2013 Things to do before I die: Done!

I only listed two things to do for 2013.  The third one is the gravy.  Gravy could mean I will die happy for having accomplished my endeavour.  The list is:

  1.  Cook ham the way my family does it
  2.  Cook turkey the way my family does it.


Who am I kidding?  I am not a domesticated chick that stays in the kitchen.  I’d rather
plant my own garden, be a cat woman, climb the mountain and be surprised by the light.

The Ham.  Done.  I fed it to Mr. Polish and Mother Teresa next door at Room 307.

The Turkey.  Done.

Impromptu party for YaYa sisterhood last night. They loved it.  Gave them all the left over.  Just like I said, I only eat the Pope’s nose.

As a reward for the sisters gobbling the turkey,  they each received a bottle of wine that I won at United Way and then some.  And then some means, unburdened me with gifts I received that I have no need and giving clothes that that they are eyeing for a long time.  They always enjoy coming here empty-handed and going home with party favours.

As for my reward:  The Carcass.

Mission accomplished. It’s a good day to die.

A Special Gift

Today, I received a gift.  For me, it’s nothing special.  From the giver, it’s a very special gift.  And the gift is one Mango.

This is a very special mango brought by the three special stooges (my nephews) all the way from Palawan, Philippines.  Men think differently when it comes to buying gifts.  I wonder what they were thinking in choosing a Mango for a gift?  Maybe they though this is a perfect gift?  Maybe they thought I want a mango?  Maybe they thought of surprising me.  Maybe they were not thinking at all?  Maybe I will surprise them by returning the gift!

mango

Not.

I am happy to receive the gift and happier even more that these young men came home safely.  That is the most important part.  As for the gift, it’s the thought that counts.  It’s a gift from God to bring them back to us, mango included.

Now, allow me to ask these questions.  Indulge me, please participate, especially the men.  The questions are:

  • What if you bought the perfect gift for someone you love and they wouldn’t open it?
  • Would you leave it with them so they could think about it and maybe open it later?
  • What do you think God does when His gift is not accepted?

If you do not believe in God, think of your higher power or think up of anything.  Your comment awaits.  Thank you.

 
 
Source:  Patricia

The rest is history

“There are causes worth dying for, but none worth killing for.”   ~   Albert Camus

Trying to gather some war stories from the family to document is just like pulling teeth. Inextricable

My first older four siblings, their dad was a World War II soldier. Their dad was my Mother’s first husband.  It’s just one of those things that we forget to share family stories especially our parents are no longer on earth.

Today, being Remembrance Day, I want to remember their dad.  So I sent out e-mails to them asking to tell me a story about their dad with emphasis on being a soldier.

I learned that he was a Major in the military of United States Armed Forces of the Philippines. His full name is Maximo Abendan Papas descendant of  Greek origin.  He was a prisoner of war and helped wounded co-soldiers in the concentration camp.  Their dad survived and escaped from the famous “Death March”.

Death March happened when the Japanese invaded the Philippines.  The Japanese have taken Americans and Filipinos as prisoners in 1942 and made them march 128 km to reach the camp .  There were many casualties that even the historians cannot take the full account of the prisoners.  War is war: prisoners were treated brutally, full of  physical and mental abuse.

Even their dad escaped, he did not escape the disease he contracted during the war and eventually died of lung cancer.  He was 36 years old.

My eldest sibling was only four years old when his dad died.  At that age, I suppose one has little memory of their biological father.  One thing that stood out in their story how they spoke highly of Mother’s second husband, my father.  Father was good to them and that he is the Father they know and love.

The rest is history according to my sisters.

The Best Gift of All

It seemed that it took forever to see a first Canadian baby born in our clan.  Finally, when the baby came, we nicknamed her Goldie.  Goldie because she is a precious little girl.  In her baptism, all of her Uncles and Aunties are her Godparents.  I mean all 10 of us plus a few friends of the parents.  I’ve lost count.

She is now an adult, fun to be with and the best baker in town.  It’s quite funny when she discovered an App that depicts her and started posting it in Facebook.

Here she is preparing for butter shortage, having fun in an accidental spillage, and baking us a cake to remind us of our mortality.

Well, she just celebrated her birthday and here I go again. Happy Birthday, Niece.

niece #1

As an adult, she hardly receives gifts from us.  Instead she gives us gifts, herself, the best gift of all.  Never ever change, sweet Niece.

Octoberian Costume Birthday Party

Fearing that I will miss the birthday party for the month of October while I was walking the Camino, they waited until most of us are present.  We celebrated it in style: costume birthday party just in time for Halloween.

It was all start cast:  Mini Mouse, Ginger of Gillian’s Island, Captain James of Star Trek, Ghost Buster, The Venetians, Race Car Driver, Pirate, Nemo, Nurse (a real one), Lulu the gypsy fortune-teller, M&M, Pikachu, Priest (a real one) and much more.

Minie, Capt. James & Ginger

Minie, Capt. James & Ginger

The leading person who turned 60 years old is my brother who looks like David Suzuki.

Lulu, the gypsy fortune-teller is a very memorable character in our family life.  She was my mother’s friend.  How she suddenly appeared in our life remains a mystery.

Suzuki and Lulu

Suzuki and Lulu

Mother has a way of helping out people.

I remember how Mother helped Lulu take a bath.  Lulu was apparently so dirty that the water turned brown.  She doesn’t speak our language and we only spoke English to her.  She came in and out of our apartment, bee-lined to the kitchen, helped herself out on any food to eat and made herself at home even Mother was not around.  Lulu called my mom Mother as well.  Mother is Mother to everybody and everyone.

Having had her fill, she takes out her Tarot card and starts reading them.  Talking to herself mostly and suddenly, she will say, Mother is here.  Huh? No she’s not, I said.  Next thing, Mother walks in the door.  How did she do that is beyond me.

Lulu gives Mother a reading whether she likes it or not.  Mother doesn’t mind.  I don’t know if Mother believes in fortune-telling or palm reading because it is quite contrary to our belief system.

One day, Lulu read in the card that we are going far away to another land.  Mother did not believe on that either.  And it did happen.  How did she do that?

Back to the party.  The Filipino tradition, if it’s our birthday, we are responsible for throwing in the party, bring our cake and eat it, too.  We do not wait for anybody to throw us a surprise party.  We do not wait for anybody.  We let the whole world knows that it’s our birthday and we invite as many people as we can to help us celebrate.  Celebrate we did.

As for my costume, I wore my hiking gear; boots, poles, backpack, hat, waterproof jacket and pants, iPad in a red leader pouch,  a camera, gloves, sunglasses, water bottle, etc.  Gosh, cannot believe I carried these for 15 days.  Eventually, I had to divest myself since it was boiling inside the house with all these characters and cooking going at the same time.

The Pilgrim

The Pilgrim

The cake is always gigantic.  There was no blowing of the candles because most of us are sick of colds and we definitely want to keep the germs to ourselves.

Birthday Cake

Good times, good times.  Happy Birthday to us.

Related link: Tenth month of the year

Competition

Competition is what I avoid and I am really good in avoidance.  It’s bad enough that I constantly wrestled with me, myself and I.

There is something to be proud about wrestling because my niece is graduating today after wrestling her way in becoming an Engineer.

She did several wrestling competitions and won some medals.

Medals, medals, medals

And a black eye to boot. 

Black eye

Black eye

Marianne, Congratulations.  I am very proud of you. 

Related link: Wrestling: Sakamoto vs. Marianne

Home of the Topnotchers

I was searching for the University of East where I studied back in the Philippines.  Finally, they are now on line however the history is still yet to be updated.  I have so much fond memories studying.

This University is really top-rated.  No such thing as being humble based on its logo.

z ue (2)

That is tall order and I cannot reach that for I am only five foot and two inches tall.  As a freshman, I prefer to have good times and date the men in the Engineering Department.  I was a flower amongst the thorns.

There is one person, though, who jumps so high that she became a topnotcher.  She must be about four feet and eight inches tall.  They say dynamite comes in small packages.  And that she is.  With that small head, she is all brains.

Thelma

Was my Mother very proud of her dreams to educate her children?

She was more than shock to find out about this.  Her perseverance and dedication to raise her children with good education no matter how poor we were was a great sacrifice for her.  Mother, we are proud and love you for providing us the life you didn’t have.  Thank you, Mother.

I know I will be in deep doo-doo for flaunting this.  Here’s to hoping that she hasn’t been reading my blogs.

Thelma was the top-notch.  We are siblings and she is the second Octoberian who celebrates her birthday.

Happy Birthday, Sister!

God Bless.

I love you, Dad. Happy Birthday

See this picture? It means a a lot to me. This picture is always on my bedside table as I sleep every night. The man beside that child on the roller coaster in that picture is my dad. Today is his birthday, and I wanted to share my favourite picture of the two of us.

image

My mom and dad have helped shape me into the young man I am today, and if my dad hadn’t worked graveyard shifts so he could spend quality time and play video games most day with me as a child, I wouldn’t be who I am right now. Why the video games? Also, you’ve probably wondered why I’m obsessed with The Legend Of Zelda.

The thing is, when I was younger, I was diagnosed with echolalia. In other words, I couldn’t exactly communicate or speak for myself without repeating what someone would voice out to me. Sometimes I would make noises instead of talking. I also had this bad hand problem to go along with it. My hands were so weak I could barely pick up a crayon. I couldn’t draw a picture or anything. My parents went to see a few specialist to get help for me. When the doctors told my parents to get me a toy that would help the muscles in my hands develop, my dad was the one who thought of buying a Nintendo 64 for me. The one game I just couldn’t put down was “The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time”.

