January 31, 2015 § 1 Comment
January 25, 2015 § 7 Comments
I keep remembering this sentence I saw once in Humans of New York. It was from a story about a widow who lost her husband of so many years. When her husband was dying, she asked him How am I supposed to live without you?. And her husband answered, Take the love that you have for me, and spread it all around.
To this day, those words reverberate inside my shell, filling my core with both sadness and wisdom. Of course, that is absolutely the right thing to do. But for some reason, the idea leaves me with a heavy sense of heartache. It was an order to give away to whoever else something you have allotted to someone special. It was the gentle pushing away of hands that yearn to hug someone. It was the last forehead kiss of a lover, who refuses you to kiss him back for the last time. It was when I took down my mom’s clothes from their hangers, laid them out on the bed, sorted them out through wafts of familiar memories that dusted out of them, folded them and decided to whom they should go instead. It was painful, it was generous, it was the right thing.
Perhaps this is why people who have lost someone can sometimes show the most amazing compassion. Look at them, look at those who suffer silently for people who have long gone. Perhaps they too want to say, no, I’m not kind. It isn’t me. It’s just that, I don’t know what to do with all the love I’m left with.
This post is dedicated in loving memory of my mom, and to my dad who continues to serve others. Happy 32nd Wedding Anniversary. This is also dedicated to every beautiful person I have been lucky to know.
January 2, 2015 § Leave a comment
2014’s pages has come to a close. If I try to encapsulate its entirety to a single concept, it would be “coping”. Every day was just trying to cope up with everything that if I could suspend, I would, but I couldn’t so nevertheless had to do. And in that coping, although I was able to still make “ends meet” in a psychological, spiritual, mental, social and practical aspect, it all seemed half-done. I felt that my mind, heart and soul was neither here nor there. In fact, it would have been easy to fall apart and surrender to the evils of sloth, despair, depression and hopelessness if not for the strong loving support of my family and friends. And so, as 2015 begins, I would like to sincerely thank all of the people who in one way or more sent me a wave of encouragement, comfort and joy the past year. I would like to live 2015 as an act of gratitude to God and everyone He sent – to remember that there is joy and hope in every single day I am blessed with. To know that I am capable of more than I think, because of God’s grace and not merely of my own self. To not forget that other people are going through their own battles and I will never be adequate enough to judge them. To not lose sight of my dreams and aspirations, no matter the difficulties. To trust that in every moment, my mom is with me in everything I do. To dare far, but always know how to come back to my shore – family, friends…home. To choose to love and become love.
Thank you for the lessons, 2014. Here’s to a fresh start!
November 23, 2014 § Leave a comment
He asked me a question. I knew the answer. But I had buried it in deeply. Consciously. Intentionally. It was stuck in a place where it had no room to grow. Though it ached for the dew drops and the sunshine, I could not bear to let it go. For the moment I part with it, I have no doubt that an ocean will spring into life, and a mountain will rise from the ground, and a forest will cover the land. And on that same world of growing magnitude, there will be that single delicate rose. Unadulterated, it will bloom. It will bloom as easily as a falcon can cut it in a single stroke.
I was not prepared to bear the death of that rose.
November 16, 2014 § Leave a comment
Does it matter if you take a small step or a big step? Because either way, it will be a step. Do you dip in with your toe, or plunge in without a moment of reluctance? Do you offer your hand or embrace with your soul? Do you taste a crumb or lavish in an entire portion? Do you play a single note or perform a concerto? Because in the end, love is given full, or nothing at all. And pain is compulsory, not just an option. Hesitation is a byproduct of collective sorrows, but it has nothing to do with your own emotions.
That doesn’t make it any less scary though.
November 6, 2014 § Leave a comment
More than a month after, I finally got the birthday package my brother sent me from Hong Kong. The post office apparently forgot to send me a notice, so it had been sitting around with other parcels for more than 2 weeks already, at the threat of being disposed if not collected. Well, that’s a surprising lapse in the Singaporean scheme of things.
Upon sending other letters and settling my bill, I proceeded to break open the adhesive that separated me from what my brother gave me. The card had a familiar figure that only me and Gab (and probably a few of my cousins) would appreciate. He scribbled down some particular instructions before I was to read the letter, and even though I would typically not follow instructions when it comes to things like this (case in point: the despidida gift I got from my friends haha), I hesitantly closed the box and made my way back home to get internet access. Upon reaching home, I put on his requested song on youtube and read his card. It was a really lovely story that brought me back to our childhood. I miss our “pillows”, I miss home. :”) Thank you, Fubby. :)
November 2, 2014 § Leave a comment
My Dearest Mommy,
It’s All Souls Day. You’d usually stay at home at this time of the year. We, on the other hand, truthfully would be excited to get reunited with our cousins as this was that time of the year again that we would all go around the cemeteries to visit the patch of earth where the last physical remainder of relatives – both met and unmet – reside. It wasn’t really so much as to the visiting the dead, as it was because of being with the living. You’d ask Ama if we were going to pass by Lola Nora, and if so, that we should not forget to take home some of her famous chicken sotanghon for you. We’d take almost the whole day, and when we get home, you’ll never forget to ask first about the sotanghon.
This time around, this day has taken on a new meaning for us. Today, it is a much more direct reminder of our own personal loss. Today, as usual, we are not with you – but the difference is, we aren’t with you the entire day, and we won’t be with you later or tomorrow, or the day after next. At least, physically. There is no patch of earth I can visit to take comfort in today. No slab of marble to stare at and cry to. No cousins to be with and recite Hail Mary’s along with. There are only my memories, definitely one of my most important possessions. You live among them. And even my new ones are created with you in mind.
It’s going to be your birthday soon as well. I guess it has no significance anymore. The continuum of the life that it used to mark has ceased to be relevant. You now exist in the timeless, vast, infinite matter that surrounds the remainder of life on earth. It doesn’t matter when you came into existence, but just that you existed.
I’m sending you this song, along with my prayers. I’ll see you in that celestial dome, someday.
I love you.