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

'Tis indeed.

I am all geared up to write if only to greet you all a blessed Christmas.  I don't suppose anyone will have the time to sit down in front of the computer on Christmas day, though, what with all the hype and rush, but I am taking my chances.

I think of all the Christmases past, and how they compare with this year's.  I think of the Philippines heated up not only by the Mayon volcano acting up in Albay, but also by the horrendous political goings-on there.  I think of the thousands of Filipinos who are brilliant, capable of making names around the world, whose talents remian untapped because of lack of opportunity.  I think of those to whom opportunity is given, but who happen to be wasteful, arrogant, deceitful, and greedy.  I think of all the blessings laid out before me, and how I have used and (squandered) many.  I think of the friends I made and kept, and those who have betrayed me for personal gain.   I thnk of hearts I have broken, and those who have broken mine.  But I push them all away, clear my mind of cobwebs, and look forward.

This is the Season of Nativity, when the Lord has shown us great mercy through the birth of His Son.  I think and I think deep, of the times I had thought I was not worth redeeming, of my unworthiness in His eyes.  But this Season, I think even more.  Of hope and renewal, of acceptance and forgiveness.  I think of all the hurts I caused because I judged people to be less than I.  I think of my own weaknesses and how I can transcend them and perhaps improve myself.  I think of ways to make this Christmas different from the others - beyond all the cooking and gift-giving, and trimmings and nice clothes.  The smiles will hold.  The hugs will not be mere politeness.  Perhaps that way, I will continue to touch more lives.

This article is for all the family and friends I cherish and keep.  I know we've all been busy one way or another.  But I thank you for always remembering.  Here's to you - for your loyalty, respect, and love.  May your life continue to be full, may the Lord watch and keep you, may you be blessed this Holy Season and always.

'Tis indeed the time to embrace each other and give thanks.

Happy Christmas, one and all!

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someone very blessed to walk this life with you