Category: Chronicles of a Reluctant Widow

Happy Even After

Last August 29, we quietly commemorated my husband’s first death anniversary. Yes, it has been a year. I cannot believe that 12 months have already passed since the Day of the Great Sadness. I have come a long way. It has been a tough year but with God’s grace and the support of my loving friends and family, I came through.
At this point, I want to dedicate this page to the people who never left my side these past twelve months.  They made  me realized that happy EVEN after is possible. They made me feel less alone and they were the first to believe that I can make it on my own. I wouldn’t be in this place if not for their support and love. And for that, I will forever be grateful to them. To my loving friends and family, thank you.

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My happy ever after ended abruptly but though my life after Nan may not be one for the fairy tale anymore, I will still make sure that when I write the ending. it will be and I live happily EVEN after.

Happiness

Happiness is a choice? Really?  I don’t think so, you don’t pause and decide whether you will feel happy or not when something good or bad presents itself to you…Happiness is a grace that comes from God because you choose to believe that everything that happens in your life is for the good. Happiness is not a choice you make but a mere consequence of your choice to believe and to have faith in the Almighty. This faith, this is what makes it possible for people like you, like me, to still find happiness even in the midst of quiet grief or deep sadness. You don’t choose happiness. Like any other grace from God, you just accept it.

Born To Inspire

I remember how difficult the months were following the death of my husband. I can still recall the many times I found myself at my wits end trying to make sense of what happened. The many times I had to struggle to keep myself together lest I loose what little is left of my sanity.
Looking back though, I marvel at the capacity of the human spirit to withstand grief, pain, and loss. If there’s one thing I realized from this experience, it is that we are clearly made of sterner stuff than we imagined. When backed against a wall or pushed to our limits, we will manage to rise above the situation.
And what is amazing is that as we bravely face the battle raging in and outside of our self everyday, we become a moving force that encourage others to do the same.
So as you deal with the loss of your loved one, as you try to get through your difficult and painful treatment, as you struggle to stay afloat in your own sea of uncertainty and despair, remember to stand tall and fight back with all you’ve got. You’ll never know, you just might help one weary “soldier” out there find the courage in his heart to continue on after seeing that you can.
We are born in this world for one reason alone and that is, to inspire.

Originally written for Eat and Cheat Cancer Book Project.

Blessed Beyond Measure

During one of my conversations with God at the time I was in deep mourning, I remember crying out to him in anguish that I felt cheated. I felt robbed. Angrily, I lashed out and told Him that I would have been ready to take care of my husband. I would have been willing to put my life on hold. I would have been prepared to stand in vigil by his bedside. And would have gladly settled for a year, a month, a day, or even for just a few hours with him maybe if He just so much as let me. You see, my husband death was so sudden, he was gone by the time I reached the hospital.
Though I have eventually learned to accept God’s will and see the wisdom in His decision, I sometimes still cannot help but feel a painful twist in my heart everytime I think about those missed opportunities.
If you are taking care of a sick loved one right now, consider yourself very lucky. Not everyone is given the priviledge to be somebody’s pillar of strength during his weakest moment. Not everyone is given the rare chance of playing a big part of somebody’s little progress and triumphs everyday. Not everyone is gifted with extra time to grow in deep faith and love in the midst of all the struggles. And not everyone is afforded front seat to bear witness as God works His wondrous miracles.
So next time you feel bone tired and weary looking after your loved one’s needs , keep in mind that you are one of the lucky chosen few. Continue to be generous with your time, gentle in your affection, and patient in your understanding. Know that you are truly blessed beyond measure for you are rewarded with God’s unending graces. And a lot of people who have been “robbed” or “cheated”of this chance would give anything, anything just to be in your shoes.
Originally written for Eat and Cheat Cancer Book Project

Chronicles of A Reluctant Widow #7: Leap of Faith

Answered prayers are not magic, they’re miracles and love. And since they’re love, the answer is not always a yes. Sometimes its difficult to understand why certain things need to happen or why things did not go as planned. Yes, we know that they do happen for a reason but many times, the reason is simply lost to us.
Our faith dictates us though to trust that everything will make sense in the future. To believe with all our heart that God will reveal His great design for us in His own perfect time. It moves us to wait patiently without questioning His purpose nor demand for an answer.
His loving grace, if we just allow ourselves to fully embrace it, will aid us as we finally come to terms with our current situation. We are never alone in our painful journey, He’s just right there beside us. It is just that sometimes we are blinded by fear and numbed by pain that we fail to see and feel His presence.
It will be good to remember that when we want to do little else but pull our hair out or throw our hands up in the air in frustration and surrender, there’s always heaven to look up to and God to call on. When we want nothing but to run up to the hills screaming in despair, there’s that peak at the top where we can take that big leap of faith. God is just right there waiting to catch us with open arms.
Post originally created for the Eat and Cheat Cancer Book Project

