“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.
To grow old with her beloved and to pass from this life together are the prayer and longing of every wife that loves. Not all get lucky though and are granted a happy-ever-after, some are simply blessed in a different way. Yesterday, I listened with a heavy heart as a dear friend recounted painfully her last few days with her husband. While she was sharing, it suddenly occured to me that grief is never the same for everyone for the very reason that we each have our own unique story of love and the breadth and depth of that love can’t be compared with another. So it is not right, even for me to say, I know exactly how she feels. I also realized that from the many stories of love I heard from fellow widows, one thing seems to be certain. It is, when there is love there is no such thing as too much, too little, too long, nor even too hard. And it is always, you are, we are, enough.
3 years later and I still remember everything like it was just yesterday: how I watched helplessly as the doctor shocked your heart back into rhythm. How I willed the flatlines to move. How I waited with bated breath for the current to bring back the light in your eyes. 38 years of momentum and then suddenly, a complete stop. I imagine the force it took to silence the last beat of your heart. It must have been so great because it flung you out far, too far where I can never reach you, except by remembering. Someday, death will come to stop me too, and I will give him a big fight. He will have to drain the entire universe of every star to hold my body down. And like how I planned it all along, I will be flung out to the heavens too at fullspeed, I will defy gravity, change tides, and slow down light. And I will search every inch of heaven until I find you.
Build a small house with a rose garden. Be owned by cuddly dogs. Surround myself with my little and my big loves. Fall asleep to butterfly kisses and wake up to warm hugs. Grow old with the person I hold dear in my heart. Write and then write some more. Smile and laugh a lot. This life. It won’t be perfect and it won’t always be easy. But, it will be mine and I will be happy. That’s the plan. That’s the want.
While I was scrolling through my instagram newsfeed a while ago, a post from one of the celebrities I followed there caught my attention. I guess it was meant to excite and send positive vibes this new year but it had a different effect on me. It caused my hair to stand on end. It reads: 2013 was practice. 2014 was warm-up. 2015 is game time. If you know me very well, you would understand why I had that kind of reaction to that post.
As much as I want to act all brave and positive about 2015, about the future, sometimes fear still grips my heart. Some days the memories of what we’ve been through the past 3 years still knock the wind out of me. I still wait with bated breath for the next big hurdle that life will throw our way and when nothing comes, I would let out a big sigh of relief. I used to chide myself for thinking this way but eventually I learned to allow myself to worry, be scared, and be stressed about the future because I am no God. I am no superwoman. I am not invincible. I am not indestructible. I get weak. I get shattered. I get hurt. A lot.
Fact is, I need God to strengthen me, keep me whole, and free me from all these paralyzing feelings. When I am blinded by fear, hurt, and worries, I see God more clearly. When I am in one of these states, I feel God’s love and blessings more strongly. For me 2013 and 2014 were both the same, they were full of grace. 2015 wouldn’t be any different. I shall welcome both the good and the bad of it with open arms, for I know either way, the Lord will not be far from my side and from my sight. It is not being positive or negative about the new year, it is being FAITH-full about the future.
Whenever I feel sad about my life, I ask God to give me a good reason to smile. And it never fails, being the great cheerleader that He is, He sends out the most outrageous perk me ups. No husband to talk to at night, He gave me a free iPad. Feeling the blues on my first Valentines’ day alone, He sent Bianca and I packing for an all expense paid trip with pocket money to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Missing having someone who makes me feel beautiful, He had me walking the runaway at a fashion launch abroad and had us featured in a magazine too (nevermind if I am a scoliotic case with a back hump the size of Mt. Everest and pimple marks resembling the craters of the moon). Wanting to do more and be more, He had my writing career in full swing. Dreading the empty days ahead, He instantly sends either crazy conflicts or crazy friends to occupy my time. And my list can just go on and on…Amazing how God has gone to great lengths just to see me smile and laugh again. Yes life has been unkind these past two years but God more than makes up for it. He sends out positive vibes my way all the time so that in the end, I can see clearly that the good far outweighs the bad, always.
It has been months since I last wrote a decent blogpost here. There’s just been so many things I want to write about, so many things that I want to share but the thing is, I simply can’t find the time to really sit down and write them all down. Save for the gospel reflections which I just copy paste after sharing them in my private facebook account everyday and the occassional (read: rare) brand reviews that I do, you won’t find pieces of my heart and slices of my thoughts here unlike before. I guess in my business to become the superwoman that I suddenly have to be after the death of my Nan, I have simply forgotten how it is to really write, in a heartbeat. Here.
It is like this little space has suddenly become a stranger to me somehow, like what I usually feel about my life before when I think about it now. I guess that’s what death, cancer scare, new beginning, and bouncing back do to a person. But then it is inevitable also that at some point I have to do some reconciling, bridging, and reconnecting. This is it. I hope you are still with me on this.