As a kid, all I knew was that I was this guy who would make random loud noises every time I would swing my sword in the game. But every time I played that game, my hands got better, and better, and better. During that time I was also attending a special needs pre-school to try and rid me of my echolalia. Going to that school mixed with the quality time playing video games throughout the day with my dad helped my verbal communication develop quickly.

Eventually I started speaking normally like any other kid. I think it was the fact that I was learning how to verbally ask my dad to help me out in certain parts of the game. I want to dedicate not only this picture, but also this day to my dad. Without any of his unconditional love as a parent alongside with my moms, I wouldn’t be anywhere close to being the guy I am today.

I love you, dad. Happy Birthday.

Photo of Christopher and Angel.  Written by Christopher for his dad, Angel.  Angel is my sibling #13, the baby in our family.

Tell me the truth

This year we gathered for baby James’s baptism and Sean’s first communion.  The baby is fast asleep and Sean is proud showing off his creative side.  Children when asked if they are telling the truth, the response is normally a resounding YES.  Of course.  they are telling the truth.  Look at these innocent faces. They are such angels in the making.

There are also confirmation, weddings, renewal of vows and funeral gatherings.  The centre of all of this is our Catholic faith.

What makes these events memorable is the sharing of stories, the one-up-man-ship and the race who can tell the best story.  We love stories.  One time, I managed to beat my brother-in-law in telling a story.  When it was his turn, his opening remark was “You stole my thunder.”

Back to tell me the truth, the event was at Mother’s funeral mass in April 2010.  When one is grieving, it’s so easy to be distracted.  I remember losing my keys in the church.  How or where I misplaced it was beyond me.  Going from pew to pew, retracing my steps, who I saw, asking the family and children if they have seen or found my keys.

The children said ” I dunno.”  Really, I thought.  I was a child before and something tells me that this is untrue.  No point on upsetting people in an upsetting gathering.

Eventually, it was found.  How it was found, I cannot remember.  One thing though the act, the thief and the liar is all recorded and I have proof.  The guilty person cannot argue with this picture as he was reaching for the keys behind me with his mischievous smile.

And I cannot help but smile, the children grow up and they love listening to this story.

“A family that prays together, stays together.”
“Create in me a pure heart, oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” ~ Psalm 51:10
“And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil” ~ Matthew 6:13

Related Links:

Labour Day Bash

The day before the school starts, on a Monday, we celebrate Labour Day in Canada.  It is one good way to end summer.

The Labour Party throws a festivity the whole afternoon at Trout Lake.  It is a gathering of people mostly working for the government in a unionized environment like me.  We invited the family of the workers as well.  The more the merrier, the more we can educate people to work in a fair, safe and equitable working situation.

I could hear from the distance the live band was playing Blues and Jazz.  Rows and rows of colourful tents are becoming visible as I arrive Trout Lake.

The first thing I noticed was a couple of older folks gyrating to the live rock music on a hot sunny day.  They must be the alumni and a die-hard union couple.

Dancing couple

Dancing couple

One can help but enjoy the festivity starting from eating the union staple food: hotdogs and buttered corn.  Family brought their children and dogs, adults blowing bubbles, green headed clown doing his balloon tricks, take as much buttons if you want to put on your shirt and hats; and much more.

Who would think that there is a labour strife looming in the horizon when we are having so much fun?

People are wearing their best union shirts to show off their solidarity.  The best one is a shirt of Jack Layton, a remarkable man who led the National Democratic Party.  This was a man full of wisdom and a great leader.  We will miss him.

The whole the afternoon was pure entertainment for me and I was good in avoiding talking shop.  In the meantime, people were staring at my shirt and not saying a word.  I wonder if I was wearing the food on my shirt, ketchup, a good symbol of unionized condiment.

I left the party and the couple was still dancing to the tune of “Together Again.”

z labour day (11)

When I came home, I immediately checked my shirt to see if there were stains.  I realized the logo on my shirt is the symbol of Jerusalem Cross, symbol of my faith.

Jerusalem Cross

Jerusalem Cross

What a Happy Labour Day.

Inspired by TK Morin of Bite Size Canada.

Parents Advisory Council

Ask the children to draw what their Mother is like, they are more than eager to show you their best work of art.

 
These are the pictures of the parents as drawn by the children.  In the eyes of the children, they rule just like a Queen.  
Most Mothers care enough to join the advisory council and children are delighted to see their Mothers getting involved in their school.  
Mothers
 
 As far as I can recall, when my Mother is in the crowd of sea of parents, all I see is her.  The rest does not matter. 

Parents – To honour and obey

My dear friends, 
Upon reading posts from others, we seem to be in the generation that has aging parents. 
Some with illnesses, some who are dying and some who have rested in peace. I too can receive a phone call at any given time with my mother. I just wanted to reach out and say, our parents’ generation that brought us into this world and taught us all that we know is the last of their kind. 
A generation that has seen and done more for us and America than we can ever imagine. 
I can’t imagine their fear of their children not reaping what they had sown into America as they knew it could give us. Freedom. 
My only thoughts are of our own children today. I struggle to think now too, that they will never have the story book childhood as we had. The simple life. The chores, eating at the dinner table, playing jump rope, earning and learning what we put into, a college degree that puts them in a prospective work place, buying their first home, getting married and doing the cycle all over again with their children.
 
What I do know is what I can do in my world. And that is to honor my parents by teaching my children the same values, dreams, aspirations and determination to will them into a world that may or may not heed to the same values. For we don’t know or never have been in a situation where the kind of survival deals with the survival from our own government and or country. The freedom that are being suppressed or will be taken. Laws that should still apply but are outdated simply because we can’t see eye to eye. But that’s what’s ironic. 
If we were raised on the same moral principles of our great parents’ generation, then where did we go wrong? Is it really because we lack the spiritual need of having God in our hearts? In all that we do and utter from our mouths? 
Some people are sick of hearing about religion or lack thereof, as the cause of our situation. But it’s not religion. It’s what’s in our hearts. That is the beat of our country. What we imitate in our hearts to be can only come from one source. LOVE. And who is love, kindness, generous, honest, humble, truth, respectful, teacher and most of all takes you unconditionally? 
Just like our parents on where they got their inspiration from. GOD. Following our parents teaching is following their values from HIM. 
So where did we go wrong? The answer is right in our faces. I will continue with my ways of my parents. 
Will you honor them too? ~ Maria 
This was written by Maria and we are cousins.

Note:  Maria read all your comments and she wishes to thank all of you for your kind comments. 

Carefree Circle

Our clan from different parts of the world gather together every two years for a reunion at the lake of Chilliwack, British Columbia.  It is normally a weekend of fun and frivolity; a carefree weekend and then some. 
Some people will start coming in on Friday to stake out camp grounds and picnic fields that is big enough for our family, relatives and friends. 
I normally show up for the main event, the fun part; eating and games. 
The most meaningful part of reunion is when we gather in a circle.  A Prayer Circle.  
We prayerfully give thanks to our Creator for providing us the opportunity to be together and be grateful for the gift of life.  We live behind all our cares to our Creator in order for us to be free of worries and concern, just for today.  Amen. 
And the fun begins.  
 

Today is your birthday

When she celebrates her birthday, it means that mine is just around the corner.  Today is her birthday.  POTEET. 
What is the meaning of a name? 
  is for petite, perfectly petite person
O  is for ornate, nothing plain here!
  is for thoughtful, the caring you.
E   is for enchant, for enchant you will.
E   is for expressive, not one to hold within.
T   is for thoughtful, the caring you.
Who is Poteet?  Mother nicknamed sibling #9, Poteet. 
We all have nicknames from: Ate, Kuya, Detse, Nilds, Beng, Tel, Jun-Jun, Danny, Poteet, Tyrone, Dondi, Angel and Lady, yours truly. 
I try to remember her birthday to figure out how out I am.  
This year, I thought I am older until I asked Poteet how old she will be.  Much to my chagrin, I am actually a couple of years younger than I thought.  So why do I want to get older?  Thinking older, age wise, makes me dream of retirement age.  Knowing my real age, that means I have to work two more years. 
There goes my dream.  Back to reality. 
Okay, this is not about me.  It’s about Poteet’s birthday,  
Happy Birthday, Poteet and here is a blessing song:  May the blessings of the Lord be upon you…  And you know the rest. 
As for the customary song: 
 
 
 

Cast in stone – Masterpiece

Departures and Arrivals

 A photo taken 33 years ago in Manila reminds me how sad and brave my grandmothers were as they bid us farewell for our journey to Vancouver.  After final blessings, embraces, and tears, we boarded the plane with suitcases crammed full of everything we could bring from our old life.  Everything except my cherished umbrella which we had somehow neglected to pack.  I loved that umbrella the way other four-year-olds treasure dolls or teddy bears.  My new friends were mystified by my broken spirit and broken English.  I did not know the word for umbrella.  “My payong, my payong.”  I repeated woefully.  I wanted the umbrella that had sheltered me from the hot sun. 
I wanted to escape this strange place where umbrellas held the wind and rain at bay.  As I got older the memory of my umbrella drizzled away.  I planned my getaway: Paris, Tel Aviv, New Delhi … even Toronto.  Anywhere but rainy, boring Vancouver.  Like my parents, I sought a better life elsewhere.  Unlike them, elsewhere left me disappointed.  I yearned for the seawall and for Granville Island and salad rolls.  In my homesick mind, I heard the seagulls at Kits Beach, and breathed in the deep green peace of a day spent at UBC.  I longed to smell the cedar tree in the backyard of my childhood in Marpole, and to taste the vegetables my parents tend there.  I ached for Vancouver. 
Today, I show the photo, taken all those years and countless lost umbrellas ago, to my husband and children.  I will leave umbrellas behind, but I don’t forget where I have been or how far I traveled to get here.  Once it was a distant destination promised in a photograph.  Now it is the place I love and call home.  ~ Bernadette Gonzales McGrath 

The story of Bernadette is in two places.  One in Marpole, close to where she used to live, attached to a lamp-post.  The second is a monumental rock where each word is cast in stone, at Queen Elizabeth Park, a forever chiseled story.  A masterpiece. 
Bernadette and I are cousins.
 

