She touched me.

Quote

The Death Project

Smelling the roses! These ones have a divine, spicy tea scent (photo: Roy Cross).

Susan Jeanne Briscoe
November 13, 1966 – August 31, 2018

Susan was a teacher and researcher at Dawson College in Montreal when she fell ill. After her terminal diagnosis, Susan created The Death Project, a blog in which she beautifully and honestly wrote about living and dying. The blog has touched tens of thousands of readers from all over the world.

 

via On Susan’s Death

Father and Son

Art Morgan

Here lies ashes of Art Morgan buried at the foot of Sakura Tree at Forest Law Cemetery close to Mother’s gravesite.

 
Father and Son
wearing the same outfit
black turtle neck, black jacket, black coat. 
Can I tell the difference?
young and older,
spitting image. 
It was Remembrance Day. 
Father was in town for the legion
to commemorate Remembrance Day. 
Where have you been hiding this young lady?
asked Father to Son. 
Where have you been hiding your father?
a thought I kept to myself for the Son. 
He was an army pilot during World War II. 
Father survived the war,
got married, raised a
family of four. 
I was happy to meet Father but
death came to soon. 
He died
in his own
hands. 
Why? 
Have you seen a
grown man cry?
Son was inconsolable. 
In Father’s bedroom
there I sat on his bed and lit
a candle to say a little prayer
and left the candle burning
by the bedside table. 
WHO LIT A CANDLE! 
Scream came out of Son’s mouth
hush, it was me, hush
Inconsolable.
wishing I could take away his
pain. 
Thanksgiving Day
time to scatter the ashes on top
of the mountain
overlooking the lake. 
One by one
the family took handful of ashes
blown to smithereens
carried by the wind. 
Mine placed in a small container
for Father’s ashes to bury him
at the cemetery. 
At the foot of the Sakura tree
is where I buried his ashes
near Mother’s resting place. 
Father’s bible was given to me
in memory of Son’s Father. 
There is no answer to Why. 
Remembrance Day
will always remind
me of Father and Son. 
 

Mother T. How I met her.

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This gallery contains 1 photo.

It was a warm afternoon when I suddenly came out of my meditation hearing the voice “Mother T died.” Mother T? Who is Mother T? Where did that voice come from? Perplexed, I ended the meditation and continued the daily … Continue reading

A moment of clarity

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This gallery contains 3 photos.

There are days that I just want to end it all. When that does happen, it’s the little things that stop me on my tracks that brings clarity in this obscure mind that surfaces uninvited. What stopped me this time … Continue reading

The Moment After: Me and My Cat, Maurice

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This gallery contains 2 photos.

I am finding ways to go through the gift of grief as best I can. The only way I can, for now, is to think of all the kindness of family and friends who shared their love for my cat, … Continue reading

Countless

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This gallery contains 4 photos.

Who is counting? I for one, not. It is enough for me to see the numbers of thank you notes left here. One. One is the best number. It only takes one to be touched by many filled with gratitude. … Continue reading

I rise, I rise, I rise

maya

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou
In Memory.  Via Parabola

The Saga of Eggs

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
humpy dumpy

This is a continuing saga of eggs posted here, here and here.

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,” BY MOTHER GOOSE
Source: The Dorling Kindersley Book of Nursery Rhymes (2000) via Poetry Foundation
Image: The New Yorker

How kind time is.

thomas merton
At Thomas Merton’s Grave

BY SPENCER REECE

We can never be with loss too long.
Behind the warped door that sticks,
the wood thrush calls to the monks,
pausing upon the stone crucifix,
singing: “I am marvelous alone!”
Thrash, thrash goes the hayfield:
rows of marrow and bone undone.
The horizon’s flashing fastens tight,
sealing the blue hills with vermilion.
Moss dyes a squirrel’s skull green.
The cemetery expands its borders—
little milky crosses grow like teeth.
How kind time is, altering space
so nothing stays wrong; and light,
more new light, always arrives.


Image from PBS

Grass, what are you telling me?

Van Gogh Grass

It was high noon, the sun was its peak, and the heat was scorching in an open arena in the middle of nowhere in Denver, Colorado.  There is a light breeze, not a single bird flying yet I could hear the chirping in the sound of silence.

Where is everybody?

Moving towards the hill, I could see a mirage of two people.  When I came closer to the top, there is a lake and the figure I saw where two men fishing silently.  I walked towards them, nodded my head to acknowledge their presence and walked away quietly to keep the sacredness and not to scare the fishes away.

Returning to the threshold that I walked through, I sat on the ground, leaned against the fence to shelter me from the heat.  The tall grass covers me and we settled down in the quiet of our being.