Twin Towers

I just got back from my dreamy Kuala Lumpur trip last night and I am still reeling from all the excitement and happiness of the last three days. As you know this trip was a pleasant surprise, a wonderful blessing, an unexpected windfall. The fact that it was a trip that my husband and I dreamed of a couple of years back, a trip that I thought would never happen made it all the more special (click here to know the story).
Yes the Petronas. My husband once promised me that he will bring me there, and pleaser as he is, even in death, he still made it happen. I never really did understand though why it has to happen when he’s all gone, when we can’t see it together. Many times during the trip, I wished that he was there with me. The Petronas followed us wherever we went around the city, like how my husband was when he was still alive, yes it is that tall. The mere sight of it brought tears to my eyes.
petronas 2
But then as my daughter and I stood in front of the Petronas in awe, as we drank in its majestic sight, as we let its sheer beauty work its magic on us,  a thought suddenly hits me.  I realized that my husband made it possible for me to go there because he wants to tell me something and that is,  I wasn’t really meant to see it with him. I was meant to see it with my daughter, Bianca. He wanted me to know that WE, Bianca and I, are his twin towers and that no matter what will happen, we’ll always have each other. That night, as my daughter and I stood in front of the Petronas together, everything made perfect sense, everything made perfect sense.
petronas 3
So to my wonderful husband Nan, thank you for keeping your promise. Thank you for this wonderful trip.  We remembered you while we were looking in awe at the Petronas, while we were walking the busy streets of KL. We know that you were with us when we climbed the steps of Batu Caves and when we kneeled down to whisper a prayer at the Chinese temple. We felt your presence as the cold wind touched our faces at Genting Highlands and as we lay by the hotel poolside dreaming of great possibilities. And deep in my heart I know that you were there cheering with the crowd as I took my first brave walk in the runaway the other night. We miss you everyday, first trip without you was bittersweet. Know that you’ll always be in our hearts and that we love you to heaven and back. Yours forever, your twin towers–Blancs and Biancs

Chronicles of a Reluctant Widow #5: Generosity

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia—I was having second thoughts commuting to Genting Highlands a while ago. I was not sold to the idea of venturing out of the city on our own after receiving well meaning advices and warnings from friends. And so I have decided to arrange the trip using the the hotel tour service for my own peace of mind. The tour guide/driver who assisted us was surprisingly this kind old soul who was very accomodating and attentive to our needs, from securing tickets to showing us where to go and what to do. He was with his equally kind wife. When another driver picked us up this afternoon, I was surprised to learn that the old man who drove for us today is the big boss of the tour service that I hired. They were all surprised in fact when he accepted the booking and drove himself. On most days when they are fully booked they normally turn down bookings. I was humbled by the thought and truly grateful of the gesture.
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We had a grand time at Genting Highlands, thanks to these two angels who are clearly heavensent. I’m obviously living out from the generosity of people around here and there really seem to be some kind of mighty force making it possible for things to happen for us here. 🙂

Miracles Do Happen and Love Never Ends

I am almost sad to see this week end. It was a week full of surprises, promises fulfilled, overflowing blessings, and divine providence. But then, I can’t wait for next week to come also. Here’s why…
About two years ago, my husband and I found ourselves at the Skypark of Marina Bay Sands, our dream destination at that time. And so this is how our conversation went:
Nan: Be, san mo pa gusto pumunta? (Be, where else do you want to go?)
Me: Sa Paris, gusto ko makita Eiffel Tower (Paris cause I want to see the Eiffel Tower)
Nan: Ahahaha, di ata kita kaya dalin sa Paris, wala ba mas malapit dito yung mala Eiffel Tower? (I don’t think I can afford to bring you to Paris, is there any place close to here that is almost like the Eiffel Tower?)
Me: (while pointing at the whole Singapore Skyline) Dun, nakikita mo dun sa banda dun, sa Kuala Lumpur me Petronas, dun na lang. (There see that, there’s the Petronas in Kuala Lumpur, you can bring me there instead)
Nan: (habang nakatingin sa kawalan) Petronas, kaya kita dalin don. Pupunta tayo don. (Petronas, I can bring you there. We will go there.)
We never made it to Petronas together but it looks like I will be seeing it with my daughter, just like he promised.
petronas
Somehow I ended up a runner up in a writing contest sponsored by Fitflop Philippines and since one of the grand prize winner couldn’t make it, based on the rules of the contest, the runner up will take her place instead. And the prize? An all expense paid trip for two to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia with pocket money and other freebies. Never in my wildest dream did I ever imagine myself being the recipient of such blessings. Stroke of good luck, divine intervention, happy coincidence? Maybe yes but I do know and I do feel in my hearts of hearts that my husband had a hand in all this. Call me crazy but I would like to think that yes, miracles do happen, promises can still be fulfilled even after death and love never ends. 🙂
Photo source: http://google.com

True Love

I believe that true love happens only once, my little infinity with Nan taught me that. If by any chance, a person comes along, a person who has the capacity to love with the same passion and intensity as (if not more than) Nan..a person who also knows exactly how to make her girl feel adored, cherished, and loved…a person who would love and care for me the same way Nan did to my mom, I wish him not for myself but for my daughter, Bianca because I had more than enough of that kind of love from Nan.
Today, I remember the beautiful love, the special bond and the deep connection that I shared with my lover, bestfriend and better half. There’s always that sadness and longing in remembrance but there’s also that extreme joy in knowing that I was lucky enough to have found my true love at a time God deemed perfect and that the little time we had together amounted to the happily ever after that I always dreamed of for myself. Happy Hearts Day everyone, wishing you all the same special love that I shared with my husband. Wherever you are, I hope you are spending this day with your one true love, if not, you still have the rest of the 364 days to make up for today. #chroniclesofareluctantwidow