Trip of a Lifetime

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 I would like to stay longer and soak up the three world’s religion: Islāmic, Judaism, and Christianity.  I want to be with the Muslims, Jews, and Christians: and have interfaith dialogue. At the hotel in Jordan, waiting to leave for Canada, I … Continue reading

Ground Zero – Part 2

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  In the Jewish tradition, Passover is a holy celebration that coincides with Christian’s Good Friday, Looking at the wall that surrounds Bethlehem, I doubt that anybody can pass over it.  As the old saying goes, this too shall pass. … Continue reading

This story has a picture

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Tell me a story is what I say instead of “Hi, how are you?” My friend finally understood what I mean and how important story telling is when he attended the Toastmaster International 2017 held in Vancouver last week. Toastmaster is … 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

Write! Write! Write! – Talk! Talk! Talk!

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Talking and writing are great partners in celebrating life. It’s an antidote for depression. Just take a look at this recent discovery exchange of words between one depressed person to another: I talk to anybody on the street more than … Continue reading

The Shadow Knows!

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The Shadow reminds me of younger days when my ears were glued to the radio listening to: “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!” Coming from the Philippines, our culture is steep with superstitious belief. … Continue reading

Border Security

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With heightened awareness on the growing tension crossing the border to USA, we make sure that we bring all proper identification. Canadian passport might not be enough because our passport states our country of origin, Philippines. Should we ever get … Continue reading

Tetris, CareNotes and Prayer Beads

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love-is-the-answer

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.

Let the children play

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Children nowadays play with technology. It’s quiet this way. Only the adults are noisy from telling stories, asking too many questions, laughing and plenty of dark jokes targeted at you.  One has to have broad shoulders to deflect shady puns … Continue reading

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

A man and his dogs

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All he wanted to have is ten-acre of land and his dogs. For years, that’s all he can think and talk about. On the land will be a small house with a workshop to tinker around. The spacious land will be … Continue reading

Volunteer. I am one of many.

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We are the voice For public education system We are Volunteers I am one of many. We speak one voice. A dramatic story unfolds worst than the election campaign in US of A. A writer wrote a mourning as he sees it in … Continue reading

The Power of Gratitude

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The letter of thanksgiving written by a grieving husband is a wonderful story in celebrating a Canadian Thanksgiving Day. After his 34-year-old wife suffered a devastating asthma attack and later died, the Boston writer Peter DeMarco wrote the following letter … Continue reading

Mother T. How I met her.

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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

One Step Behind – This is my story

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How nice the view from up there must have been. It’s difficult to imagine when you’re always looking down. Don’t regret it when you finally see the upside of REALITY because there’s this crazy notion that regrets pile up to … Continue reading

Sense of Wonder

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Do you know that we are just like cats that get scared easily, fearful? So be careful. All we need is love. Yesterday, I attended a conference in renewing my sense of wonder by bringing together theological, psychological and spiritual awareness … Continue reading

Self-Portrait: Mended

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  Self-Portrait, Mended by Eleanor Hannan This piece is based on drawings done the day after 7-hour surgery to remove skin cancer from my nose. I chose to have only local anesthetic so as to be awake during the surgery. … Continue reading

“When God Created Mothers”

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When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said. “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.” And God said, “Have you read the specs on … Continue reading

Cat’s Tale: Diary for Maurice

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Day 1: Maurice woke me up, breathing on my face and meowing. Startled and looked at the time, it was 4:01 pm in the afternoon. Everything was foggy since I went to bed delirious from having the ferocious flu bug, … Continue reading

Small worlds

Do you love stories with lessons to learn? I do. Story of love and forgiveness, story of Madness and Acceptance, story of them and yours. This is a story of King Lear, Thomas and You. Read and tell me your story how you want to live. Blessings. Perpetua

friarmusings

doubting-Thomas-DuccioI think that on our best days, we who profess to be Christian, we are storytellers. This morning I have three stories for you. Two of which we know the ending; the third is a work in progress.