Gently I touch the blades of grass, caressing it and in return, the grass tickles me.  We are both pleased with each other’s company.  Giving and receiving the sheer pleasure of doing nothing.

What a wonderful afternoon, feeling what is that I cannot name and then suddenly, I started crying, uncontrollably.  It was so strange to feel the joy and grief at the same time.

Grass, what are you telling me?

When the emotional state I was in subsided, I said goodbye to the grass and thank it for having me.  Then I returned to my friend’s place that I was visiting.  Tomorrow, I am going home to Canada.

The following day before departing I quickly run to the fence, cross the threshold to say hello and goodbye to the grass. Shocked, I was so devastated what I saw.  The grass was cut down.  Gone.

Grass, is this what you were telling me yesterday?

Painting: Van Gogh

A sign of recovery

Video

Riding the BC Ferries from one island to another is always an exciting trip for me especially when El Capitan will announce that there is a pod of whales ahead.

A rare sighting happened on Monday, February 3 when there were two pods in sight off the coast of the harbour in Nanaimo, BC.  The pod of orcas hunted the pod of dolphins and ended up killing two of them in full view of the ferry passengers.

Orcas is also known as the killer whales.  They are the wolves of the sea.  This is a transient group that hunts for  mammals including seals.  The resident Orcas eat salmon only in this area.

With the return of the dolphins and the boom on harbour seals, it’s indicative that the water is recovering  This means that there will be more interaction such as this in the future.

This is the nature of things as  David Suzuki will say.

Source: The Province

Proverbial Family

We are born in a family that we did not ask for, and we can’t trade them for another.  Families are complicated, and they are the most important thing in the world.  The relationship we have for our family may be filled with love or skeleton in the closets.   And if we can’t get rid of the skeleton, we might as well make them dance.

Family entertainment at the park

Family entertainment at the park

“To understand your parents’ love, you must raise children yourself.”– Chinese proverb

Family Summer Camp

Family Summer Camp

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”– Jane Howard

Family shell seekers on the beach

Family shell seekers on the beach

“Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!”– Albert Einstein

Family travelling by bike along the Camino de Santiago

Family traveling by bike along the Camino de Santiago

“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”– Mother Teresa

Family visits the grave of their Mother

Family visit the grave of their Mother

“Family life is too intimate to be preserved by the spirit of justice. It can be sustained by a spirit of love which goes beyond justice.”– Reinhold Niebuhr

Quotes source: Keep Inspiring Me.

The Silence

z forget it all

“The Silence” (1997)
I listened
And waited a long time
For what was to be said
And nothing spoke
but a silence so deep
it could be speech
or a primed hesitance
of speech to say
what’s true
for ear or mind
as yet unborn
to take it in
so that the longer
and deeper
it grew
the more
the unbroken silence
felt full

Poem by: Edwin Honig
Photo credit: BBC

Evolution of Man: Layers of History

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This gallery contains 2 photos.

Layer up is the advise of our fearless leader .  Make sure we have a rain gear underneath the layers of clothing we have to brave the elements of Camino de Santiago.  The weather was so fickle.  It cannot make up … Continue reading

Hand in hand

Kindness and generosity go hand in hand.  And we thank you for you extending a helping hand.

The Filipinos are extending their grateful hearts and I am sharing a note from Facebook of TruPinoy.

z Pinoy TY

A grateful nation thanks all of your very generous hearts and outpouring support in the rescue/relief/recovery/rehabilitation efforts on the devastation brought about by Typhoon Yolanda (International code name: Haiyan).

May every Filipino you encounter in the world thank you all personally. Our people affected by the recent natural disasters may not have a very Merry Christmas, but because of all of you, they will feel that there is hope for one. God-bless all of you and all those in this country who make it better for others in need.

AUSTRALIA – US$10 million package
BELGIUM – medical and search and rescue personnel
CANADA – C$5 million…
DENMARK – KR 10 million
EUROPEAN UNION – EUR 3 million
GERMANY – 23 tons of relief goods
HUNGARY – search and rescue personnel and rapid response team
INDONESIA – in-kind donations
ISRAEL- team of medical, trauma and relief professionals
JAPAN – emergency relief medical team
MALAYSIA – medical and search and rescue teams
THE NETHERLANDS – undisclosed financial aid
NEW ZEALAND – NZ $2.15 million
NORWAY – KR 20 million
RUSSIA – rapid response team
SAUDI ARABIA through Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud – US$100,000
SINGAPORE – $50,000
SPAIN – in-kind donations
SWEDEN- emergency communications equipment
TAIWAN – $200,000
TURKEY – medics, rapid response team, search and rescue personnel
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Dhs 36 million
UNITED KINGDOM – £6 million and $9.6 million worth of emergency support package
UNITED NATIONS Children’s Fund – $1.3 million worth of supplies
UNITED STATES – initial $100,000 for water and sanitation; Troops, emergency respondents, transportation and equipment

 
Many have asked me if I have any family in the Philippines and if they are affected.  Two siblings are in the Philippines and luckily they are not affected.  However, there is one person that I connect with in WordPress and I have not heard from him.  The last we “talked” he was worried about Yolanda.  Then silence.
 