And they are off…

And they are off. 
 My two nieces are off to Brazil to attend World Youth Day. 
The girls are so good in informing the whole family with their activities in Facebook to keep us calm. 
The first message was:  “We have arrived, so where’s or luggage!” 
Oh dear Lord, is this a sign of what is yet to come?  We are such a worry wart here in Canada.  In the meantime while they are waiting for their luggages that took forever to find, the girls have flooded the Facebook with pictures.  
The second message was: “We are accosted by weird people”  
I took a look at the picture and replied back: “Don’t worry, he has no brain.  The man behind him has no courage anyway and the lady behind them doesn’t have a dog whose bark could kill.”  
The Wizard of Oz
 Good times, good times.  Still no luggage.  I wonder where they got those clothes? 
Well, if they are not worried; why should we. 
Eventually, the luggages came and the first thing they put was their bathing suit. 
Off to the beach.
Hands down
They are enjoying life and tomorrow, June 23, World Youth Day will officially start and ends on June 28.  Now that will be serious business and let’s see what messages we will receive.
 
Related Link: World Youth Day

Our Company is Required

Baby James wants our company today to celebrate his first birthday at Baby’s crib.   He is throwing a theme party, Super Hero.  On top of that, baby wants us to help “Sweet Sheripie” his mom to fight off stinky diapers and sleepless nights. 
Boy oh boy, this is a job for, Super Nanny.  And that won’t be me! 
I can’t believe a year has gone by when he was born, welcome home with Gzi Gzi (Gorgeous Grandma), graduation day, christening day, first Christmas, first Easter, and now his birthday. 

What I think, Baby James will be a good companion for me when I do gardening and we will plant our own garden
Apprentice Gardener

Apprentice Gardener

Happy Birthday, Baby James!  And this is my birthday song for you. 

Did you enjoy your last hour?

There is this one Jesuit priest that I followed for an annual retreat.  The places he offered the retreat was as close as Portland and as far as Ireland.  It’s not so much about him why I followed his retreat; it was the teaching of a Jesuit, the humour and the awareness of living the faith.  It was very realistic. 
My dearly departed friend, Jancis, was the one who introduced me to Awareness.  She’s not even Catholic.  Somehow, I discovered that there is a priest who actually runs the program on Awareness. 
Jim Dolan.  He studied under the tutelage of the writer Anthony de Mello, Awareness. 
Awareness by Anthony deMello

Awareness by Anthony de Mello

In short,  I went to attend his week-long retreat and became hooked.  From then on, I joined the annual spiritual discernment.  Much to my surprise, the retreat was mostly for Nuns, Brothers and Priests.  I was the only one “out-of-order”.  I belong as far as I am concerned even though I am not part of the religious institution whether they like it or not. 
I encouraged my friend and the “YaYa Sisterhood” to attend his retreat in Ireland.  It was victory for me when I can persuade a person let alone my sisters!  Jancis and I went one year; YaYa Sisterhood went. all four of them, on another  year.  As much as I love my sisters, I beat a different drum from them.  Needless to say, I did not join their travels. 
The favourite meditation that I treasure the most is “did I enjoy my last hour?”  
This statement is actually an examination of conscience at the end of the day before I go to sleep.  It is a discernment of moral values and ethics.  Anybody can do it.  Try it.  If you do not believe in God, then leave God behind.  Just think about it, mediate on the question. 
Did you enjoy your last hour?
 

If this is not love, then what is?

When it comes to perfect love, I can only think of my Mother.  
Mother has so much love to share.  The story of Mother’s love is no different from others but in my mind, of course, is the best. 
Everybody calls her Mother: her siblings, my family and our friends. 
What kind of love did Mother shared?  These are collective stories shared by one generation to another generation. 
Mother gave up her own education in order to take care of her younger brother.  She reached Grade 4.  Why on earth would a young mind give up her future for a younger brother?  Don’t they have anybody to take care of my Uncle?  The family is rich, for one.  They can afford to hire a nursemaid.  But that is beside the point.  Mother took care of her brother. 
Mother married a soldier.  They had four children and their father died at a young age, cancer of the lungs.  Widowed young with four children.  Who would marry her now?  Who would take care of the children?  During those days, fathers are the one who is a provider.  Enter my Father. 
It was a whirl wind romance.  Father married Mother and he adopted all four children.  Mother must have been an extra ordinary person for Father to fall in love head over hills with Mother. 
Investigating how my parents met, I’ve asked my Uncles.  They didn’t even know that Mother married again.  No wedding pictures to show off.  
Father is a beautiful man, a woman’s man.  He must have been a good provider to my Mother because he was a Civil Engineer.  He travelled to remote places to build roads and bridges.  Being away from home, there must have been so much activity in the bedroom because they procreate 9 times.  In total, there are 13 of us including my half-brother and three half-sisters. 
On top of that, I heard there are other siblings outside the marriage.  Mother went through extremes of getting to know this family.  She helped them.  Why on earth would Mother do such a thing when Father was philandering outside the marriage? 
Then Father died.  We are left with Mother’s love. 
The love of Mother does not end there. 
When there are children born out of wed lock in our family, Mother will search for them and bring the children to the family.  I heard that Mother bought (yes, paid for) one child from the mother in order to bring up the child properly. 
The house we lived was only a two bedroom apartment.  People come and go.  My siblings’ friends call her Mama Chuchi.  It was full of life and love even though we were poor. 
Mother helped young women  by teaching them how to sew.  Mother paid for their work even though they lived in our tiny apartment and received free board and lodging.  It was a symbiotic relationship.  One remained with us until to this date.  We managed to take her to Canada and she is my 14th sibling.  She and I grew up together. 
I don’t recall hearing Mother say to me: “I love you, Lady”.  No. 
Words are not important for Mother.  She laid her life not just for me but for everyone.  Mother’s love is based on her faith. 
If this is not love, then what is? 
“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
 
Related link: Weekly Writing Challenge:  Love in the 21st Century

Mother’s vs. Father’s Day

In May, we celebrated Mother’s day.  On June 16, it will be Father’s day celebration. 
I just don’t understand these kinds of celebrations.  Why not just have one BIG celebration and call it Parent’s day.  But of course, because of the nuclear family, there could be just one parent.  That could be a Mom or a Dad since there are so many single parents today. 
Also, parenthood could mean Mom and Mom or Dad and Dad.  It’s not so simple anymore. 
Actually, I am a bit perturbed about this.  
There is no Auntie Day.  None!  And that is just not fair at all. 
When it come to advertisements, paying attention to these pictures, they don’t make sense to me. 
Mother's Day Ad

Mother’s Day Ad

For Mothers – “I wouldn’t be me if you hadn’t been you.  Thanks, Mom.”  Mothers carry the eggs; Fathers carry the sperm.  Doesn’t it take millions of sperms in order for me to become me?  How many sperms fought and died in the process in order to form me?
Father's Day Ad

Father’s Day Ad

For Fathers – “This Father’s Day, get Dad brewing.”  I think this is how men became alcoholics.  This ad is a sobering truth. 
To all Fathers, have a fun-filled day.   Happy Father’s Day.
Father

Father

And this is my one and only picture of my Father.
 
 

Labour Pains

Make your own baby…. So says the husband of sibling #9.  Wow, I think I am now in the most wanted list in her family.  Must lie low for a while but sibling #9 is on my side.  Whew, I am saved.

Light bulb flashing … how do I make babies?

It’s easy to get pregnant but first I have to investigate and find out what it’s like to be in labour, ready to pop that baby.  For sure there are plenty in the internet who have tried and tested it all.

After watching these macho men going through labour pains, yikes, I think I’ll rescue more cats instead.  Thank you very much.

Older and Wiser

Trying to encourage Lucy (my niece) by her mother (sibling #9) to study French immersion during summer was a battle.  
Lucy has a hard noggin with a motor mouth.  Nothing can persuade her to take a free course.  
It’s free, for crying out loud and it’s only half a day.  It will be good for you to take advantage a free class. You are doing so well at school. What are you going to do all summer?  Said sibling #9. 
Nobody can make me.  This is my life.  It is my summer, and I don’t want to study!!! Said Lucy. 
Well, think about this.  This summer, instead of spending time with you in the afternoon after school, I might as well work all summer long.  You will be at home with Dad and, your birthday is coming up, there will be no birthday party.  Think about it.  This is the ultimatum of sibling #9 to cherished daughter, Lucy. 
When her birthday came, I posted a birthday wish for her on her Facebook along with so many greetings from her friends.  Her response was: 
Thanks for the birthday wishes everyone! I feel wiser already! 
Happy Birthday, Lucy (middle)
 Hmmm…. She must have thought about it and realized Mother is always right. Apparently, she wanted to have her cake and eat it, too.  Wise choice, Lucy.  That munchkin in the middle is sweet Lucy. 
P.S.  I just sent a Facebook message to sibling #9 asking how old Lucy is.  She responded: 12 years old, sometimes too mature for her age…

Mothers, Thank you.

