Category: Chronicles of a Reluctant Widow

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

Everything Happens For A Reason

When you can’t seem to fathom the reason why certain things need to happen now, trust that in the future everything will make sense to you. Everything will simply fall into place when God finally decides to reveal His perfect design for you. But for now, as you wait, do not question his purpose, do not demand for an answer, do not loose faith and hope. When the perfect time comes, you will realize that the things that happened in the past have indeed brought you to this very moment for everything is ready in the plan of God.

Driving Myself Nuts

One of the hardest part of loosing Nan is perhaps filling his shoes. It’s just too big for my 5 inch feet. When he passed away, I am suddenly thrusted with  all these responsibilities that I made myself believe that he and only he alone  can do.  I am Your Highness, The Queen, and The Master no more. The girl who used to spend her free time stretched out lazily in the sofa with her feet  propped up high in front of the telly happily watching an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians or some other reality flicks now finds herself dog tired and just about ready to collapse in bed every night. So next time you see me and notices the few extra weight I’ve lost, please be polite not to mention it, its not because I went on a crash diet or been too depressed to eat, it’s actually because  my muscles and bones are now hard at work. In tagalog, nagbabanat nako ng buto ngayon! Tapos na ang maliligayang araw ko at hanggang dito sa lupa naririnig ko si Nan na humahagalpak sa tawa  sa langit.
Anyway, the most difficult among the thousand tasks that I have to do now is driving and maintaining the car. It has been giving me so much stress (read: pimples. I wasn’t born to love driving I guess, I was born to be the pain-in-the ass passenger, and man! was I good at it when Nan was alive. Anyway, since I now value every peso even the 5 and 10 centavos, I had to ditch the driver which I had for only about three weeks (who am I kidding, I am no rich kid) and take over the steering wheel. Last time I drove was five years ago and I used to bribe Nan everyday before with a promise of a full night of passion just so he would drive us till at the gate of Ayala Alabang Village where I would take over and try not to crash the car until I reach my parking space in Woodrose (which is in sort of like an open field). So technically it wasn’t really professional or even non-professional driving, it was only student driving.
Anyway, of course when you drive you have to learn the tricks of the trade right. I noticed before how Nan and the other drivers seem to communicate perfectly  just by flicking the lights . I find it rather cool actually but never really tried it before. And so I asked my good friends at work how to do it, and they just said you just flick this stick behind the steering wheel. So one day when on the road, a car did “The Flick” to me, and so I had to flick back right? Excitedly I flick the stick behind the steering wheel, and ‘lo and behold, water squirted out and the wiper came woooshing back and forth, I flicked the wrong one. And you know, this little monster beside me a.k.a my daughter just had to let out a loud guffaw. I had to redeem myself so I practiced and practiced until I was ready to do it to other drivers. I was waiting for the perfect moment to strike and when it did, I flicked perfectly, at every car turning, every person crossing, and every jeep in my wat that the little monster beside me had to shout, “Come on!” and “What the heck!” all in one breath.  Next time you see me on the road, please please respond to my flick.
One of the tiring part of maintaining the car was of course cleaning it. I never really understood why Nan had to clean the car everyday, I do now. Dirty car is a sight for sore eyes especially if you are the one driving it and you happen to be a girl. I don’t want to see the look in people’s eyes when I step down from my dirty car and hear people whisper behind my back, “Ay yan yung balo, depress sya dipa sya makapaglinis ng sasakyan.” And so I went to Ace Hardware and bought myself  those chamois rug thingy that absorbs water and some tire black. I refuse to use Nan’s old ones, I want my armory new. I did manage it to clean it good the first time. I was so proud of myself. I have watched Nan a hundred times before that I got it  right on the spot. Oh well, except for the tire black. Okay I didn’t know you have to apply it using a sponge. The first time I applied it on my tires, I used a rag and they looked like they’ve were peed on by dogs and not like brand new looking tires. It didn’t help also that the birds like to poop on my car after I cleaned it. I can’t understand why of all the cable wire hanging in our street, they like to stand and hang out on the one that is directly on top of my parking space.  