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In Praise of Mother: A Legacy of a Selfless Person

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I really do not know much about Mother. My siblings have asked her numerous times to write her story. If she can’t write maybe, she can record her memoir. They gave her a recorder. Thinking that she might do it, … Continue reading

I’m Singing in the Rain

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Vancouver aka We(s)tcoast And we live true to this name Wet and cold. I own plenty of umbrellas Orange, Blue, Green Printed, Floral, Strips Even a Canadian Maple Leaf brolly. They are no ordinary canopy Each one represents my personality And … Continue reading

Mother’s Love

Photo taken from Fragrant Wood Gallery Window

Photo taken from Fragrant Wood Gallery Window

A reminder of how much your Mother loves you.

A son wants to bring his Mother into the forest and leave her there to fend for herself because her Mother is terminally ill and he is too tired to take care of her.

Leading her through the thick of the forest, he noticed that his Mother breaks every branch that they passed by.

Curious, he ask his Mother why is she breaking the branches?

The Mother answered her son loving: “Son, I break the branches as a guide for you to follow so that you won’t get lost on the way out.”

Translated from Filipino story:
Isang paalala kung gaano kayo kamahal ng inyong ina..
May isang anak na gustong iligaw ang kanyang INA sa gubat dahil sa sakit nitong wala nang lunas at pagod na rin siyang mag-alaga dito, Ipinasan niya ang kanyang INA hanggang makarating sa kasuluksulukan ng Gubat, ngunit napansin niya na pinuputol ng kanyang INA ang bawat sanga ng Punong madaanan nila, tinanong nang Anak kung bakit niya ginagawa ito, sagot ng INA – ”Pinuputol ko ang sanga dahil ayaw kong maligaw ka sa pag uwi mo.
 

Writers Wanted

writers

MDABC IS LOOKING FOR WRITERS

Have you had a positive experience or some positive change in your life because of your illness? MDABC is putting out a special edition newsletter in January with positive stories from people whose lives have been impacted by a mood disorder. It can be a story about how you found your perfect career in the mental health field, how you made some new friends with people who truly understand the experience of mental illness, or how you have come to new self-awareness or compassion for others because of your illness. Your story should be 300 to 400 words in length. MDABC will edit it for clarity and grammar.

All submissions should go to the MDABC office by email to info@mdabc.net no later than January 2, 2015. It should also include a .JPEG photo of you, the writer, to be used in the newsletter and for online use when the MDABC sends the newsletter out electronically.

MDABC stands for The Mood Disorders Association of BC.

Note: I am not paid to do this but encouraging people to share and support one another. Don’t be ashamed of your story, it will inspire others.

No strings attached. A Random Act of Kindness

Question: How do you accept and react to kindness?

A wonderful experience happened to me this Saturday on the way to the mall.

Two children, a boy and a girl came running towards me with bottles on their hands if I want to have bottled water.

It was a surprising gesture and unsure whether this was for real. I wondered if they were doing fund-raising. I knelt to their level to ask them where their parents are and how much a bottle of water is.

As I was about to ask them, two adult women came up to me explaining what the children are doing.

“We are teaching the children to give without anything in return. We are teaching people to accept without giving in return.”

What a noble idea. A random act of kindness.

This incident excited me, and in an instant I wanted to ask these strangers a million and one questions: how did you do it; what made you do it; what are the reactions did you get from other people; how many bottles did you give away; how many bottles do you have left; what time did you start; and on and on and on…

Finally, I gave them a chance to respond to my questions.

Two mothers bought 700-16oz bottled water. Placed a sticker on all bottles with five different quotes:

  1. Smile at everyone, you’ll never know when someone may need it.
  2. If Plan A does not work, there are 25 more letters in the alphabets.
  3. Have a thirst for life. Every day is filled with possibilities.
  4. In your thirst for knowledge, be sure you don’t drown in all the information.
  5. Dig your well before you’re thirsty.

 

The bottle I have has quote #5.

A sudden change of attitude opened up between me, the mothers and the children. We are no longer stranger to each other.  We were having such a great time chin wagging, and I ended up helping them give away the rest of the bottled water.

One young lady was so thankful that she happily accepted the water and said it was the best thing that happened to her all day since she had a “shitty” day at work.

A man refused and walked away saying no thanks; it’s not a bottle of beer.

A couple kept on bowing to us in gratitude. They must be Japanese or Korean or something.