Mother.  That is what I call her, Mother.  Not just me, also my siblings and her siblings.  She is a Mother to everyone and everybody. 
She was once given an award as Mother of the Year back in the Philippines.  And I am in search for this award since it was lost in the shuffle due to many movements in our lives. 
I have a second Mother that my Mother prayed for Her intercession so that my life be spared.  Her name is Our Lady of Perpetual Help and my Mother named me after her.  She is the Mother of Jesus Christ. 
The portrait of Mother painted by my brother, Danny, and an Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. 

 
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Not just for Mothers

Mother’s day does not make sense to anyone who is not a mother, like me for example.  But I always consider myself a mother because of caring for others.  When it comes to caring, then we should include anyone who loves. 
Now, the way to do this is play the music below, the lyric is all laid out for you to sing along.  You may want to look who is in the picture should you feel like it.  Enjoy. 
L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
V is very, very extraordinary
E is even more than anyone that you adore 
and 
Love is all that I can give to you
Love is more than just a game for two
Two in love can make it
Take my heart and please don’t break it
Love was made for me and you 
L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
V is very, very extraordinary
E is even more than anyone that you adore 
and 
Love is all that I can give to you
Love is more than just a game for two
Two in love can make it
Take my heart and please don’t break it 
Love was made for me and you 
Love was made for me and you
Love was made for me and you 

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                      M-O-T-H-E-R
“M” is for the million things she gave me,
O” means only that she’s growing old,
“T” is for the tears she shed to save me,
H” is for her heart of purest gold;
“E” is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
“R” means right, and right she’ll always be,
Put them all together, they spell

“MOTHER,”

A word that means the world to me.

The Beauties and Beast

New photos keep on showing up on the Facebook.  Someone has been so busy adding hundreds of pictures and I can’t keep up with it.  I wonder who amongst the circle of friends of friends and more friends have done this? 
There were pictures of these women working out at Steve Nash Gym, shopping, dining out and much more.  Pictures galore. 
Wow, all these beautiful women.  Where have they been hiding?  Should I say where I have been hiding?  It is interesting and odd when none of us are beauty contenders in comparison to these full-figured women.  Number one:  we do not have the height.  But rest assure we have this singular beauty.  
These women are contestants of Miss World Canada 2013.  I know who the beast is. I can’t seem to get anything out from him except these pictures to show me even more.  Even the Philippines Chronicle is waiting for him to submit his article not just pictures. 
I’ve counted at least 42 contestants from this link: Miss World Canada 2013.  Pick which one do you think will win. 

As it turned out, these photos are coming from not a beast but from an Angel.  Angel is my baby brother, one of the official photographers for the event. He has a way with his charm and good nature.  A babe magnet. 
 

Howyadoing?

Having fun yet?  Enjoying the outdoors?  Feeling good? 
Well, if you are not, do something.  Get out there. 
Weekend was spent doing gardening and with family.  I think I had an overdose of family activities.  Or I think it was heat stroke due to unseasonable summer like weather.  I could spend all day in the garden and still not be able to see all the miracles in a small patch of land.  All of these activities made me feel good. 
Walking underneath a sakura tree when the wind is blowing, it feels as if it’s snowing.  This little girl sure knows how to have the joy of  falling blossoms on her. 

This is week two of 30×30 David Suzuki Nature Challenge.  Join, come and live the Nature Challenge.

 
 

A Promise – A Vow

I made a promise – I vowed that one day, when Stacey had won her fight, when she was healthy again, when she was ready, I would ride with her in the Ride to Conquer Cancer which she never had a chance to complete. In December 2012, I received a text message from Stacey, which simply read: “Let’s do this!”I am looking for your support for one more ride on June 15, 2013 – to thank and support the doctors that saved my Dad, to help keep a promise to a friend, to help celebrate Stacey Olynyk’s victory over cancer and to help dedicate this ride to her twin sister Karen – inspired by her unimaginable strength, courage, bravery and fight.

Thanks for your support! “LET”S DO THIS!” ~~ Mike

Mike is my cousin and I am so proud of him.  I wrote about his dad when I started blogging titledLove and Valor”.  I also featured our Grandmother and his family (before he was born) in Mosaic of Cultures.

I received an e-mail from him tonight “ONLY 5 DAYS LEFT TO GO!”  Oh dear, here I go again, the greatest procrastinator of all.  I haven’t done anything in terms of supporting him.  I have until May 11.  Well, I thrive on pressure. 

It’s either I go to Victoria to cheer him and his team, go see my Aunt to buy some tickets, use the snail mail for the donation or donate on-line.  Too many choices.  I’ll sleep over it and tomorrow, with a fresh mind, I’ll decide. 

Without any further ado, my bragging rights.  Meet Mr. Mike Gonzalez and The Team Spaghetti Factory.  Let’s conquer CANCER! 

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Mosaic of Cultures

The first thing that comes to mind about culture, I think of Mosaic.  
Being an immigrant, Mosaic is the place for new comers to Vancouver.  MOSAIC is a multilingual non-profit organization that helps immigrants and refugees settle and integrate into Canadian society. 
In Vancouver, diversity is important and has different kinds of festivals for different ethnic groups.  The City helps us understand and introduces the new Canadians.  There are various pictures with stories posted along the main areas of those people that share their stories. 
Walking around downtown, I saw this particular picture and I thought they look familiar. As I read their story, I said to myself: “Hey, just a minute now; that is my Grandmother and one of her daughters, my Aunt. Their story was selected as part of the new Canadians.
Lola, Tito & Tita, Cousins

Lola, Tito & Tita, Cousins

  This particular post, I see it every day on my way to work.

When people ask me what nationality I am, I proudly say, I am Canadian.  Strangely enough, my answer is questioned.  
“Really?” 
“I say really.” 
“Aren’t you a Filipino?” 
“Nope, I am Canadian.” 
Silence for a minute, thinking for another minute and finally they understand what I mean.  
“Ah, I see says the blind mice.  You came from the Philippines and now you are a Canadian.” 
“Precisely.”  That is my final answer.

What We Do

When it comes to school,  We think and We Do 
We take part at the classroom 
bcit meme what we do
 We are the Champion 
bcit meme what we do (4)
 We are major role models
bcit meme what we do (3)
We are men in suits earning 6 digits.00
bcit meme what we do (5)
All we do is good times, good times
bcit meme what we do (2)
Guess what?
This is what we do
spending majority of our time in the library
bcit meme what we do (6)
 Catching up…  ZZZzzzz
 

Today is Your Birthday

When it comes to birthday celebrations, we celebrate with gusto even though the birthday celebrant is absent in body, however, we know the spirit is there.  
Yesterday, we celebrated Mother’s birthday but today is her official birthday.  Weekday is hard to get together due to school and work.  Should Mother still be alive, it will be her 93rd year.   
The most wonderful birthday celebration we did for Mother was when we gave her a surprise one.  We rented the church hall and invited her siblings and their children, family friends and anybody who knows Mother.  Mother has a big circle of friends and the hall was full.  To keep this as a big secret was a challenge but we succeeded.  Or maybe, Mother was just playing along so that we don’t get disappointed.  Well, it doesn’t matter, it was fun. 
What I remembered the most was this part. The grandchildren all came out bearing a rose to present to Mother.  Mother loves roses.  There must have been 14 little feet marching towards Mother.  It was delight to see how happy Mother seeing her precious grandchildren with a rose on hand.  Good times, good times. I treasure this memory.  
Apparently, we gave Mother a trophy. This part, slipped away from my memory.  Thanks to my niece, Nicole who remembers it and she has the trophy.  Ta-dah, here is Mother’s Trophy.  She celebrated her 70th year. 

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Mother, wherever you are, we thank you for the gift of life and we love you.  From your children and grandchildren.  
As for the birthday song, I play this for everybody.  Happy Birthday, Mother. 

On Children: April 2013 Monthly Peace

Children Learn What They Live

If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight
If a child lives with fear, he learns to be apprehensive
If a child lives with pity, he learns to feel sorry for himself
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy
If a child lives with jealousy, he learns to feel guilt

BUT

If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident
If a child lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative
If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves
If a child lives with honesty, he learns what truth is
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice
If children live with recognition, they learn to have a goal
If children live with sharing, they learn to be generous
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith in himself and those about him
If a child lives with friendliness, he learns the world is a nice place in which to live

Related Links:

We are Easter People

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This year will be extra special in celebrating Easter.  Not only that we are celebrating the real sense of Jesus’ resurrection; we, my family that is, will be celebrating our Mother’s 13th year of her death anniversary.  And it falls on Easter!

Being a Catholic, we are Easter People.  We celebrate death filled with hope that we will be resurrected and finally be where we are supposed to be; with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit; and with all the Saints and choirs of Angels.

Sister #5 asked me to write something about Mother.  As much as I want to, Sister #2 mentioned that she wants to write about her journey and Mother.  With that thought in mind, I declined because I don’t want to steal my sister’s thunder.

Instead, I compiled some pictures and memorabilia that I can find for the family to look at.  This is a good place for safekeeping for now because my notes are all over the place and I tend to throw or give away pictures.  Maybe, just maybe, I will gradually write something about this.

My readers, I wish you ALL a Blessed Easter and here are some of the ways of the Easter People.  If you are not a Catholic, replace the last item according to your belief system.

