Dear Dad, Thank you for making us happy. Love, Lucy

My dad was a humble man. Well-travelled, well-loved, and simply well lived. Although his successes in life include travelling the world, finding love that lasted near 40 years, and having 6 kids, he never boasted about his life accomplishments. As I now rest in the wake of my dad’s death, I think about how he was a man of few words.

Lucy and Dad, Sweet Dreams

Often times, I find myself exhibiting my dad’s characteristics, especially when it comes to a shortage of words. In the days since my father’s passing, I have been hesitant to share this part of my life with others, even concealing it from some of my close friends. It wasn’t that the grief was too heavy to talk about, but rather that I couldn’t find the words to properly explain how I was feeling.

Lucy and Dad, Camping Days

As the youngest sibling, my relationship with my dad was different than the rest of my family’s. When my older siblings had all moved out, I remained home with my parents. On days when my mom would work, I’d be left home alone with dad. We’d both do our own things, never speaking much except for when we’d share a meal. Words between us were rarely ever needed. Instead, it was my father’s calming and gentle presence that always made me feel secure. It’s funny to think about how the most mundane memories are ones I cherish the most.

When the day came for us to say our final goodbyes, I was eager for words. I felt as though I needed to say the perfect things in order for him to forgive me for the years of lost communication. It wasn’t until after he passed that I understood how wrong that mindset was.

Dear Poteet

When I reflect on our relationship, it is not the conversations had that bring me peace. Instead, it was his presence. It was being at home and knowing I was safe there with him. It was knowing he was proud of me. It was knowing that he would support me in whatever I wanted to do. It was feeling his love instead of hearing it. It was knowing I would never be alone.

Thinking about adjusting to life without my dad is scary. For the first time in my life, my mom will go to work, and I will be home alone. Although physically, he won’t be there, I still know his gentle presence will always look over me. I know that even now after he’s gone, I will never be alone.

Rummaging through old mementoes of my parents and their shared love has inspired me. I came across one card my dad gave to my mom. She always said that he would never write her long or extravagant messages, but the short notes he did write held so much love. The one card I found read,

“Thanks for making me happy.”

Lucy and Dad, Grad Night

Lucy and Dad, Grad Night

I now know I inherited my father’s minimalistic love language. Knowing that, if I could say one more thing to my dad, it would simply be:

Dear dad, thanks for making us happy. Love, Lucy.

A Gift To Be Simple

Nature is winning as the world is at a standstill. To think that life is for the birds, we got it all wrong. Birds have a simplistic view of life. Bird brain? Small they may be, they can thrive all year long at the Holly Tree growing in front of my balcony. It was fascinating to observe this bird to prepare a nest to lay her eggs.  When the fledglings were mature enough, they took a leap of faith from the birdhouse, flew and never to be seen.

Nest material

Staying home, staying safe and distancing oneself can be an opportunity to rest, have a healthy self-reflection, pick up the pieces where I had left off when I became too busy making a living and no life to enjoy the beauty that surrounds me.

Note to myself: Do not watch the news. Do Not watch the news. DO NOT WATCH THE NEWS. When I do, my mind goes into a curve of never-ending spiral of negativity. Binge on Netflix instead.

Oh, I do know what people are currently preoccupied with, the ‘c’ word. Whenever I say this godforsaken word, the curl of my lip is indescribable.

The other day, I spoke to my Jewish friend inquiring how she is managing with her children. Our conversation turned to excitement about how we are going to celebrate the next few days. She and the children will celebrate Passover Seder with her mother and sister. While I will be observing the Triduum alone watching the live broadcasts of the mass either from Vancouver or the Vatican.

Holy week for me is not complete without viewing The Ten Commandments, an old-time movie favourite with Yul Bryner and Charlton Heston. According to the bible, ten plagues happened in Egypt. The motion picture showed at least four: turning the Nile River into blood, the storm of fire, darkness and death of the firstborn humans.

Egypt

Go down, Mosses. Way down in Egypt land. Tell ole Pharaoh, let my people go!

In the movie, they found a cure against the 10th plague, death of the firstborn, by sacrificing a lamb and smear the blood on the door of their house. The epidemic passed over houses with the lamb’s blood.

I wish it’s that simple with COVID-19.  There I said the ‘c’ word.

Crystal Clear

”No one is ever born into life alone. Everyone has shared the bond of family, at least at birth, and for many people, it is a bond that will follow them throughout life. For many people, it is the most essential bond of all.”

I was lucky enough to have in my life a family filled with love, compassion, acceptance, and tolerance. I am what I am as a direct result of a family life where belonging is imperative.  It is gratifying to my health and one of the reasons why I am still alive.  Without my family’s caring nature, I cannot conceive living alone.