Today, I a note from him that he is “Still Here”.  Thank goodness. 
 
Please keep them in your prayers.  Thank you again for your kindness and generosity.
 
Related Links:

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.

Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis is Latin for “Always Faithful” or “Always Loyal.” This is the motto of the United States Marine Corps.  It is a useful slogan not just for the Corps but as well as to our country and to humanity.

I have taken the liberty of posting war stories.  A proper theme for the day. This is a Remembrance Day story that I am proud to share about my Uncle during his younger days and his brother Moises Gonzalez, who lost his life in 1944 who were faithful to humanity during the war.

The Gonzales brothers saved the life of James Carrington.  James was a World War II veteran reunited with Uncle who aided his escape from Japanese after 64 years and died shortly after the reunion.

reunion

Both men cried with joy when they met. Carrington was thankful that if it were not for the courage of the Gonzalez, he would not be here.

You may want to read the rest of the story by clicking on the picture or here.   A YouTube is also available here.

I am happy for them.  I wish I could make Uncle happier if I could help him find out what really happened to his brother.  I posted a story about it in Love and Valor.

Take time to remember.  Let us together as a nation to honour and remember  the Veterans, war dead and all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf in times of war, armed conflict and peace. There are many ways to remember and actively participate to honour those who served our country. For one, do not hesitate to discuss this with your family and friends.  It’s important to remember so that we don’t repeat the past.

Santa Cruz nathaniel (3)

Nathaniel ~ US Marine

Let us honor the valiant who sacrificed their lives for your safety. Let us  salute our nation’s heroes. Let us remind our friends and dear ones about the patriots who lost everything in battle. Let our  silent prayers be a tribute to them.

Lester Pearson
Whether we live together in confidence and cohesion; with more faith and pride in ourselves and less self-doubt and hesitation; strong in the conviction that the destiny of Canada is to unite, not divide; sharing in cooperation, not in separation or in conflict; respecting our past and welcoming our future.

Lest we forget.

Related Links:
 
Photo Credits: Nola News and Nephew Nathaniel

Final Journey on Earth

She came to Canada by steamship as a young woman in 1958 with a four-day train ride from Halifax to Vancouver as her introduction to Canada.  Vancouver offered the beauty of the ocean, along with the comfort of the mountains that reminder her of her home in Italy.  She married, raised a family, and lived in Kitsilano where she was known for her garden and flowers, which she carefully tended until just weeks before her passing.

Gina Antonioni  July 26, 1936 to October 30, 2013

Gina Antonioni July 26, 1936 to October 30, 2013

She was a supporter, a volunteer, and active participant at the Italian Cultural Centre and Villa Carital until her illness would no longer allow her to help.  Through her work, at Arbutus Manor for many years, and involvement in various clubs and groups, including Catholic League of Women (CWL) and the Circolo Trentino, she had built a large and varied group of friends.

Catholic League of Women

Catholic League of Women

The Easter candle is lit at baptism and lighted again upon death. “In dying we are born to eternal life.”

Easter Candle

Easter Candle

We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves.  If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.  For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. ~ Romans 14

Related Link:  Leave of Absence

Leave of Absence

Leaving work mid-morning, my commitment was at 11 a.m.  It’s close by to work, walking distance but I haven’t been to this place.  Plenty of time to walk the inside streets, enjoy the beauty of the autumn day and the rain stopped.

This is the west side of Vancouver, a beautiful neighbourhood that takes pride of their surroundings.  The environment is warm and welcoming.  Homes are old, mostly heritage, painted houses in living colours and well-kept.  Luscious garden, recycled items, ornamental trees and chair to sit around.

There’s nobody around and understandably so, it was work week and the children were at school.  I found myself alone in sweet serenity to commune with nature.

I reached my destination.

Heritage Building

St. Augustine Church.  This is the first time for me to visit the church.  As mentioned in my previous post, Candle in Spain,  I say the same prayer when I visit a church the first time hoping my wishes will be granted.  I did not because I was there for my friend to attend a Mass of Christian Burial of her mother.