  •        Cling to the people who love you
  •        Remember who you are
  •        Don’t wait for the other shoe to drop
  •        Bring joy to the world
  •        Breathe in the Holy Spirit

 

Related Article:

It’s All About The Genes

It was St. Patrick’s gathering, most of the second generations were present and all of the third were there.  It’s an opportunity for me to take pictures of the younger generations. 
Caught them playing monopoly in the bedroom and asked if I could take a picture of them.  
“NO!  We are playing” they responded in concert.
“It’s really important and it will only take a second.  Besides, I just want to take a picture of your legs.” 
Now they are curious what Auntie Crazy is up to.  So they oblige. 
Then I explained to them what the picture is all about.  The title is “It’s all about the Genes.”
“Jeans as our pants?” one smart child asked.
“That’s a good way to put it.  It sounds the same but spelled differently.” I said. 
Of course the younger ones do not understand but a couple older second generations understand my cryptic title. 
“G-E-N-E-S, Genes. It means we all came from the same blood or DNA” I said.
“D-N-A?” said the wee one.
“Never mind, let’s stick with the blood.” 
“We all came from the same blood.  Your mother came from your Nana.  Your Nana is my sister.  Nana and I came from Granny.”  I explained and they seem to get a better understanding. 
“Now, sometimes, there is something wrong with the blood that is pass from one person to another.  Meaning, there’s something wrong with me but some of you might not get what’s wrong with me.  And some of your Uncles, Aunties and Cousins might have something wrong with them, too.  For example, depression.”  I further explained. 
“Depression, you mean crazy or weird?”  A naïve question.
“Yes, when you feel weird or acting crazy, it might be a sign.  And do not be scared of talking about feeling weird or crazy because there is always help.  You have to let us know because we are here to help.  Do you guys understand?”  I said. 

All about the Genes

All about the Genes
 “Yes, can we go back to playing the game?” 
End of lesson on Genes 101.

Bells are ringing

Gallery

This gallery contains 2 photos.

It’s wonderful to be woken up by the bells of Fatima first thing in the morning.  From the balcony of our hotel room, I could see the steeple of the Cathedral.  Every hour, the bell chimes the song of El … Continue reading

Brain Freeze

This week at work is challenging, more meetings than I am used to and the week is not even over.  One more day of work, another meeting to look forward to.  
I need to rest my brain. 
When all things fail due to brain freeze, I entertain myself by visiting the kids Facebook. 
Facebook, I mean FACEbook.  I’ve never seen so much faces of the kids in my entire life.  There are postings from Instagram, Iphone, Ipad and all those “I” that I am unfamiliar.  What I am familiar of is YouTube. 
This came from Lucy’s Facebook.  Enjoy. 

Funny Valentine

How time flies! Jim and I have been married now for 32 years. We are blessed with six wonderful children. 
Looking back, it baffles me how we got together against all the odds. He’s Protestant. I’m Catholic. He’s quiet, reserved and shy, and I am loud, cheerful and always laughing. He came to Canada from New Zealand in 1970, and I arrived from the Philippines in 1976. In 1978, our paths crossed in a disco club. I was there with my friends and sister. Jim was “window shopping” with his friends. 
He tells people that he “picked” me, but I tell them that I was the one that seduced him with my dancing. I like teasing him and bossing him, and he doesn’t mind being told what to do. I suppose our differences are what attracted us to each other! We got married four years after meeting. His siblings came for the wedding and were surprised when they met me. I wasn’t the submissive “Oriental” girl they had in mind! I laughed so hard. And I’m still laughing. –   Evelyn Logan 

Evelyn is a year older than me. 
The fact of the matter I met Jim first at the disco place.  There were four of us girls who just want to have fun, I was the youngest. Four men came in our circle.  The girls choose who they want to be that evening, and I was left with the left-over; ended up with Jim since nobody chose him.  Later that evening, Evelyn came telling me she likes Jim.  Translate that in a sibling way, I want what you have.  I said sure.  So, I told Jim, “Hey, my sister likes you.”  Jim was insulted as if I was brushing him off.  
Anyway, to make a long story short; they got married.  I was the bridesmaid, Godmother to their first-born and then some. 
Her second son posted this on CBC News.  And here I am, sharing the best love story for today.

 

One Love, One Heart

On the way home last night, I went to Church for Lenten blessing.  It’s just like Christmas on Ash Wednesday.  It was a crowded service.  I can only assume we came to Church to be redeemed and be forgiven for all the “sins” we have committed in our thoughts, words and deeds. 
I went to be reminded that I am a mere mortal being, impermanent on this Earth and to receive the sign on my forehead.  This sign is given by the Priest.  He dipped his thumb in an ash, made a sign of the cross on my forehead and told me “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”  This line is derived from the story of how God made Adam, from a pile of dirt. Then I went home with a dirt mark while people stare at me with puzzled look.  And I just smiled. 
Meditating while walking and what came up to mind is the heart.  Is the heart the most important part of the body?  How come I have only one heart?  I have two hands, feet, eyes, lungs, ears; a pair of lungs, left and right hemisphere of the brain, etc.  It must be valentines, I brush off my thoughts. 
It’s a good thing that they came up with Valentine’s Day to distract people from the history of Valentine.  Personally, it’s my father’s death anniversary.  We will have a Celebration of Life but I won’t be able to make it due to work obligations.  I know, it’s only once a year.  Father will understand.  I do keep him in my prayers. 
My offering to you for Valentines is this heart: 
St. Francis of Assis

St. Francis of Assisi

Peace be with you.  Seeker

Fat Tuesday – New Orleans Style

Who says Nuns don’t know how to have fun.  In fact, they are truly human, truly alive. 
A group of us went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras French word for Fat Tuesday. We stayed at the Convent of the Cenacle.  We happened to know one of the Nuns and we invited ourselves to stay.  In this huge retreat house, we were the only guest.  I suppose everybody was partying at Bourbon Street. 
In the company of nuns, we had so much laughter shared during meal time.  I remember we cooked up a storm for them in thanksgiving for having us.  A priest was the only token male and his dog.  The religious order told us their stories prior to their vows.  One was engaged to be married.  But she was “called” by Someone and said Yes.  That was her turning point and she embraced the religious order. 
Fat Tuesday is one gigantic party in New Orleans.  It was an eye opener to be in this crowd, catching beads, street dancing, women flashing, men mooning, drinking on the street and x-rated activities.  It was a hoot, no pun intended. There were so many beads thrown at our directions.  And carrying it around my neck was heavy.  As for photos to show off, they are censored. 
The best part was live jazz music all over town. 
 
And another video that I found what was it like walking along the French Quarter. 
 I recommend that you put this in your bucket list.  It’s fun.

Show and Tell

This is in response to Daily Prompt: Teachable Moment. You have to learn a new skill. Do you prefer to read about it, watch someone else does it, hear someone describe it, or try it yourself? 
From time to time, at work, we are cross trained and switch duties.  
At the beginning of this year, I switched duties with someone in our team.  As for teachable moments, all of the above is how I learn.  Just reading the “how to manual of procedures” doesn’t cut it, because the manual is written after the fact that it has been tried. 
Even people in higher level, when I explain a certain process to them, I’m asked “show me”.  If nobody shows me the proper process, I am bound to make mistakes at work.  And I could easily say “not my fault, I wasn’t trained or nobody told me”.  I dislike saying this statement; therefore, all of the above.  Show and tell; then read the manual. 
I just remembered a beautiful poem about when children learn and here it is: 
Children Learn What They Live 
If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight
If a child lives with fear, he learns to be apprehensive
If a child lives with pity, he learns to feel sorry for himself
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy
If a child lives with jealousy, he learns to feel guilt
BUT
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident
If a child lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative
If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves
If a child lives with honesty, he learns what truth is
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice
If children live with recognition, they learn to have a goal
If children live with sharing, they learn to be generous
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith in himself and those about him
If a child lives with friendliness, he learns the world is a nice place in which to live 
WITH WHAT IS YOUR CHILD LIVING
 

Source: Circle of Moms

 

First name basis

The Filipino way, most people’s first name is Maria.  There are so many Maria’s in our family, me included.  However, we don’t use our first name.  I use my second name.  My only wish is I wish I wasn’t named Maria. 
The trouble started not in my childhood.  It started when I came to Canada.  
The officers saw how long my name is, they started using Maria.  Employers did the same thing, Maria.  Well, I felt there is no use in contradicting them since they are having a hard time pronouncing the name.  
When I say my second name, the common response is, Huh?  How do you spell that?  P as in Peter, E as in Eve, R as in Richard, P as in Peter (again), E as in Eve (again), T as in Tom, U as in Uranus, A as in Apple.  Perpetua.  What? Petula?  Never mind, call me Maria.  The names that I just called out, they understand, but not my name. 
As for being Maria, oh the trouble I go.  Maria seems to be a troubled name.  People started singing “How do you solve a problem like Maria”.  Sound’s familiar? 
It was only in 2010 that I decided once and for all, I will use my name that I am accustomed to hearing.  Perpetua it is.  Again, my colleagues of 13 years, they kept on calling me Maria.  Sorry, folks, I am not responding to that! 
So here I am, as a Canadian Maria, signing and dancing to the Sound of Music. 
 This is in response to Daily Prompt: Childhood.  Come and join us, it will make you sing.

More than what a genie can provide

When I injured my back due to work related activity, enter Workers Compensation Board (WCB).  
Having an exposure to WCB, I learned that this body has to work in an ergonomically correct environment in order to suite my needs.  The chair, the height of the desk, lighting, keyboard, etc. has to be measured.  It’s all fine and dandy; this body can find no comfort.  The constant pain reminds me that I am still alive and I am grateful for that.
Can the genie grant me new body?  I think not.  Therefore, a perfect space for reading and writing is a mere illusion.
However, I find the joy of writing in so many ways as long as I carry with me a small notebook.  I am a constant note taker.  There’s a box of notebooks or journals I’ve written on daily activities about the injury.  Oh well. 
Here’s a thought.  When I moved to Room 306, for reading and writing-table, all I had was a cardboard box, a 3×4 piece of wood and a chair.  I love this make shift table.  The kids used this as their drawing table.  One drawing is still on the table, the face of Calvin; hair all sticking up and the silly grin on his face.  This piece of wood still exist. 
As for the box, it’s gone.  I have to throw it out because of a silly squirrel.  
One sultry day, I left the balcony open.  I came home that the box was all chewed up because the squirrel is a climber and got into Room 306.  UGH.  My favourite table is now chewed into bits and pieces. 
Fast forward, no more squirrels and this is how my best place to write looks like.  With classical music in the background and the drapes wide open so that I could see the hummingbird, it’s heavenly.  More than what a genie can give.  Perfect.
Source: Nephews FaceBook

 This is in response to Daily Prompt: Writing Room.  Come and join us, it’s fun.