Reflection 25 years ago

Reflection 25 years ago

When I was younger, I tagged along with my sister, her husband, and two boys.  Have a van, and we travelled anywhere. I was more than welcome to join since I can chop woods and carry water on top of being a babysitter. Stopping on a pristine crystal clear rocky river bed to cool off on the way to the campground is always part of the fun.

Reflection of my 17 year old nephew

Reflection of my 17-year-old nephew

I used to drive the children around and take them on a field trip.  Sometimes, I am the one that takes them out for the weekend of cub scouts or brings the boys along on a camping trip without the parents.  Yes, they trusted me with their children.  Trust is essential.

Years flew by, and I am the one being driven around by their fifth child. Making a short conversation so that I don’t distract him while driving, I asked: “Aren’t you much too young to drive as a sixteen-year-old?”  He quickly exclaimed: “I’m seventeen years old!”  “Oh, pardon me, young man,” I responded.  His father beside him was chuckling while he teaches his son to drive. No, I wasn’t scared of a young person driving me home.  I trust him.

Reflection of a one and half child

Reflection of a one and half-year-old child

Life is all about the play when I am with my sister’s grandson. At his age, everything is magical, even playing hide and seek behind a jug of water. ROAR, he screamed as he was trying to scare me with his dinosaur sound.

Through thick and thin, our family will pass the bonding to the younger generation. I am hopeful that we have shown them the importance of forming an intimate family unit as a cornerstone of our existence.

Pilgrim Progress: The Road I Travelled

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Little do I know that the road I travelled in 2017 will become the theme for unity in the Christian world this year. Malta. Photos taken were stored, collecting dust. Now, I am revisiting the pictures I’ve made and reflect … Continue reading

Living for something bigger than myself

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to live the words of the prophet: “I, the LORD, have called you…I have grasped you by the hand…I formed you…and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations” (Isaiah 42:6)

 

via A view from the kitchen window

“How long should an engagement last?”

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Ask me a question, and I will answer accordingly. In social media, Aleteia started its post by raising this question: “How long should an engagement last?” It sounds rhetoric to me. I am more interested in the question rather than … Continue reading

“I asked my reflection, How did you get there?”

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“The Gift-Wrap & The Jewel” by Wanda B. Goines

I looked in the mirror and what did I see,
but a little old lady peering back at me
With bags and sags and wrinkles and wispy white hair,
and I asked my reflection,
How did you get there?”

You once were straight and vigorous and now you’re stooped and weak,
when I tried so hard to keep you from becoming an antique.

My reflection’s eyes twinkled as she solemnly replied,
you’re looking at the gift wrap and not the jewel inside
A living gem and precious, of unimagined worth
Unique and true, the real you, the only you on earth.

The years that spoil your gift-wrap with other things more cruel,
should purify and strengthen, and polish up that jewel.

So focus your attention on the inside, not the out
On being kinder, wiser, more content and more devout
Then, when your gift-wrap’s stripped away your jewel will be set free,
to radiate God’s glory throughout eternity.

 

Original news you may read here.

The nature of Emerald Isle

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“It’s the one place on earth heaven had kissed with melody, mirth, and meadow and mist.  ~ Irish Proverb.” Never have I seen so many shades of green in this rolling hills of Dingle Peninsula. According to the song Johnny … Continue reading

Pilgrim Progress

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Here I am, another Sunday, another sacred space of faith and spiritual journey, more memories and reflections. There are times I don’t want to understand the course of our actions that affect other people similar to a “butterfly effect.” Still, … Continue reading

The Journey and the Dream still continues…

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Twenty years ago, I made the first journey to Assisi on my own. I was young, healthy and carefree imitating the life of St. Francis, poor in spirit. Alone I was, I met a lot of strangers along the road. … Continue reading

Reaping the rewards

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  “Blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed” – John 20:29 It is with his scientific mind that he has proven black holes, gravity, and wrote the book a Brief History of Time, Steven Hawkings absolute cannot reason … Continue reading

Approaching Good Choices

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  Decision making is challenging because sometimes we have no idea the impact of what we have decided. Just thinking about what to choose to wear is a grueling daily event. Some outfit brings happiness, others blah. What made us … Continue reading

What a day. Snow in Vancouver.

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    It hardly snows in Vancouver. Winter is not winter, without snow. Last night it snowed. Calvin:   Wow, it really snowed last night! Isn’t it wonderful? Hobbes: Everything familiar has disappeared! The world looks brand-new! Calvin:   A new year … … Continue reading

What’s Next?