Related Link: Candle in Spain

Saving lives. We can all learn from this.

Footage from a traffic camera overlooking a busy freeway in Santiago, Chile captured a dog performing a heroic act — pulling an injured friend from oncoming traffic.

The video, from Azteca America Colorado, shows an injured dog lying in the middle of a freeway after being hit by a car, while a rescue dog dodges traffic to run to its side. The rescue dog then drags the severely injured canine across lanes of traffic as cars swerve around it.

No motorists stopped to help either dog, but a highway crew arrives at the end of the video.

The translation of the announcer is as follows:

These images seen from the surveillance cameras show a very common situation with our overpopulated highways. It is normal for us to see dogs run over. In the video, we can see this dog fighting for his life because he was run over by the vehicle.

What is very touching is to see the very heroic actions of this other dog who is trying to pull him to the side of the highway. We are going to keep seeing things like this until we find a solution to the dogs living on the streets.”

Source: ETWorthSeeing

Open your Heart

Open the doors of your heart.

Give special attention, love and prayers to all those who come to the door of your home and workplace.

Let this simple gift of self be a witness to the love of Christ among us.

Awakening the Spirit of the Dragon

Each year, festival honours the ancient Chinese tradition of dragon boat racing with an Eye Dotting and Dragon Blessing Ceremony. 
Dragon Boat Logo

Dragon Boat Logo

An altar is set-up on the dock for a Taoist Priest to perform the ceremony.  The dragon boats are dressed with ornate dragon head and tails.  The boats are all lined up for blessing.  Invoking the Goddess of the Sea, the Saints and the Immortals through chanting and burning joss sticks cleanses the race course, competitors and boats.  This will charge them with the strength of the Dragon. 
The priests make offerings to the five elements and directions:
  • East – joss sticks representing wood
  • West – flowers representing metal
  • South – candles representing fire
  • North – water representing its elemental self
  • Centre – fruit representing the earth
 Eye dotting ritual is the climax of the ceremony which officially awakens the Dragon. Ancient Chinese dragon mythology has it that the Dragon sleeps in the mountains and travels to the water when it is awakened. 
And the race is on….. the 25th Annual Dragon Boat Festival.

25 years ago, I did join the race.  The name of our team was “Wet, Wild and Weary”.  I kept the T-shirt for memorabilia.  Did we win the race?  In our minds, we are the winner.  Joining the race is already a sign of winning: a sign of courage that we can do it.  And we did.

Wandering in the most unexpected places

When I am not seeking, I wander around.  For some people, they call it loitering.  For the law makers the rule is “No loitering, otherwise, you will be charge with vagrancy.”

I’m not really scared with this ruthless or useless law.  For one, I know a lawyer, I can easily say, sue me or I’ll see you in court.  If not, I have friends in higher places that will defend me, men with guns, aka, cops.

With my wandering round and about especially during coffee or lunch break, the Westside is residential area.  There are a few residents I’ve met along the way and we are all on first name basis.  Most of them are retired, leaving along.  Some looked alone and lonely.

Ian was alone for most times.  Talking to him was a challenge because he speaks in rhymes.  I realized that he was telling me his poems.  It took me awhile to understand his speech because he was toothless.  Vagrant, he is not.  He just sits at the park writing his thoughts of poetry down.

One day, he presented me a booklet of his poems, first edition. What a sweet man.  I received more booklets from him over the years, yet, I don’t know anything personal about him.  But he seemed to enjoy talking to me while I listen.

Recently, I have not seen him around.  Until one day, I saw a fellow who lives in the same building as Ian.  Ian passed away in October last year, he says.

This is a sample of Ian Rudkin’s poetry, page 23. My Song Is In My Step.

Sense Beyond Fueling

I’m responsible for myself;
I’m naturally at home.
Nature is my health
And symptom is this poem.
I heed what I sense
And do what I eat.
I cause a few events
By work and not by feat.
I cannot assume help
Especially what was error.
To help, I try to tell
Some insights, touch and caring.
It seems a truth that women
Have far more sense than taste
In fact the sense for living
On which respect is based.
Signed: Kind Wishes from Ian Rudkin
Spring is here and the weather is getting warmer.  I will miss his presence sitting in  the bench under the shade of maple tree.
Farewell my friend.