Little Things Mean a Lot

As I sip my coffee this morning, I looked around taking stock of what little that I have in my sanctuary.  I have already shared with you how small Room 306 is in my previous post. 
Come to think about it, there are a few items that are irreplaceable that has so much memories attached to it.  Little things mean a lot that money cannot buy. 
Mother kept this one and only letter that I wrote to her when I was just a mere child.  I only found this when we were going through her belongings when she died.  I should really move this to the bank’s safety deposit box. 
There is a pencil sketch of me that another pilgrim did, he was a Franciscan priest.  I was actually surprised when he called me to sit for him.  Hmm… my dirty mind working.  Mea culpa, he meant well. 
A cutting of the “bamboo plant”, Mother started this as single piece of stick.  Now it has grown big, bloomed and I have given away some cuttings for others.  This is the “Mother” plant.  But then again, how am I going to carry this out. 
I have an altar that has a couple of items that belongs to Mother; they are antiques of Madonna, Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Our Lady of Lourdes.  Mother has a devotion to Our Lady. 
Finally, I want to keep Mother’s fur coat.  I know, fur coat is now passé.  Wearing this occasionally makes me feel the warmth of Mother’s arms around me. 
Wishful thinking in response to Daily Prompt: Burnt.  Come and join us, it’s fun.

What Matters Most

For the sake of this prompt, these five items are all in my purse.  It’s a small card holder that has my identity: Driver’s License, Medical Card, Social Insurance Card and Credit Card.  In addition, I will put on my shoes, an outdoor coat and apartment keys.  These are what matters and all I need. As for the rest, material things can be easily replaced. 
In reality, summer 2005, I was lying flat on my back in the middle of the living room, playing with Maurice, the cat. Lying on my back is all I can do due to a work related accident, I was on health leave. My lower lumbar suffered soft tissue injury from lifting a heavy box.  Tsk-Tsk. 
Clang, clang, clang goes the fire alarm.  Now what?  This is exactly what I need!  Maurice was startled and went into hiding.  Cats are very sensitive creatures, they prefer quietude like me. 
I slowly got out of my back, heard the commotion outside.  I do not have a cage for the cat so I grab my backpack.  Looking for Maurice, I stuffed him in the bag.  Grabbed my bag with my identification cards in it, shoes and apartment keys I slowly left the apartment with Maurice.  
We descended down three flights, not an easy task for my back.  In the meantime, Maurice was screaming his head off in the bag and trying to pacify him that everything will be alright. 
Outside, everybody is gathered and five fire trucks are already in front of the building.  Commotion, chaos and we were looking to check if everybody is out.  Checked, everybody is accounted for. 
The firemen did their thing.  We stood outside in a warm sunny day, chatting, joking, exchanging pleasantries, and catching up with what’s happening with our lives to keep our mind off matters.  
It seemed like forever.  Finally, the firemen proclaimed, ALL SAFE – FALSE ALARM. Hooray, the crowd shouted, we all returned to our apartments and we lived happily ever after to date, especially Maurice, the cat.
What matters most

What matters most

This is in response to Daily Prompt: Burning down the house.  Come and join us, it’s fun.

Death, A Trip of a Lifetime

75 years old is my cut-off.  Take it or leave it.  I just don’t want God to forget all about me and let me live till the turn of the next century. 
I have discussed this with my sisters what I want to wear in the casket.  It will be my red dress that Mother made for me when I was in my twenties and still fits me.  The dress has been used by my sisters and nieces, and I keep on telling them to take good care of it because I need it for my burial gown.  
On the checklist is the reading at the mass, what songs to play (happy songs, please), no black dress in the funeral, cremation and of course, the Last Will and Testament. 
There, I am ready, any time, take me home. 
As for the Requiem, vengeance is mine.  I want to surprise them with an envelope to be read in the church should the priest allow it.  And at the end, one slide show, a pre-recorded  of my  last statement and a projection of my beautiful smile. 
The reading would be about Beatitudes, the teaching of Jesus Christ that in my opinion replaces the Ten Commandments of Moses.  
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted
Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God. 
And in my pre-recorded voice: Lunch on me, let’s party and dance. And a smile.  Let’s move to the church hall. 
 
 This is in response to Daily Prompt: Write your own Eulogy.  Come and join us, it’s fun.
 
Read this:
Enjoy every moment you can

Stormy weather

This brings up too many memories of “voyage of the seven days” from the island to mainland when I was growing up in the Philippines.  Back and forth, can’t remember how many times.  And the stormy weather is not good for your stomach, I must say.  As a little girl, it was fun to ride the waves. 
We lived in one of the 7001 islands, Davao City, and the mainland is Manila City.  In order for the older siblings to have higher education, they have to be shipped out to Mainland.  Sometimes, I go with them, sometimes I stayed with Mother in the Island. 
The rest is history.
Source: Cafepress.ca

Source: Cafepress.ca

 
May I be excused in reading Wikipedia.  I’d rather be with Rod Stewart. 
 
 
This is in response to Daily Prompt: Shipwrecked.  Come and join us, it’s fun.
 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond – Tip of BC

Have you tried taking with you four teenagers for a field trip in a deserted mountain?
Well, you have to think twice about it.  No, not just twice, ask yourself “are you insane?”  I thought about it and the answer is No, I’m  Auntie Mame. Remember?  I said that at the beginning of blogging.
Atlin, British Columbia springtime at the tip of BC.  Not quite, it’s still Frigid Zone there.  Mr. Gernot of Monarch Mountain took us in.  We were the only people up in the mountain.  Yes, there were Monarch Butterflies.
It was a trip of a lifetime for the boys.  They are still talking about this to date when this happened 13 years ago.  They are now adults.  The common question was “How come you did not marry Mr. G?”  I don’t response to this kind of question.  Too personal.  Sometimes I retorted “wait till your Mother hears about what you boys did in the mountain.” 
Yup, to date, cross my heart, mum is the word.  I will keep their secrets until my dying days.  Besides, it’s their responsibilities to tell their Mothers.  What about Fathers?  Fathers were boys once before, they understand.  And the boys will admire me more when I am gone.
 
View from higher grounds.  Beyond is the frozen lake

View from higher grounds. Beyond is the frozen lake

Walking towards the lake to check it out.

Walking towards the lake to check it out.

Whew , that was a long walk. We are walking on solid water, frozen lake.

Whew , that was a long walk. We are walking on solid water, frozen lake.

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

A Solution or A Problem

In a crisis, I ask myself, am I a solution or a problem?  If I am a problem, I remove myself.  If I am a solution, I’m in. 
For my sweet niece, Lucy, she has the best answer in her Face Book.  Too smart for a tender age, full of wisdom for a young mind.  I will follow a child.
 
Posted in Lucy's Face Book

Posted in Lucy’s Face Book

 As for my faith, I will always say this prayer:

Lord, grant me
the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change
the courage to change the things that I can
the wisdom to know the difference

And I will be guided by the Holy Spirit.

 

This is in response to Daily Prompt: In Crisis.  Come and join us.
 
 

Share is a verb

I LOVE SHARING and it’s my favourite word.  Share is a verb.  It’s an action word.  This was my opening word in my post Monday’s Peace News Captured on video. 
Sharing is very self-fulfilling.  It brings out the humanity in me especially LOVE.  In my reflection, this love is a gift from my God that is meant to be shared.  
So, here go I… 
After yesterday’s Daily Prompt: Polite Company, I am still deeply moved by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s history, not so much about the controversial topic about religion and politics. 
Out of deep admiration and respect for him, I want to share this song with you:

We Shall Overcome.

And a beautiful story Morning Story: Do Unto Others.

Have a blessed day.

Pax Tecum, (Peace be With You)  _/\_ Seeker

Monday’s Peace News Captured on Video

Share is the word I instill on the children in order for them to become giving or eventually selfless when they grow up.  Share your toys, share your food, share your clothes, and more sharing. 
One thing I have noticed ever since I joined the computer age is the “share” button.  The feeling of “I think it’s not so bad being to be in this age after all.”  I happen to like sharing and giving. 
I re-opened my Facebook account this year because I feel left out.  My family and relatives are now all connected in Face Book.  My intention is to make this site active to share my faith and to keep the faith alive in our family. 
One day my nephew shared a YouTube about “the good in people were captured on video”.  Isn’t that wonderful?  I love good news. 
And now it’s my turn to pass it on to you to spread Peace on Earth.  It will be the best 1:36 minutes of your Monday. 
  
