Today, my daughter, Biancs, attends her first prom, excited and totally resolved to make it one of the best nights of her high school life. I know there will be more prom nights or dates to come but this one is quite special because this is the first time I’ve seen her literally glowing like a princess. There’s hardly any trace of the pain and discomfort she’s been through the past years, only a beautiful sparkle coming from her very own brilliant light.
Eversince her daddy died, I’ve been working so hard to raise her into this independent, well rounded, and self-assured person, who is compassionate towards others and passionate about her love for the Lord. But truth to tell, this work is not really meant to be done by a single parent alone. It does take a village to raise a child. Luckily, I have a strong community of family and friends co-parenting with me, making sure Bianca is well taken cared off and does not miss out on anything. Tonight I share this special moment with my close friends, BCBP family, and Bianca’s lolos and lolas, titos and titas, godmothers, “fairy godmothers,” and doctors. We’ve done a good job so far. Thank you very very much for always stepping in to help.
To the boy who took my Bianca to her first (prom) date tonight. I’ve been praying for you for years. Believe me, I pray for these things too and the Lord didn’t disappoint once again. He sent someone who isn’t promising her the moon and the stars, just the possibility of a beautiful friendship. Like what I’ve always prayed Bianca’s first (prom) date to be. Thank you for being every inch a gentleman. Your parents have indeed raised you well. You are exactly what I’ve been hoping you to be, a heaven sent.
16 years ago, I remember walking down the aisle towards this man I promised to love forever. He stood there waiting anxiously at the altar for me and when our eyes met, I clearly remember how we both smiled at each other in great relief. We thought we’d never make it. This lives in my memory. If there is a moment between my dream and waking up, a moment I want to stay frozen in time, this is one of them. Today, I remember and I guess for the rest of my life I’ll always remember how on this day, many moons ago, I married a guy who spent a significant part of his lifetime showing me how deeply adored, cherished, and loved I am. For this, I am eternally grateful.
To my dear sweetheart, I hope my love and prayers, and not my grief and sorrow, reach you tonight for I want nothing more than for you to be truly happy there in heaven. The best years of my life are still the ones I spent with you. Know that wherever this life takes me, I’ll carry your heart with me, I’ll carry it in my heart. Happy wedding anniversary. 😌
I’ve always believed that it is FAITH rather than FATE which brought me to where I am now. My dear friends, this my Post-Nan story, an ode to my God whose grace alone brought me this far.
I am inviting you all to read and share this to widows and single parents that you know so they too will realize that grief and sorrow, they are not what a widow’s story is all about. Triumph of the human spirit is. Special thanks to Good Housekeeping Philippines for inviting me to share my story in this month’s issue of GH. Please grab a copy.😊
That moment when your 15 year old daughter gives you a long talk about her plans, hopes, and dreams for senior high school, college, and sigh, the future. You sit there and listen as she shares passionately how she wants to be a Medical Technologist and eventually a Pediatric Oncologist because she wants to help children with cancer like her, and you think silently, I’m not ready yet emotionally, mentally, and yes, financially to let you go. You stare at her with your mouth wide open, and wonder to yourself, where the hell did your crying, scrawny little kid go, and when exactly did this sensible, level headed teenager take over?! So many thoughts running in your head and so many conflicting emotions fighting their way into your poor mommy heart. But then, you continue to sit there and let yourself have it, and when she finally said, “What do you think mommy?!” You just nod your head and mutter, “Gee, that’s some plan,” and you go hug her and tell her you’ll support her. You stand up with a big brave smile on your face and watch as she leaves excitedly to search for some senior high school scholarship program. You brace yourself as the usual painful twist in your heart comes and quietly whisper, “Oh Lord what do we do now?!” Happy Father’s Day to me. 😌
Singapore-“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
For the past three years I have turned down invitation from my sister to visit her here in Singapore for the simple reason that I had such great memories with Nan here, I thought returning would be too difficult. This was our last trip together before he passed away. It was for a time our little playground, our home away from home. Yesterday, our first day here, we walked the streets of Woodlands and saw the grocery store where Nan used to disappear to do his market for the day. We spent the day at Universal Studios where Nan and I went crazy and silly together. In the coming days we’ll be retracing and going back to the places where we once have been with him and to new ones where he would have love to go. He was a happy camper, a great travel buddy, always wanting to try the local food and rides, always making sure my mom is comfortable in her wheelchair. I will forever miss him. The wonderful memories hit me so hard yesterday that I braced myself a couple of times for that usual painful twist in my heart to come. None came. Looks like, I am healed.😌
Sometimes I think of the sun and the moon as lovers. Though they rarely meet, they continue to chase each other but almost always, miss one another. But once in a while they do catch up, embrace, and kiss. When this happens, the world stares in awe of their eclipse.
“The best way to move on is from the inside out. It is when you live out the grace of God from the core of your being.” (Bo Sanchez)
Over the past three years, I have to endure listening to the same well-meaning comments/advices from friends and people I know, “You are still young…you should be open to love again…get married…start another family…move on.” I cannot count the number of times I had to politely smile my way out of such conversations. Sometimes I cannot help but wonder whether these people would eagerly fall for the next guy that comes along or readily jump at a chance at love had our situations been reversed, or if, they actually know what they are talking about.
Surprisingly for others, “moving on” simply means falling in love again. But, I beg to disagree because my faith tells me differently. Stripped of its romantic notion and all the drama surrounding it, “moving on” is best described in the Serenity Prayer. It is, by the grace of God, “having the serenity to accept the things you cannot change, courage to change the things you can, and wisdom to know the difference.” It is “living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, and accepting hardships as the pathway to peace.” It is “trusting that He will make all things right if you surrender to His Will, that you may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him, forever in the next.” Finding love or tying the knot again has nothing to do with it.
By this measure alone, I’d like to think that I have serenely moved on. As what John said in the gospel, my joy is now complete. And, I believe the decision of whether or not I get another shot at love someday is not mine or even others to dictate or predict. It is the Lord’s. So please, next time you speak to a widow, do her a big favor, wish her true joy and peace instead, and leave the rest to Cupid.
What I miss most about my life before is having a lot of time in my hands. I don’t have the luxury of that anymore. A typical day for me is waking up at 4:00 in the morning to prepare things, heading out of the door as early as 5:40 to pick up my carpool kids, working till 4, and dropping off carpool kids again before heading home. And well, my day doesn’t end there. When I reach home I barely have enough time to change before I leave again for tutor. If I’m lucky, I get to be home by 8:30 to face the other tasks that await me. By 11, I am ready to call it a day. Weekends are pretty much the same except for school. When I am not teaching, I am doing my lesson plans, writing articles, and running errands. My friend asked me one time how I manage to do all these things without loosing my sanity. It is quite simple actually, I do it all in the name of Jesus who gives me strength. I must agree, life this way is kind of stressful but it is a happy kind of stress. You have steady work, you can provide for the family, you get to help people, make them happy, not everyone gets to be blessed like that. When you see things this way, you’ll appreciate more the things that make your life “crazy.” And well, there are a thousand ways we can thank and glorify God in return. One way is by performing our tasks with all the cheerfulness and gratefulness that befit His true servant.
My sweet man, I will forever mourn for “us” and for the happy years that will never be. I may have learned to live with this pain but I will never completely get over your loss. Everytime I hear a too familiar song, chance upon our favorite spot, or catch a whiff of your perfume…everytime Bianca and I celebrate a milestone or make a dream come true, you still come alive in my heart. There is no end to my grief because there’s no end to my love for you. Know that wherever this life takes me, I will always carry you in my heart.😌 Happy anniversary, sweetheart.