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The past is seeping into my thoughts. It happened long time ago. Drawn to the memories like a bee attracted to a flower. The bee couldn’t help it. Who is she? Only a monk can answer that. She lived with the monks … Continue reading

Fill in with your imagination

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There is place for me in this historical tapestry, in the upper right corner, just above the Beatles. And so I write words, words that I have heard, a jumble of notes, these words are not mine. And so it … Continue reading

Filling the hole in our heart.

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They say dogs love you, cats own you. Maybe so. Cats are just as loving as dogs. They are love, oozing with so much love to give and receive. With their love, we become captives. I had two cats, Maurice … Continue reading

As far as eyes could see, yet always drawn nearer.

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There is something about looking at the vastness of water on earth. It has a mesmerizing effect between heaven and water. Hypnotic. Walking on the beach or sailing around, looking at the horizon as far as eyes could see, there … Continue reading

Last Impression

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The Empty Chair spoken by Tyrone Siglos for Josh Siglos So strange to hear this spoken at the church service tonight. Beside my bed is an empty chair. Lucy my cat and I were in bed, suddenly something fell from the … Continue reading

Wandering Wonders

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Somewhere in Canada, I was given four glorious days to spend time at Victoria, BC. It was a gift for being part of belonging in a delegation to make a better British Columbia for the working class. The timing was … Continue reading

Good vs. evil: The answer is found in Easter itself

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It’s God’s gift that enables peace. The supernatural message of Easter is that Jesus overcomes death, and when people believe that and act upon it, it changes the headlines. Spiritual beliefs change how people respond to evil. The bloody cross … Continue reading

Life is full of surprises

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Who would know where life would take you. We make plans, we check it twice, we cross our t’s and dot our i’s, we invest all our energy and yet, we could never be sure. My mother said many times … Continue reading

As close as you can get

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Imagine that you inherited the land below this mountain, as far as your eyes could see in the middle of the desert. Thinking of Las Vegas, this is a gold mine that could easily be transformed into a watering hole … Continue reading

Out of Solitude

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As she looked at her own face in the mirror, she suddenly recalled the sorrowful widow. It was at that moment that she wrote the opening lines of “Solitude“.
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Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own. ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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In giving shape my view of the world having a solitary person in the foreground suggests that it is okay to be alone but not lonely.

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All work and no rest makes a man boring. Rest he did in his three-wheeler taxi cab. Who needs money when one is too tired to enjoy life. When he wakes up from his solitude, life becomes bearable again.

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And what on earth is he doing down there alone? Fishing! Men prefer to reel a fish similar to playing golf, alone. So why do men enjoy fishing alone?  Because the fish are bigger and the stories are better with no witnesses!

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In a crowd of a million tourist, he just have to sit down with a non-verbal companion. Maybe he had enough listening, blah-blah-blah. Or maybe he is just like me observing how silly tourist really are. Or maybe he left his wife in a store shopping. Or maybe…

Ah, solitude, such sweet surrender.

Tetris, CareNotes and Prayer Beads

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Wall Recreated: Love is the answer

He was willing to bare all if even one person could relate to any part of his story and find strength in their family and friends, but most importantly within themselves. – Repurpose a story.

Safe. I felt safe being there. Stay. The ward is a lock-down facility to keep me safe. Mind. I didn’t mind the least bit. I don’t know where to go; don’t know where to stay. When in doubt, do nothing. Minding what is safe, I stayed, for a while.

The ward is equipped with TV, funny magazines, pool table, jigsaw puzzles, coloring books; items to keep me amused or occupied but none of these interest me. So I sat on the floor at the end of the long corridor looking out through the glass door. Here alone I played Tetris, read CareNotes and rolled the prayer beads with my fingers.

Tetris, a gift from my sister Poteet. A game she took away from my nephews. As I recall, the new computer game was causing problems that the boys were glued to it and neglecting to go outside to play the real stuff. I don’t like any kind of computer programs. I was once a computer geek in my younger days writing programs, test programs and application. It drove me crazy trying to solve someone’s programming that has no logic. But Tetris became a real stuff for me inside the ward. It helped me focus. It helped me solve problems. It helped me shape and organized my mind objectively. It helped rewire, build blocks and expand the plasticity of my brain.