More good news:  God loves you.
On this day, 1783 Peace of Paris was ratified.
In closing:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. ~   John 14:27
In response to Daily Prompt: Ripped from the Headline:  click here for details
 
Related Articles / Links
Delicate minds about being Peacemakers
We Can Make A Difference-Right Here, Right Now by Kozo
January Post for Peace by Grandmalin
B4Peace – Love thy Neighbor by sarahneeve
Peace be with you today and all days by Tracy
Bloggers4Peace -Everyday Gurus
World Peace Conference – Culture of Peace by Louise Diamond

What your fortune cookie tells you

“Daily Prompt: 32 Flavors.  Vanilla, chocolate, or something else entirely?”  I choose something else entirely. 
The cheapest way for my family to dine out is to go to a Chinese restaurant, New Lakeview Seafood Restaurant. The restaurant manager knows us and it’s the only restaurant, I think, that is crazy enough to accept a boisterous huge family. My family is loud and that’s why I live alone, away from the maddening crowd. Can’t really stay away from them far too long because sometimes I need to hear real voices; otherwise, I hear voices in my head. We try to meet at least once a month for a group birthday celebration; one big party for all celebrants of the month.  
After chow time, my nephew made a suggestion when it’s time to crack open our fortune cookies.
Fortune Cookie

Fortune Cookie

 “When you read your fortune cookie, make sure you add at the end of the sentence ‘in bed’  nephew said in his soft-spoken English accent. 
 “Are you talking dirty again?” the adults turned their head to nephew and exclaimed this in unison.
 “No, you guys are the one who is thinking dirty. I just want to have fun. Just play along with me. OK?” nephew retorted.
 “Sure, sure.” adults agreed.
 Just imagine all the ruckus of laughter as this is being spoken loudly.  So here are samples of the fortune in the cookies
 Sister #6: A thing of beauty shall bring you great joy … in bed (she’s happily married)
 Sister #5: You will soon be blessed with unexpected good luck … in bed (she dedicated herself in RCIA – Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults)
 Sister #4: You will be the centre of a special group’s attention … in bed (she’s one of the celebrants)
 Sister #2: Your genuine talent will find its way to success … in bed (she gave up her sewing business as a dressmaker in order to propagate the Devotion to Infant Jesus of Prague)
 Me:  Desires that are not extravagant will be granted … in bed.  OMG.  I was the laughing-stock (no comment)
 It was so much fun. Thanks to my Rocking Nephew, there is a whole meaning on fortune cookies.  Huffington Post begs to differ and wrote an article about how ridiculous the messages are.  Click on this fortune cookie to read.
 Of course, we say grace before meals even though we are in a public restaurant. The family that prays together stays together.
Prayer before meal:
We come to join in the banquet of love,
Let it open our hearts and break down the fears
That keeps us from loving each other.
            sung by Dominican Nuns at mealtime
 MORSEL: If you judge people, you have no time to love them. — Mother Teresa

Love and Valor

Moises Gonzalez - Missing Person POW

Moises Gonzalez – Missing Person POW

A question:  Would you die …
–       For someone who needs your help?
–       For your country?
–       For your own belief and virtues?
Without a moment’s notice? Hesitation?

These are questions that came to mind when I was reading an article about “Brothers in Arms” written in a local newspaper Asian Pacific Post dated December 18, 2008.  That was four years ago.  I kept this newspaper because it’s a story of love and valor, of bittersweet reunion, of uncertain, of no closures. 

Just before the death of a former U.S. Marine officer, he was reunited with a man who saved his life 65 years ago during the war in the Philippines.  Japan invaded the Philippines during World War II in 1944. 

The reunion was bittersweet because the officer died 11 days after they met on December 7, 2008, just before Christmas.
Love is based on an intrinsic human quality that one has to help out in times of need.  Valor is the by-product of love; the love for humanity to help those who are in need. 
The man was only age 11, still a child, 65 years ago; when he met the officer, with his older brother, age 20.  This is what happened, and I quote from the newspaper: 
Please give me a ride!” the stranger blurted out to Jesus and his 20-year-old brother, Moises. 
“He looked at that time so tall,” Gonzalez recalled. “He was running fast, just running along the cart with us.” 
The brothers hid Carrington amid the hay. With a Japanese checkpoint just around the corner, the younger Gonzalez was terrified and burst into tears.
At each of two checkpoints, a Japanese soldier jabbed the hay with a bayonet, checking for a stowaway. One of the jabs lanced Carrington’s leg, but he remained undiscovered. 
Gonzalez couldn’t stop sobbing. 
“The Japanese soldier was asking me why I was crying, and I cried all the louder,” he recalled. “It was scary. If we had been discovered . . .” 
Carrington spent three days with Gonzalez family. He would later help lead guerrilla fighters who created havoc for the Japanese military before American forces retook The Philippines. 
Gonzalez older brother Moises – betrayed by a spurned woman – was later arrested by Japanese soldiers for his role in the episode and is believed to have been executed. No trace of him was ever found…” 
Why am I writing this?  The man Jesus Gonzalez happens to be my Uncle, I call him Tito Jess.  Tito Jess is married to Tita Baby.  Tita Baby is my Mother’s youngest baby sister.  Tita Baby’s family has been very good to us.  Without their loving concerns, we would still be in the Philippines.  They helped my family to bring us here in Canada.  The least thing I can do is to play detective and hope Moises be reunited with Tito Jess. 
For those who are reading this article, we need your help to find Moises Gonzalez.  
Valerie Gonzalez is also appealing to everyone and she wrote:
I am in search of any info re Filipino P.O.W named MOISES (MIKE) GONZALEZ Jr., (my uncle) who was imprisoned at Fort Santiago, Airport Studio, and possibly Muntinlupa, in Manila, Philippines, during World War II – between May 1944 to February 1945 (Liberation). My Lola (grandmother), Lucia Trullench Gonzalez, desperately searched for him but never found out what became of him after he was arrested by the Japanese. 
Moises Gonzalez rescued and harbored an American Marine, James Carrington, who had just escaped from Bilibid Prison (Manila) in April 1944. Jim Carrington eventually joined the Ramsay Guerrillas (ECLGA) and was decorated with a Distinguished Service Cross after the war. However, my uncle, Moises Gonzalez disappeared after his arrest and presumably died either at Airport Studio, Fort Santiago or Muntinlupa. He was also possibly a guerrilla courier for the MARKING GUERRILLAS. 
I am wondering how I might be able to track down any information about POW’s in Japanese prisons during WWII. If anybody has any information at all or could point me in the right direction, I would be so grateful if you could please Facebook me. Please send this to any Filipino Veterans you may know! Thank you! 
Should you have any information, please do not hesitate to contact me or Valerie Gonzalez on her FaceBook.  Forever Grateful, Seeker.
 
Related Article:
http://www.asianpacificpost.com/article/2139-brothers-arms.html  – Brothers in arms

DP: My Favorite – Click

“What’s the most time you’ve ever spent apart from your favorite person?  Tell us about it.” 
Apart?  I would rather reminisce the wonderful time we spent together.  Also, I have so many favorites. 
 
For example on Christmas time, my nephew I call “Jude Law” because he looks like “Jude Law” exclaimed on the top of his voice, in front of cousins, that he is my favorite.  Oh-oh … the third generations turned their eyes towards me.  If looks could kill, daggers being thrown at me and one said, I thought I am your favorite!  BASTED!  
When I have a one and one with my nephew or niece, I tell them, how’s my favorite?  I guess, for the younger generations, it has to be “one and only”.  Now, how can I teach them a lesson in life? 
There is one person that I see twice or three times a year: her birthday, my birthday and/or Christmas.  Heaven forbid, when there’s death in the family.  My childhood friend.  The minute we look at each other, we started giggling as if we were still in elementary days.  That’s just the chemistry we have.  We always laugh and giggle.  Even though we’ve gone through a lot of upheavals, we still manage to see the beauty in life, smile and then laugh. 
The last time we spent time together was on my birthday.  The way we Filipinos celebrate our birthday, we throw a party, at our expense.  We do not wait for anyone to remember our birthday.  I’m the only person on this world who would remember my birthday, so don’t expect them to remember it.  This way, no hard feelings, should they forget about it. 
Lunch on me I said to BFF.  Photo, please, as we asked the waitress.  “Are you sure you want me to take this picture? the waitress said.”  Yes, please, by complying with our wishes, we will reward you with more than 20% tip.  Click!
Happy Birthday to me - 2012

Happy Birthday to me – 2012

Daily Post: Stroke of Midnight – First Night

“Where were you last night when 2012 turned into 2013? Is that where you’d wanted to be?” 
First Night is what we call it here in Vancouver.  In my life, it’s a family event.  We all gather around anxiously preparing for that countdown.  Children are excited and they are the first one to blow the whistle.  Hush, it’s not midnight yet, but they can’t wait to be the noise maker.  
The dining table is filled with food.  More food, same as Christmas.  Ugh.  I can’t bear to see the same food.  My body is already screaming for simple food that I am so used to.  Baked, boiled or broiled.  The arteries are now starting to clog up.  Cardiac delight is what I call this traditional Filipino food.  We died eating happily. 
Is it New Year’s yet, kids are screaming.  In a minute, we’re almost there.  How many times have we said this “in a minute” to the kids?  They have no concept of time.  We have said this all night long. 
COUNTDOWN:  10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…. Happy New Year!  Hugs and Kisses.  Open the windows and let the Spirit of New Year in.  Pots and Pans are all out of the cupboard.  Banging on them is our noise makers.  We were shouting out on the top of our lungs for the neighbourhood to hear.  Play the music; will somebody please play the music? 
  
All of these happened in my younger days.  At the stroke of midnight, I was at home happily ensconced in the couch watching the celebration on TV with my cats Lucy and Maurice.  My own little family, not with the crazy clan that I love dearly. 
Of course, I played the Feliz Navidad, cha cha cha; all by myself, sending out prayers and blessings to the world, just like any other night.   Then, lights out, nanight. 
Thank you Lord for another day.