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:

Forgiveness in Action – March Monthly Peace

The monthly Peace Challenge for the month of  March 2013 is about Marching Towards Forgiveness. 
Forgiveness is just a not a word for me.  I can only forgive through action.  I can think about it, I can meditate about, I can wish about it; none of these would work for me.  I can only show it.  And here is a great story about forgiveness. 
As John Paul II took the hand of his would-be-assassin, he showed us that a Christian must forgive his enemies, even when they do not want forgiveness. 
One of the bullets that struck John Paul II remains in the crown of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal. 
 
By Brother Randall J. Meissen, LC
4/27/2011 JohnPaulMoments.com (johnpaulmoments.com) 
ROME, Italy (John Paul Moments) – On December 27, 1983, as John Paul II sat in a bare, whitewashed jail cell of Rome’s Rebibbia prison, he was unprepared for the question voiced by an unshaven prisoner to his side, “So why aren’t you dead?”  
Why aren’t you dead? 
Death had appeared all but certain to bystanders when three bullets fired by Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca tore through the pope’s flesh on May 13, 1981, staining the pope’s white cassock with deathly scarlet. 
Ali Agca was a professional assassin, he had aimed at close range, and he had aimed well.  But somehow, the bullets missed lethal targets, one grazing the pope’s right elbow, and another deflecting off his left index finger before passing through his abdomen, a fraction of an inch from a major artery.  
By John Paul II’s assessment, “It was a mother’s hand that guided the bullet’s path,” and permitted that “the dying Pope. stopped on the threshold of death.”  The assassination attempt had taken place on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, and the pope had no doubt that his survival was due to the intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  
In gratitude, the Pope gave one of the deadly bullets to the bishop in charge of the shrine at Fatima, Portugal.  To this day, that bullet remains in the crown of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary housed at that shrine. 
However, as John Paul II sat at the side of his would-be-assassin, Ali Agca expressed fears that this Lady of Fatima might come after him next.  The pope stated the contrary; he himself had come to forgive, not to harm.  But Ali Agca did not ask for forgiveness.  
Thus, as the pope took the hand of the gunman, he showed us that a Christian must forgive his enemies, even when they do not want forgiveness.
 
Source: Catholic.Org

Gotta have heart (34)

Gallery

The next destinations after Lourdes were Ars and Paray Le Monial.   It was a beautiful drive.  We were back to normal, no feud amongst the pilgrims and singing in the bus as if we were school children.  First stop was … Continue reading

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

A Song, A Book, My Name

Funny (not funny ha-ha) asking me that question.  I just finished watching the DVD of Pilgrim’s Progress: Journey to Heaven.  It’s a modern adaptation of John Bunyan’s beloved classic tale. 
Pilgrim’s song is a song that is constantly humming in my head.  I grew up with this song and I love the lyrics.  Pilgrim Progress is a required reading at school, a literally tale written by John Bunyan when he was imprisoned.   Perpetua is my second name. 
I found the lyrics after coming from a pilgrimage at All Roads Lead Home.

 Pilgrim’s song

Man is lonely by birth.
Man is only a pilgrim on earth.
Born to be king, time is but a temporary thing,
only on loan while on earth.

Like the wind in the tree,
man has been rather reckless and free.
Thrown far and wide, we long to settle down beside
the stream flowing through eternity.

Like the grass on the lawn,
we will pass by the way and be gone.
A lesson to learn, we walk but once there’s no return.
Time is always moving on.

Man is longing for One,
for a song and a place in the sun,
a home up above where ev’ry day is lived in love, for
rest when the journey is done.

 

A reminder that I am pushing the Pause Button in Daily Prompt as mentioned in my post Forty Days and Forty Nights.  Until then, care take of your sweet self.

Thank you for asking Daily Prompt All About Me.
 
Pax Tecum.  Perpetua

The kindness of strangers

Today’s ground breaking news close to where I live, Courtney is finally going home or at home by now in San Francisco. 
A heart-warming story about random act of kindness.  Watch the second video first to know the story.  Take Care, Courtney.  Click on the link: Courtney Canter goes home. 
This post is inspired by Kozo and Cheri and Bloggers4peace