I did try to move the car  a little a couple of times to avoid getting shot by bird poops, but somehow they still manage to do it. Among the 6 cars parked in our streets, mine was the only one getting bird poops everyday. Why these birds like to do that to me is beyond me.
I’d like to believe that I am getting rather good at driving everyday day though. I have managed to  avoid running over the traffic enforcer in the middle of the road by a hair line, stopped the gas man just in time before he pour the unleaded since I forgot to say diesel, park the car decently in front of our house everyday without having to go down and check (okay, well not as often as I used to now), bring the car to the autoshop for oil change (good thing I was able to track down Nan’s patient mechanic, if it would have been another one, he would have just about pull his hair in frustration with my no-brainer-car-related-duh questions) and expertly avoid getting a ticket for coding by waiting surreptiously at the corner before I make a turn where the traffic enforcers are. I’ve mastered the trick of waiting and trailing closely behind cars with the same number codes as mine (it never fails, they get flagged down while I speed away). I have also proudly avoided ramming the car in my front and at my back the first time I tried squeezing in between two cars to park (I saw the drivers of the cars run in panic though and laughed at their helpless expression as I do my trial and error parking thing). I also can drive now with the radio/ipod on unlike the first week I went back to driving where I want nothing but complete silence lest I loose my concentration. I also don’t hang on to the steering wheel for dear life and has allowed myself to adjust the seat a little far back and relax while driving.
For the longest time, driving or anything remotely close to is has been at the top list of  my greatest fears. Loosing Nan has forced me to face this fear. It’s not as hard as I thought it would be, it is still my number one stressor but I think I can really do this now. I know he would have been proud of me, he even told his friends a week before he died, “Yung misis ko mas matindi magmaneho sa akin yon, sya na nga magdadala nito e (referring to our car and me, e hello ako lang naman misis nya e so ako yon diba).”  He had so much faith in my driving capabilities that I really wouldn’t want to let him down. If Nan knew that he was going to die that day, I am sure he would have told me all the tips and tricks he knew about driving but as it is he himself didn’t know so I am left to discover them on my own.
There’s this one road that I have been avoiding to take because it suddenly slopes up way too high, a climb as Nan and I would call it.  I have been avoiding it.  I have been so afraid to take it because it is steep, sharp and you can’t see way beyond it ( yes it is that high). I always hold my breath everytime Nan drives up to it before and he always executes it perfectly. I guess that somehow explains most of what I am feeling now, I am so afraid of so many things because I can’t see beyond them since my compass, my Nan, is now gone. Last Dec. 27, I decided to take the climb to  finally put an end to my misery since I know at some point I have to muster the courage to take it. I simply can’t avoid it forever. And so With Bianca beside me, and my mom at the back, I hit the accelerator, did some magic with the clutch, and took the climb. And surprise surprise, I did it, I actually did it. It wasn’t as high as I thought it was and it wasn’t as hard as it seems.  When I managed to get us to the top, we were so relieved, happy, and jubilant that we all shouted while raising our fists in the air, “Wooohoooo!” And oh, I also did manage to grab the steering wheel just in time before it hit the tricycle on the opposite lane. I have to remember that I am not supposed to let go of the steering wheel especially during moments of extreme excitement.
I think, I really am driving myself nuts.