DP: The Early Years – In my dreams

“Write page three of your autobiography” 
Chapter One – Where is Father? 
Page one:
Wednesday child is full of woe, so the saying goes, but life itself is full of woes. I was born on a Wednesday…. 
Page two:
What’s wrong with this baptismal picture?  Mother is carrying me, she is so beautiful…. Where is Father…? 
Page three:
The house I lived in Davao City, Philippines.  It’s a beautiful big house and darkness envelopes my little brain.  Dark and alone in the mezzanine, I was looking down at the wooden bars.  Can’t see what’s down below but I can see myself sitting on the wooden flooring.  A doll in my arm made of plastic and hairless.  One eye missing, the other eye closed as if it’s sleeping with long black lashes.  The arms are movable as well as the legs.  The head can turn 360 degrees around just like the head of the girl in horror show Exorcist.  It’s a hand me down doll from my other six sisters, I am the youngest amongst the girls.  Why am I alone in the dark?  Have I just woken up or am I sick?  Where is everybody, yet I silently sit in the dark, not a whimper came out from my innocent lips? 
Another image:  I was standing at the foot of the bed starring in excitement at this small baby lying in the middle of a humongous bed.  My youngest brother, he is Brother Number 6.  Brother 4 and Brother 5 were standing beside me.  I was suffering from a cold and mucous.  Being sick, I have to stay away from a newly born baby.  Mother does not want the baby to catch my colds.  A mucous started dripping from my nose.  I stuck my tongue out, curled it upwards and licked the slippery white substance to clean off the upper part of my lips.  It’s salty and thick. 
 Where is Father? 
  
  “Lady, I’m lonely.  Come and stay with me.”  Grandma asked.  I obeyed Grandma’s request for I was terrified of her.  I climbed into her coffin.  One of my legs is already in the coffin and Father showed up.  “Lady, go home.  Mother needs you.”  Then I woke up.  Father came to visit me, in my dream.

WPC: 2012 Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind

Pick the best pictures from your 2012 and have those pictures tell everyone about your year 
Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind.  
These are what matters to me in 2012.  From life to death.  New Year should always start with new beginnings, a new life.  But year 2012 stared with someone dear to me being called back Home.  Not just dear friends but dear companions, the Cats in my life.  Angels I call them now.  From sorrow to joy, with the birth of my nephew’s son, this is a delightful surprise.   Baby James is a new life and a beautiful beginning for the year 2013 not just for me but for everyone in my family.  
Shalom Aleichem.  To Life! 

 

DP: Gimme – Traditionally Speaking

Christmas in the Philippines is one thing I miss here in Beautiful British Columbia, Canada.  It is the happiest and most awaited celebration. The Philippines is so rich with traditions.  The Christmas lanterns, caroling, fireworks will start in mid-December.  Noche Buena is what we call it meaning Christmas Eve.

As a child, it’s hard to be patient; can’t wait for Christmas and it just doesn’t come fast enough.

The focus is attending midnight mass, a birthday celebration for Baby Jesus.  After this, we go home and have a feast.  I mean the feast of traditional Filipino food.  The gather is circled around my family and anybody who does not have a family to celebrate with.  This is the real meaning of Christmas for me.

There is no Christmas tree, and we do not believe in Santa Clause.  What we believe is the Three Kings.  Three Kings arrive on the first Sunday of January.  That’s the time we received gifts in our family.  This was fun.  What we did at the eve of Three Kings, we lined up our shoes on the stairs, one pair only for each sibling.  When we woke up, run down the stairs, our shoes were filed with candies.  We really believed that Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar (names of the three Kings) came bearing gifts.  Gifts of candies not Frankincense, Myrrh and Gold.   This is how we end our Christmas.  It’s the longest Christmas celebration ever.

Three Kings

Three Kings

 “Was there a special gift or toy you wanted as a child but never received? What was it?”

Being with my family, visiting relatives and god parents to pay respect and ask for their blessings are the best gift I received.  I couldn’t ask for more.  No toys.  Sometimes, I received money but it wasn’t important for me.  What was important is we give one another our love and faith-based on the birth of Infant Jesus, Mother Mary and Joseph.

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: DELICATE – WHAT’S IN YOUR MIND?

“Delicate could be the tracings of frost on a window, a child’s tiny fingers and toes, the intricate pattern of a tree’s canopy, or something yet-to-be-discovered. So much of this challenge depends on your interpretation of “delicate,” and we look forward to seeing the range of images you capture.” 
In my humble opinion, everything is delicate.  
Life itself is delicate, and we have to treasure it.  The whole world is tilting in a fine balance, and we have to respect it.  Our minds, our precious minds, nurture it; for without this, the whole world will not survive.  How do I start with that?  Of course, it starts with me. 
I came across these pictures at the school board where I work.  I took pictures of them and filed them away for future use. Today is the ripe time to share with you what Delicate means to me.  They are priceless.

With the recent event yesterday at Newton, Connecticut; I dedicate this Delicate post for them. 
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the naked eye.”   The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery 
Teach Your Children Well.  (play this song)

Daily Prompt: Dear Mom, Life got in the way

Write a letter to your mom. Tell her something you’ve always wanted to say, but haven’t been able to. 

This is a bitter-sweet prompt.  I will tell you the sweet part first. 

As much as possible I try not to hold back my love, what I have to say and do what needs to be done to make Mother happy.  And I did, that was on February 14, 2000. 

Having just returned from a Mexican pilgrimage, I had a brilliant idea to start sharing my pilgrim experience.  The best way to do that was to throw Valentine’s party and celebrate Father’s death anniversary to surprise Mother.  But of course, I had an ulterior motive; to write a “blog” in longhand. I do not own a typewriter nor a computer then.  My family will be the guinea pig for my first “blog.”  All of my siblings came with their children.  It was a successful party.  Mother was thrilled. This is sweet.  Everybody received the “blog.”  No reactions from my siblings, I wasn’t happy.  Mother enjoyed the “blog.”  This is sweet.

When the party was over, everybody went on their merry way. Somehow, life got in the way; work that is. A few weeks later, Mother called me at work:  “Lady, come and visit me.”  I said, “Yes Mother.  I will be there for the weekend.”  I didn’t.  I forgot. The following week, my phone rang early in the morning.  It was my sister.  “Lady, Mother died this morning.”  That was March 31, 2000. This is bitter. 

Now, if I’ll write this letter, will she be able to read it? 

My Dearest Mother,
        I am so Sorry. 
        Please forgive me for not coming to visit when I said yes. 
                                                                                         I love you.  Lady

 

Daily Prompt: My Hero! – When I grow Up, I want to be just like you!

Tell us about your hero.

When I grow up, I want to be just like you said my niece to me lovingly as if she was looking at an angel at a tender age of under 10 years.  Children don’t know how to lie, just yet, they are open and honest; children have 20/20 vision, they can see an angel.  Ah, such sweet innocence as pure as driven snow.

I felt so vain, I am her HERO.  HOLD THAT THOUGHT FOR A MINUTE! No, don’t even think about it, NEVER!  When you grow up, you are going to be YOU!

Modesty aside, I am the hero not just to my niece also to my nephews, other nieces and younger generations since I am Auntie Mame to them.  Now they are all grown up, matured and have a place on this earth, their views have changed.  I am pretty sure if I’ll ask them who their hero is, it won’t be me.  Oh well, such as life.

Turning that question inwardly: asking, musing, pondering, thinking, talking to myself; who is your hero, Lady? The answer, really honestly and seriously.  I can easily say that my Mother Lucia is my hero for she gave birth to me.  She fought for my life when I was being conceived in her tiny womb.  I should have not been born.  The fetus is self-abortive says the doctor.  You will lose the baby.  Mother has such great strong faith and determination.  She wants me to come into this world for she loves me.  She prayed hard to all the angels and saints; to Our Lady of Perpetual Help for her intercession.  Should my life be spared, Mother will name the baby after Her.  What?  How does she know if it will be a baby girl?  What if it’s a boy?  Our Lord of Perpetual Peter Pan?

TADA, fast forward, 55 years later. Here I am at WordPress, pressing the words about my hero.  Long have I been waiting for this moment to speak boldly who my hero is.  I must say I am a little bit concerned that I may be laughed at should I tell you the 5Ws of my hero.  But I will stick to the rule: WHO.

I have so many heroes, not just one. My heroes are those little things that we seem to take for granted.  My heroes are those that saved my life aside from my Mother Lucia.  The most recent episode in my life, they are Lady Bugs, Hummingbirds, mustard seeds.  They saved my life and sanity.  And I am sure there will be more little things to come.

All kidding aside, my real hero based on my faith is nothing but a little child, Baby Jesus Christ.  He saved not just my life. He came to this world to save the world and mankind. Should you want to know the story of Baby Jesus, Google it!

Mary’s Boy Child Jesus Christ (song)

My Hero: Baby Lord Jesus Christ

My Hero: Baby Lord Jesus Christ

DP: Obituary of Lady Perpetua Siglos

Daily Prompt: In Loving Memory

Write your obituary. 

Our Lady Perpetua Siglos is Called by Joy.  Died happily doing what she wants to do.  Lived life to the fullest.  Rest in Peace.  Rest is boring.  In heaven, there is no rest but a continuous celebration of life with God.  We the living that are left behind are jealous of Lady’s leaving the earth.  We will miss her infectious determination.  A sister to the Yaya Sisterhood, an honorary member of the KofC for her brothers, constant gardener, lover of all beings, embraces the whole of mankind unconditionally.    Auntie Mame to her nieces, nephews and younger generations.

A pilgrim on this earth.

Come and join us at Our Lady of Mercy Parish Church.  In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the David Suzuki Foundation.  Burial at Forest Lawn Garden followed by dinner, dancing, and devotion.  Come and Join us.

Lord of the Dance (song)