Being Born – A Gift

I know I am just passing through in this life, a pilgrim.  This is not my home.  I should have not been born as I mentioned in my post My hero.  
A lot of people had a surreal experience.  It just a matter of being aware or in tuned to what is happening in your body and out of your body. 
To cite an example, when I was just a little girl, I was having an afternoon siesta.  It’s a requirement that children must have a good afternoon rest.  My older siblings will ensure that we take a nap. 
As I lay asleep, I was looking down at my body sleeping like a baby and my other self is up on the ceiling attached by a golden thread.  It was scary for a mere child and I said to myself, bring me back to my body, Now!  Whump!  I’m back, opened my eyes, felt a tremendous headache.  That was my first awareness. 
It happens all the time, I just have to keep myself grounded otherwise, I will be floating in air.  People call me crazy, who cares.  It’s a gift.  It’s nothing new.  Look at all those great people such as Carl Jung, William Blake, Gopi Krishna, Padre Pio, Dag Hammarskjold, etc. who have such gift. 
Let me share with you what Dag wrote titled Markings: 
I don’t know who or what put the question
I don’t know when it was put
I don’t even remember answering
But at that moment
I did answer Yes
To Someone or something
And from that hour
I was certain
That existence is meaningful
And that, therefore my life,
Is self-surrender
Had a goal. 
Think about this. 
This is in response to Daily Prompt: Surreal.  Come and join us, you’ll discover who you are.

Mother Earth

I love Mother Earth and for this reason I became an activist in so many ways. 
Indulge me on this one: carbon footprints, zero mile diet, recycling, bike to work, think green, nature of things, save the children, etc. 
To put things in perspective, I cannot save the whole world.  I know I can do one thing for myself and Mother Earth.  I gave up my freedom to fully go where ever I go, when I want.  My car. 
This decision was a difficult one.  In order for me to make a decision, I always think “two things”, a choice.  Asking myself what do I want to give up in order to make a positive impact to Mother Earth and humanity:  Cigarettes or Car = 2Cs. I have divulged this information about me in my post about Pilgrims Progress and Flawed: Guilty. 
Listing the pros and cons, they are both cons.  What about the lesser of two evils, they are both evils.  What is easier?  Car it is.  
What made me choose the car?  The pollution: all that carbon in the air that is killing the plants and animals.  Greenhouse effect is what the scientists call it.  The oil and gas industry is a greedy corporate industry.  Think of Athabasca Tar Sands that is happening in Canada.  Oh, don’t get me going on this Daily Prompt.  My blood is boiling at this minute early in the morning. 
People are so righteous when it comes to smoking, even the government. When people see me smoke, I hear nasty remarks and poor attitudes, they are holier than thou.  I ask them: Do you drive a car?  Huh? is their response.  What does car got to do with cigarettes?  Do you have time to listen to me while I smoke in front of you?  No, is the response.  Then stay away from me and keep on walking.  I am killing myself when it comes to smoking, I know that.  You have no idea what I gave up for Mother Earth! 
There’s one less car now in Vancouver.  Mine. 
This is in response to Daily Prompt: Global.  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

A Letter for the Grieving

Hi Uncle Cee:
 
I was pondering on what you wrote about the Holy Mother; how it helped you deal with losing the love of your life. And was reflecting on Mama Mary how she dealt with grief. 
  • What was grieving like for her?
  • How long did she grieve, when did she recover and what methods did she use?
  • Who were the people who supported her during that time?
  • How did she continue living life without Jesus Christ, losing the love of her life?
  • What was it like for her to see the love of her life, Jesus Christ, suffered, crucified, put to death and buried?
Grief somehow opens up more questions.  Just like you, I questioned God and still do: WHY?  Why can’t you just take away Jan right now, why can’t you give her what she wants right now, Jan wants to die right now.  For years, 5 or longer, I watched Jan deteriorate, withering away, angry at God. Divine Retribution she says.  I say the God I know is loving, kind and merciful. 
Jan asked me to take her to a place to be euthanized.  My response was that she is not a cat; I can’t help her. Morbid sense of humour but Jan likes the blackness of it. Did God answer my questions, maybe He did.  Did I hear what God was whispering to the ears of my heart?  No. I was too busy listening to Jan and my heart ached for Jan. 
When I shared the Celebration of Life for Jan, I know I have arrived to that peaceful place where I can think of her fondly.  No tears, somehow tears won’t come and my heart is glowing with sweet surrender. 
How strange this grief I have for Jan in comparison to the death of my Mother.  And I know the next time someone dies close to my heart; it will be a different experience; for nothing can prepare me how I will feel.  I would have thought that since I welcome death as part of living, since I have taken cared of people with AIDs, since I have been trained to volunteer and counsel in the Hospice of St. Michael, I am well equipped.  Not really, I just have to have to go through it and enjoy the ride. 
I am alright, Uncle Cee.  Thank you for your help, prayers and concerns.  I hope I may be an instrument to your peace. I am here just a click away.  
Pax tecum.  Perpetua 
This is in response to DP Challenge: Writing Challenge Starting Over.   It’s fun.  Come and join us.