CareNotes is all I can find at the Chaplain’s office. The Chaplin’s office is always closed. Never saw him, never met him, and never talked to him. The notes hang outside his office. I know he came around when there are new CareNotes. I collected them all. Dealing With Suicidal Feelings, Climbing Up From Depression, Believing in Your Own Inner Goodness, Finding Strength to Survive a Crisis or Tragedy, Making Sense Out of Suffering, Bearing the Special Grief of Suicide, Easing the Burden of Stress, Encountering Midlife, Emerging Renewed, Finding God in Pain or Illness, Walking with God Through Grief and Loss, Letting Tears Bring Healing and Renewal. CareNotes is an endless resource giving meaning to my question “Why Me?” Now, these CareNotes are my bathroom companion, at home. Good reads not just for me but as well as anyone that uses the toilet.

Prayer Beads enclosed came in a card from my other sister and she wrote: April 5, 1992. Dearest Lady, A priest in Toronto who cares deeply is giving you his personal rosary. This has been blessed and carries with it his own prayers for your well-being and that you will find it in you to pray the rosary. Lady, believe in the power of the rosary and you will be fully alive again. Love and prayers, always. Thelma.

I did not pray the rosary. I do not know how to pray, then. I carried it with me, though. I clutch it when I go to bed, never let it go. Should I wake up in the middle of the night with no prayer beads on my hand, I panic.  Searching for it in the darkroom, the beads glow in the dark and with a sigh of relief of finding it, I kissed the cross and went back to sleep. The rosary is now gone; I don’t know how I lost it. But I still go to bed with a rosary on my hand. Can’t sleep without it just like a child with a teddy bear to snuggle with to have a goodnight sleep.

My family reads my blog and provides me articles in relation to the topic that I write. My sister Carmen sent me a Report on Business at the Globe and Mail about ‘Irv’. Irv and I share a common ground: Mental Illness.

It has been a long week of Let’s Talk. Stay well and be well, Perpetua.

Feeling Good

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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

Words

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What is prayer?

You take words,
everyday words,
and all of a sudden they become holy.

Why?

Because there is something
that separates one word from
another and then you try to fill
the vacuum.

With what?
With whom?
With what memory?
With what aspiration?

So when words bring you closer
to the prisoner in his cell,
to the patient who is dying on his bed alone,
to the starving child,

then it’s a prayer.

words by Elie Wiesel

In Praise of Men

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There are certain movements men do that I can see how graceful they are. More graceful than females do. It’s their feminine side that they do not want to admit.

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They are beautiful. Beautiful in the sense that they don’t have to prove their masculinity. The beauty that oozes with sublime humility where fellow-men can watch with quiet admiration.

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Where is the beauty in them?

The beauty exists in my mind how rounded they are. Not just how nice they are to stop, pause and be photographed. It is how gracious they are in accepting a stranger in their environment.

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Emerging elegantly from the depth of an ancient tree enriches how life mysteriously unfolds my memory of Cuba ever so gracefully.

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Trout Lake Circa January 14, 2017

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Spinning myself around 360 degrees to get a full recording of my favorite place, Trout Lake, a place where I grew up with fond memories.

It was more than 20 years since the lake froze. The ambiance? Refreshing!

With all kinds of people, nationality, ethnic language, 4-year family generation and a baby on the way; I would have wanted to use the music “Of Foreign Lands and Places.” We were all in the same place at the same time to experience Joie de vi·vre.

Ah … such glorious memory.

Walking on the frozen lake feels surreal.

What a good life!

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Do we travel in order to be moved or is it that we travel in order to move around?
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We check around the surroundings in search for a perfect ambience, our eyes darting from one object to another, our whole body tasting, breathing, feeling, smelling, touching, hearing, listening all in one instance taking it all in.
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But…. there is no but. We can only focus on one that will transport us from a lot of movement into our inner world with conscious measure of calmness and clarity.
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And then, I could feel the air pulsing and be one with the hummingbird, heart beating as fast its wings yet hovering still to the sweet aroma of the nectar beckoning it, kissing and drinking the elixir of life.
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Finding Advent at the Inn

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Yesterday’s destination at the Quay is to attend a conference at the Inn. It’s a conference that most people would shy away from attending since the main focus is people with (dis)abilities. People with vision impairment and hard of hearing, with walking … Continue reading

In Search of Advent at the Quay

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The parade just started when I got off the SkyTrain station at the Quay. Motorcades with signs ‘Season’s Greetings’, ‘Dream, Live, Celebrate’, ‘Merry Xmas’, ‘Only Santa delivers more’ drove carrying Gingerbread Man, Frosty the Snow Man, Rudolph the Red Nose … Continue reading

Bringing back fond memories

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Today marks the first day of advent. A day of excitement filed with hope and grief. But hope trumps! It’s Not This Time of Year Without… a message of hope, everlasting hope. The message is to step out of our head … Continue reading