When it was all done, the children and I were giving each other high-five. It was so much fun. I think I had more fun doing this than the mothers and the children. It was grand, just splendid.

These mothers provided a good example to their children how to be giving and continue giving 700 times fold. I told the children that I can’t wait to tell the children in my family about their good deeds. They were beaming with joy.

In retrospect, water is like kindness. Kindness must be continuously flowing like water. Water that is not moving becomes stagnant. It may be bottled, but in the long run, the water becomes cloudy, less appealing to drink.  Water is life-giving.

It was time to say goodbye and Michael astonished me by hugging my waistline. He was that small. Then Raine followed. The three of us were hugging each other. I was speechless.  The parents and I hugged each other as well, separately. No group hugs for adults.

I was full of gratitude to the two children, Raine and Michael, for their infectious kindness. Thanking them for stopping me in my tracks.
R and M

To the mothers, Stephanie and Jasmines, thank you for being a good example to your children. May our water of kindness remain free-flowing from one person to another.

The empty water bottle will remain on my table as a reminder to be kind, to be giving and to accept graciously, with no strings attached.

My Immigration Story

 

False Creek July 2014

False Creek July 2014

“My mother and I left the Ukraine on August 8th, 1991, when Ukraine was still part of the USSR. At that time, there was great political unrest My Immigration Storythroughout the Soviet Union. Communism was on the decline, and the power of the Mafia was increasing with an astonishing rate. Ukraine was in political and economic chaos. Organized crime bosses were graining political power; corruption was present at all levels of politics; and the Mafia was buying out high-level authority figures and gaining easy access to the purchase of weapons leading to gang warfare and uncontrollable violence against civilians.

My mother stood for over five days in a line-up in Moscow for the opportunity to get two international visas, one for her and one for me. Luck was on our side, for we were granted two one-month visas to Canada. On June 27, 1993, we boarded a flight to Vancouver. I was scared and eager at the same time. It was incredibly hard to leave my friends behind but I was excited for the adventure that moving great distances provided. We left with barely any belongings and a mere $250 in Canadian cash. Little did I know that our one-month trip would turn into me becoming a Canadian citizen.

For the first month my mother and I lived in Burnaby. After extensive house hunting she found a place she liked and we re-packed for the short move to False Creek. On July 1st, 1995, we received our Canadian citizenship after a mere four years in this wonderful country. I have now lived 6 years in Vancouver and am glad we chose this city over any other on the planet.”

by: Sergie Doubkov
Source: A Vancouver Story #5

Small Pleasures

Once upon a time in a country far away a boy lived …
very different from all the others his name was Eftichis.

small pleasure firefly

 Everything ran smoothly in his life until one day …
… many many years ago …
… an incident made him …
… see life from a different perspective.

And then, a big secret was revealed
The solution to a riddle …
… that humans have been trying to solve …
… for centuries now.

He discovered the meaning of life

He now knows …
… that happiness is nothing more …
… than moments …
… small and invisible moments.

Small_Pleasures_smell

Like when someone covers you up at night
Dreaming …
Waking up to a sparrow’s song …
… on fresh-smelling clean sheets …
… next to someone you love …
Touching them …
… smelling them …

small pleasure coffee

Feeling the warm water dropping on your face
Your house smelling …
… of freshly-baked cake
Holding a warm cup …
… when it’s cold outside.

Small_Pleasures_wind

Cutting a lemon from your tree
Feeling the fresh winter breeze …
… brushing your face.

small pleasure light

Feeling light and empty of thoughts
In total calmness.
Under the water.

small pleasure rain

 To keep doing things you did when you were young
When everyone is running under their umbrellas …
… you are standing in the rain.

Small_Pleasures_lady bug

Walking barefoot on wet grass
Taking a balloon out for a walk
Believing in things that cannot be explained
That a ladybird is a good sign

small pleasure beach

To have no fear
Doing things that do not suit your age
Hearing the waves hit the shore
Feeling the earth under your feet
Thinking of nothing.

Small_Pleasures_knowing

 Someone whispering a secret to you.
Watching the sunset …
… even when others know …
… that you can’t see it.

small pleasure blind

 Small Pleasures (Μικρές Χαρές) by Constantin Pilavios