DP: Clean Slate – Simplicity

“Daily Post: Clean Slate – Explore the room you’re in as if you’re seeing it for the first time. Pretend you know nothing. What do you see? Who is the person who lives there?” 
The place is the tiniest room in a three storey older tenement.  It’s a bachelor suite measuring around 500 square feet or less, big enough for a simple life.  
Room 306 is the back part of the third floor of Royal Manor.  She just loves that name and she started feeling regal already.  Seeing the bright living room with balcony, plenty of natural light is very conducive to a healthy living for the new tenant requires natural light in order to survive the long winter ahead.  
A balcony, she feels so blessedly rich.  She can picture what plants to grow, eventually.  No animals allowed is the agreement she signed for.  That is just fine by her since she doesn’t want any responsibilities.  All she wants is to take care of herself and live a life of solitude. 
The tenant is a minimalist.  All she brought with her is an old bed and three dressers for her clothes.  She loves dressing up.  No sofa, no chairs, no table for she threw in the towel.  A clean slate, a new beginning.  
Ah, she can now breathe.  No more stuff that suffocates her life. 
Over the years, the room is gradually filling up and it has maintained its simplicity in life.  A sofa, plants, folding dinning table, a cat.  Plenty of light and life. She now loves living the life what God has intended for her. 
Living room

Living room

1984 – What do you see?

“You’re locked in a room with your greatest fear. Describe what’s in the room.”

 Hotmail In Box:  No new mail.  I might as well read all the letters then.

Vanakkham – Greetings to you.  Mentally, I am in good health and my well-being is calm.  I like praying and I dislike quarrelling.  I receive so many suggestions and ideas about to live like a guide to others and how can I live without giving any difficulties to other and how can I be of help.  I shared everything to my friends.

With God’s grace and your love I am living peacefully.  I will remember you in my daily prayers.  Since I can’t write this letter, our field worker has written this letter for me.

Yours lovingly, signed with a thumb print

These are bits and pieces of the letters I received from PMB1245 Child ID.  My foster child’s name is Kulandai Samy.  He is much too old for a foster child, older than me.  He is blind.  And I am speaking on behalf of Samy.

I’ve never read a single word of fear from a blind person.  He cannot describe what’s in the room for that matter.  Samy, has given me so much joy since 2009.  Twice a year, I received a letter and annually a Christmas card enclosed a photo of him.  He does look so peaceful. 

I received a call from the agency that Samy died of a heart attack last week, beginning of January 2013.  Now, he is forever peaceful, united with God. 

Kulandai Samy, where ever you are, I thank you for coming into my life.  I’ll be seeing you in the next life.

*One Minute Meditation*
Our minds are like crows. They pick up everything that glitters, no
matter how uncomfortable our nests get with all that metal in them.
–Thomas Merton
 
Related post from WordPress:
Fear of the unknown: by seeker
A question for me; Was he afraid?  story by tkmorin
What you don’t know: by shadoza
The Only thing to fear: by jodahfirst
The voices in my bathroom were real, Oh God: by allthosesmallthings

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

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: Plead the Fifth – WHY? The answer is blowing in the wind.

What question do you hate to be asked? Why? 
Really?  What kind of question is that? Plead the Fifth?  Plead what? Plead the Fifth Amendment?  Is that what you mean? 
Plead the Fifth Amendment?  No way, I refuse to answer for this might incriminate me.  In Canada, we call it Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Self-Incrimination.  This is my answer. 
“Do you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God.”  And then I swore on the Bible.  This was my experience as part of a Jury for 10 days.  A priest once told me when he is called on to swear on the Bible he refuses because he has already taken the Oath when he decided to serve God and mankind.  Of course, I forgot about this when I was asked.  I placed my hand on the Bible, and I said:“I swear.” 
It was quite an experience and an honour to serve Canada being selected as a Jury.  It made me think that the future of this man lies on my hand should I decided against the other jurors.  I was Number 8.  Mind you, we were given a manual on pointers on how to become a jury and how to make a decision based on just law.  No bias, no discrimination.  The jurors came from all walks of life.  One juror, in my opinion, was very fashionable.  She made sure that she is well dressed for the public and for the Judge.  This is not a criticism.  It’s important that we are dressed properly.  But once we deliberate behind closed doors, we have to divest ourselves.  Not our clothing, but our just minds.  We have to have an open mind without the probability of a doubt. 
We did reach a verdict.  NOT GUILTY.  Whew.  I was glad we came to a conclusion.  What was the case, you asked?  Joe vs. the People.  Joe was accused of killing his brother.  Just like in the Bible, Cane killed Abel.  But Cane was guilty; Joe was not. 
Back to swearing on the Bible to tell the whole truth; when I was a child, my Mother always reminded me to tell the truth.  That is so plain and simple.  Should you ask me WHY, the answer my friend is blowing in the wind.  (click to play the song) 
Tell the truth, try, you might like it. 
One Minute Meditation:
“Why is everyone here so happy except me?” “Because they have learned to see goodness and beauty everywhere,” said the Master. “Why don’t I see goodness and beauty everywhere?” “Because you cannot see outside of you what you fail to see inside.” || Anthony de Mello, SJ
 

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

 

DP: Circle of Five – “Five Degrees of Separation?”