Dear Dad

It’s been a month since you’ve been gone but I still can’t get over the fact that you left me so suddenly, so soon, without even a proper goodbye.  Had I known that that morning was the last time I will be seeing you,  I wouldn’t have slept as soundly as I did in the car.  I would have spent the remaining hours with you talking about the old times and the future like we used do. I would have stayed behind when all the girls have gone off to their classrooms to hug you much tighter, kiss you much longer and tell you how much I love you. I still wonder up to this day why you never bothered to rouse me from sleep that day like you always do in the morning, I was thinking was it because you didn’t want to say goodbye. I remember how goodbyes mean so much to you, how you would never leave the house without your customary kiss and “I love You” however near or far you’re going. It breaks my heart everytime I think about how you shed tears when you fell and had the heart attack, I imagined it was because you didn’t get the chance to say goodbye. Your friends had their last recollection of how you unusually waved  goodbye to them that morning, but as far as me and Bianca are concerned, there wasn’t any.   But I do understand dad, the call of God probably was so resounding, something you cannot ignore,  that you had to heed and leave everything behind.
I miss you every minute of every day.  I miss the comfort that your presence brings.  I miss our early morning ritual of tender hugs that always reassures me that everything is right in my world.  I miss your infectious smile and your belly laughs that make my heart dance.  I miss your kisses that never fail to make me tingle and giggle with glee.  I miss going on secret dates with you. I miss our snuggles and cuddles in bed. I miss holding hands with you under the covers.  I miss sleeping on your chest at night.  I miss you reaching out to me in sleep to pull me for a hug.  I miss our quiet intimacy. I miss waking to your voice. I miss your texts and I love You calls.  I miss  you waiting up for me from my Saturday classes so we can have lunch together.  I miss seeing your welcoming face in gate 3. I miss your mischievousness,  your jokes, your pranks, and your smart ass comments. I miss teasing you and making you laugh.  I miss you.
I have always wondered why we always had to do things in a rush, the way we got married and had a baby, the way you switched jobs in pursuit of your dreams.  But then, I do understand now, it’s because you had little time to do everything.  It was a life well lived dad and I am glad to be a big part of it.  I still marvel at the number of people who came to pay their last respect to you.  They came in droves and there was not a  dry eye in church during your funeral. A lot of people felt your loss. They still continue to come to me even up to this day to tell me how you have touched their lives, how you had shown kindness to them.  I marvel at the magnanimity of your heart and its capacity to love and care till the end.
I remember our conversation the night before you died, you asked me if we were happy even if its just the four of us, yes we were happy dad. You made all of us happy, you made me happy. I never really knew what happiness was until I met you. If there was one decision that I am proud of and never regret doing, its the decision of marrying you. You have been the best partner even if I wasn’t most of the time. You are my happiness, my dream come true, my prince charming, my happily ever after, my knight in shining armor, but most importantly my better half, my man, my best friend. I am proud to be called your wife and the mother of your child.
Surprisingly dad, this is one instance that I am not mad at you. I know I should be since you left me high and dry but then  I understand why you had to go. You have come full circle, you’ve made your dreams come true, you have accomplished what you and God have set yourself to do.  I understand that you need to rest baby after the tireless way you have shown  how much you love and care for us, your family.   Though it breaks my heart to let you go, I did since the day God took you back.  Like I always remind myself, you’re not mine to keep however hard I tried. I only had one fear in life before and that is to loose you, and since that fear had been realized, my fear now is not to see you and be with you in heaven when my time comes. Never in my life had I imagined that I will grow old alone, I always picture old age with you. I held on to your promise that you would take care of me when we’re old.   I guess when that time comes, I will just content myself with telling stories about  how I was once married to the sweetest, most loving and devoted husband to our grandchilren.
Don’t worry about Bianca dad, I will take care of her, the way you would have wanted, the way we’ve always wanted. Don’t worry about me, I will be fine. It may take a while before the sting in my heart goes away, but I will be fine.  Everytime I think of you I can’t help but cry, smile and laugh as I remember the good times, the fun times, the silly times.  If I close my eyes, I get to travel back to the time that we’re together and I can almost feel again that love, that togetherness, that simple joy of being with you. You’ve left me with so much good memories dad, memories that I know will get me through the tough times ahead.
My future looks lonely without you in the picture dad, but if there’s one thing you have taught me, it is to be happy.  Someday, I promise I will get to that place again, but for now, allow me to weep for I yearn for your presence still.  I will always love you and will hold your memories close to my heart.  I will never get tired of telling people how I found my happiness with you.  I will never get tired of telling people that once I was happily married to a good man who spent his lifetime making me feel adored, cherished, and loved.
I love you every second, of every minute, of every hour, of everyday. Thank you for loving me, life with you was pure bliss.  Till we meet again baby, I promise you I will get myself to heaven so we can see each other again.
Your Switart

How Do I Love Thee

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.

I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.

I love thee freely, as men might strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,–I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!–and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
-Elizabeth Barett Browning

And My Life Will Never Be The Same Again

This was taken about three or four weeks ago, during one of those perfect afternoon when we can’t help but smile silly because we were just damned happy. Actually, August for some reason was extraordinarily special. My husband made an effort to be  extra sweet, extra attentive, and extra fun last month. It was simply our happiest month, with my birthday,the long weekends, the everyday togetherness, it was just simply perfect, or so I thought.

Two days before August ended, my husband died of massive heart attack and I have died a thousand death since then too. In the blink of an eye, the man who is my world, my universe, my life was gone forever.
Never in my wildest dream had I imagined that we will be apart too soon, too fast. I imagined us celebrating many birthdays and anniversaries together. I had always imagined us growing old together. But unknown to us, God has other plans.
For 12 years I have kept him to myself, close to my heart, as much as I can. Our world revolved around each other. But in the end, I know he’s not mine to keep. He belonged to the Lord, and I have to accept that as hard as it may seem, as painful as it may seem.
Now I begin my journey alone, without my man on my side. In God’s perfect time, I know I will eventually reach that place where I can safely say that I am finally okay. It may take months, years, I don’t know, the only thing I know is that the wonderful wonderful memories that he left me will bring me there.