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I’ve never read the book Anne of Green Gable written by L. M. Montgomery, a Canadian writer. The book is supposed to be a classic literature. Curiosity took over me and I came across with Chapter 5: Anne’s History. “Well, … Continue reading

The Woodpecker

The sound of the rattling call of wuk, wuk, wuk, I can tell that the woodpecker is in the neighborhood.  The call starts slow and short; then it progresses to a rapid tone and louder.  As it turned out, the Woodpecker is either up on the roof or down below in the garden.

Between the Seagulls, Robins and Crows, the Woodpecker has to compete with these birds.  Small as it is and alone, it can scare the competitors just by its territorial call.

I was hoping that it would stay longer so I can enjoy this elusive bird but it stays only for a short while.

Last night, my neighbor reported to me that we have to have a funeral service.

Of course, I don’t particularly become surprised with her mellow dramatic character; I’m used to her performance. When there is death in the building, it’s either a cat, rat, mouse or a dead plant.  I normally volunteer to do the service.

“So… what died and where will I find the body? “ I asked.

With so much preamble from her, I basically have to pull it out from her lips what I need to hear.  First she has to make an assumption that somebody killed it.  Maybe the raccoon did it or maybe a gigantic sewer rat or etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

As it turned out, her and her husband found the Woodpecker dead underneath the umbrella tree.  They are aware that I am very fond of this bird better than their pet crows that they feed every day.

Damn, double damn; not the beautiful bird.

Armed with a spade and hand gloves, I started the service without them.  I wanted to be alone with the  Woodpecker. I did not to give it a name because once I do, I will become personally attached to it.

The bird is still soft to touch and much more beautiful closer. With its long beak, black and orange color, polka dot speck on white fluff of feathers are stunning.  Lifting its weightless body, I laid it on a bed of flowers. Gradually covering it earth, placed rocks on top and more flowers just like being a cemetery. I buried it in my secret garden.

It was all a matter of fact what I just did.  It was alive, now it’s dead.  Deep down inside, I hope there are no babies somewhere in a hollow of a tree left behind.  Now, I am beginning to become dramatic just like my neighbor and if I don’t stop this whole thing, it will make me miserable just by thinking about it. Enough.
woodpecker fly awaySo long, Woodpecker.  Fly and cross the rainbow. Thank you for being there.

 

Keeping my Mother alive

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” ― Shannon L. Alder

Mother subscribed to “Living with Christ” that I took over when she died. I changed the mailing address and kept her name. It’s a booklet of daily mass readings.

As years go by, I noticed I started receiving other mails addressed to her.  Now, there are more mails for her than for me.  These envelopes are coming from various charitable and health organizations asking for donations.  Some mails even have greetings cards, address labels, calendars, pens, bags and other goodies.  I consider these as bribes.

motherWho on earth is keeping my Mother alive?

I know that there is an industry that collects and sells data of name and address of other people.  At the same token some organizations buy the list for solicitation purposes.  I wonder if they have any idea that some people on the list are dead.

I find it rather amusing that these organizations are totally clueless.  One envelope is from Heart and Stroke.  Do I dare tell them that Mother actually died of a massive heart attack on March 31, 2000?

Seeing all these mails for Mother is one way of keeping the memory of her alive.  I do not have the heart to return them to sender for I love receiving her mails.

Mother left us a lasting legacy of love, faith and hope.

Love is her guiding principle, faith is her foundation and hope kept her forging ahead to raise her thirteen children as a single mother.  Like most parents, she wanted the very best for her children.

Mother had a tremendous responsibility to maintain love and care for one another in our family unit. She provided a modest rented apartment as our home that is welcoming.  Even though our home is small, our friends and classmates are part of the family. There was a sense of belonging and ease.  They even call her Mother, too.

When it comes to education, Mother wanted us to focus our energy on studying since she only finished Grade 4.  Once we graduated from University, only then can we try extracurricular activities such as having a boyfriend.

Family is all about relationship of unconditional love, giving and nurturing.  She loved, gave and nurtured.  Her children came first and sacrificed her own personal wants; a very altruistic person. She set a good example and standard for me, my siblings, family, friends and community.  The community presented her an award as Mother of the Year.

When I was younger, I cannot see through what Mother is.  Only then, as I grow older and have more time to contemplate and reflect about her, I can truly say how blessed I am that she chose me to live and saved my life when I became gravely ill.  Not just me but so many others before me.  We are all lucky to have Mother.

Even though she’s no longer here on earth, we keep her legacy of love, faith and hope.  And for as long as we are alive, we will continue to speak and tell stories to the younger generations.

Letter to your future self

Have you ever written a letter to yourself only to be opened in the future?  I did.

In one of the retreats I attended, I wrote a letter to myself, sealed it in an envelope, addressed to me, left it at the retreat office and mailed it to me a year later.  I completely forgot about the letter until I received it.  Excitedly opened it, read it, put it back in the envelope, stored it away and cannot recall the content of the letter.  Currently, I don’t know where I have hidden it.  Maybe one day, I’ll find it before I die or maybe my family will.

What brought me to write this is due to Taylor.

Taylor was a vibrant 12-year old girl.  She died young due to pneumonia-related complications.  When her parents were going through her things, they discovered a sealed envelope addressed to her future self:  “To be opened by Taylor Smith on April 13, 2023, only unless said otherwise,”

The letter reads:

little girlDear Taylor,

How’s life? Life is pretty simple right now (10 years in your past). I know I’m late for you, but as I’m writing, this is early, so; congratulations on graduating high school! If you didn’t go back and keep trying. Get that degree! Are you (we) in college? If not, I understand. We do have pretty good reasoning, after all. Don’t forget, it’s Allana’s 11th birthday today! Sheesh, 11 already? In my time, she just turned 1! I didn’t get to go to that party though, because I was in Cranks, Kentucky for my first mission trip. I’ve only been back for 6 days!

Speaking of, how’s your relationship with GOD? Have you prayed, worshipped, read the bible, or gone to serve the lord recently? If not, get up and do so NOW! I don’t care what point in our life we’re in right now, do it! He was mocked, beaten, tortured, and crucified for you! A sinless man, who never did you or any other person any wrong!

Read the rest of the letter here.

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