A writer once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If this is true, which five people would you like to spend your time with? 
This prompt reminds of the movie “Six Degrees of Separation.” It also conjures a process of elimination on my part.  In order not to offend anyone in my circle that is still living on this earth, I will narrow this down to the people who have left the planet. 
Jose Rizal

Jose Rizal

Jose Rizal – During my high school days, I was smitten by this man. I fell in love with his words. Noli Me Tangere translated in English “Touch Me Not”. We were required to memorize and recite the verses in Spanish. Spanish is a romantic sounding language. If only I could touch him right now. He is the national Hero of the Philippines. He fought the Spaniards using just his pen. And his Pen is mightier than a sword. He founded a nonviolent-reform society. One day, I will return to the Philippines and visit the jail where he was imprisoned.

 

Chief Dan George

Chief Dan George

Chief Dan George – we are practically neighbours. He lived in Burrard Inlet, North Vancouver; a few minutes where I live here. A native of Canada of First Nations origin. I have the book he wrote “My Heart Soars” as part of my book collections which is not that many. Once in a while, I visit the church reserve to be with the First Nations elders and listen to their stories.

Richard Feynman

Richard Feynman

Ah, Richard Feynman. Doesn’t he look mischievous in this picture? I met him in Isla Mujeres in Mexico. This American couple introduced me to “Surely you’re joking, Mr. Feynman.” Ever since I became so curious in life because of his curiosity. He’s so contagious. I could easily “pick” him up anytime, that is, the book.

Maximilian Maria Kolbe

Maximilian Maria Kolbe

Maximilian Maria Kolbe – He’s a new guy in the block from Poland. We were supposed to visit Nazi German concentration camp of Auschwitz, but due to flooding, we didn’t make it. This is a bit morbid, but I want to know what he thinks of Adolf Hitler. Definitely, I do not, I repeat, do not wish to spend time with Adolf!.

 

Bernadette

Bernadette

My poor Bernadette. Somehow I really did not like her at first when I was at Lourdes in Oct 2012 pilgrimage. She’s a bit whinny for my taste. But, this is a big BUT, when I stayed overnight at her place at Espace Bernadette where she died, I had a change of heart.
 
 
 
To date, I still don’t know what it is. Yes, that’s the gravatar I am using. I am beginning to feel so fondly of her just having her presence as I write the Daily Prompt. My hope in the future is to spend more time in Espace Bernadette in Nevers.
And she can tell me her favourite massage “Every human being is precious in the eyes of God”.

DP: Childhood Revisited – Total Recall of the day’s gone by – not goodbye.

What is your earliest memory? Describe it in detail, and tell us why you think that experience was the one to stick with you.  

Total Recall of the day’s gone by – not goodbye.

There’s a song in my head: “Those were the days my friend, we thought we’ve never end, we’d sing and dance forever and day.”  Plenty of playing, praising and singing. Growing up in a family of 13, I am number 10, it takes its toll.  I have nine siblings to be obeyed and be respected because they are older than me; three younger brothers to play with and dominate them.  My turn, hah!  Aside from uncles, aunties, and cousins, we are a multitude of the stars.  As God said, “Go and build me a nation,” we did.  Actually, that’s just the way life was in the Philippines.  The more the merrier and plenty of love to give, receive and share.  Not like that “Godfather” movie, you’ll end up with a horse on your bed. Yikes.

The word to describe today’s post is hypermnesia \hye-perm-NEE-zhee-uh\

Noun: abnormally vivid or complete memory or recall of the past by according to http://www.merriam-webster.com/

I know it’s better to remember good times, good times but this one particular memory brought awareness in my little brain.  My sisters love to make collages, and they post them on the wall just above the bed we all share. This is one of the pictures.

Feed the Children, please

Feed the Children, please

This image thought me so much, and I did not learn this from kindergarten school.  From this collage, I learned to love and compassion as I grow up instilling in my heart and soul that we all have to help the children for we were children once before.

The greatest teacher for me, in my background, is Jesus Christ.  Let the little children come to me.  Pax Tecum,  Seeker.

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)