Friday, July 20, 2018

Oily Journey

Forest: Nanay, i-post mo, "Forest is a doctor in school."

This, when I asked if she still has her oil stash. She related how a classmate often has tummy pain and how she administers the oil to her. Which, consequently makes her think she is a doctor :) Funny kid.

It made me think though that when we embarked on this oily journey, it was merely to be in keeping with our desire for what is healthy and good for the children. Without intending to, it allowed us to demonstrate just how concerned we are about their well-being. Administering the oils on the soles of their feet, at their back are really way more caring than giving a pill to drink.

If this oily journey would awaken the healer in Forest, I would be so much grateful for it. If it would reinforce her already caring attitude, what more can I ask for/

Just earlier, she talked about the oils as if she knows them intimately -- Panaway, Digize - making reference to what her Lola use. And last night, when I told her she ought to have Raven to counter the beginnings of colds and cough she is feeling, she looked for it in her Lola's PSK right away,saying "Rrrrrr" the whole time, attempting to read :)

Oh I miss you a lot, Forest. Every single day. Tonight, I watched her sleep as she had requested. I told her a story first and then I sang to her, until slowly her eyes closed and her breathing became much deeper. I did not stop singing even then (our version of Rock a-By which i sing to her since she was a baby and our latest craze, "A Million Dreams" from the Greatest Showman). It was as if I was thinking that if I sing longer it would make up for the absence that a real hug would bring :( I will be going home soon!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

And So We Talked Again

I'm so happy today since Kuya Rod indulged me with a Skype conversation that stretched minutes and not just a few seconds as before.  While he still refused to look at the camera, he was chatty as he used to be with me.

Well, it had been awhile.  Him become a teen (and most likely trying to find himself as well), Rod is more intent about being on his own, being glued to his phone.  He even refuses to go out with us on occasions, often just opting to be at home. Even if it means he would be left there on his own.  It is breaking my heart, missing how we used to connect in the past.  He is after all my best friend before (even when he was merely 3).  We never talk down on him and even early on, he showed every indication of being such an old soul.  So when he was merely a toddler, he acts as if me and my friends (his Tita's Candy, Jeni, Rochelle) are his circle of friends as well. 

But yes, it felt great to be talking again and to have him "ask my permission" on whether he ought to buy bluetooth earphones or not.  That he did not insist and listened to what I had to say were to me an indication that he still values my opinion although at times, these days, he could be pretty stubborn. 

I had to give a lecture on burn brain cells and had to assure him I'll pay for standard earphones when he needs one (his argument had been -- Nanay, earphones are very expensive! Blue tooth ones cost half of it!).  I had to strongly tell him to take care of his earphones though so we would not be throwing good money away. 

We got to talk about musical instruments as well to which he strongly voice his objection.  Haaaaay.  I could not force the issue though.  He mentioned how costly it is to have lessons and I had to tell him Nanay doesn't mind having to scrimp on some things so we could afford him one.  He said he would rather pay for wifi as nowadays, kids are pretty high-tech already.  I was indignant of course and told him as much (although now I suspect that he was just saying that to get the exact reaction from me).

So yeah, I'm praying the relationship would continue, teenage angst notwithstanding.  I guess it helped when I texted him last Thursday as to how I thought of him that day (and everyday) and how he can always count on Nanay to fight his battles for him as well, in a way he would want me too.

Well, that is true, Rod. Nanay might not be always at your side now.  Please know that I am always thinking of you and pray for what is best for you.  If I have such heartfelt well wishes for friends and others, so much more for you, my children.  I love you to the moon and back, Kuya. Always remember that.

Monday, July 09, 2018


So we're pretty sleepless today, really.  Because late last night, we were still awake. Well, at least I was fully awake and I kept waking Tatay up (who was tired from a soccer game earlier that afternoon) so we could mark the day.  I'm in one of those stubborn moments. 

And so, we ended up talking for a while.  Yesterday, I was actually feeling a bit resentful and yet apathetic.  We've been fighting a lot lately I wasn't feeling excited about celebrating the anniversary at all.  For one, we're apart. And, lately, I'm really at that phase wherein I feel totally unappreciated and taken for granted.  Come to think of it, that, I think is one of the reasons for our constant "encounters" lately. 

We got into talking about our first... well... I just had to log it in (was looking for a particular post in this blog earlier and got to rid some snippets of logged event that I could not for the love of me even remember at all!  But I wrote them and there they were.  They did happen.  I just could not remember.  So, here I am then... Logging in something a bit.... err... intimate... lest, I forget in some distant future)  So, I'm saying.  I've always have this pet peeve about our first.  For all my formative years (and beyond) spent reading (and around 50% of them, romantic novels), I always have this notion about making every "first" special.  It has to have all the works.  However, our first was not exactly marked with all the special effects, or fireworks or anything of the sort.  When I asked him about it he said, "Alangan, palangga gud kaayo ta ka. (So I did not force it)." And that set the tone for the rest of the day.

He, Rod and Forest went to church to light a candle and say a prayer.  He bought cake.  Forest sang us a "Happy THIRTEENTH anniversay" in a cute, sing-song voice.  (Which totally amused me).  So what more can I ask for? 

Thank you, God.  Thank you, B.  For making all the effort and for making me feel loved today.  I love you, hurot!

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Orbital Blog 2018

I just gotten off chat with Ate Gaga.  On her part of the world, it was already midnight and so she greeted me.  But yes, even this morning, I already got some advance greetings from high school friends. 

And finally, I was able to talk to Tatay and the children. We were able to pray together as well.  It had been a trying three days of not being able to talk to each other. It drove me nuts and made me truly depressed.  It was not a nice feeling to have.  It is difficult being alone and away from family.  The only source of my strength and re-charging at the end of the day is when I get to talk to the children.  It doesn’t have to be a lengthy conversation.  Just praying together would be enough.  But yes, talked we finally did and everything is just good from there.  Tatay and I ended up talking till midnight (2 am at his end).  He patiently waited for midnight to greet me and I guess we also made up for the three day “missed-communication.” 

This morning, I was awaken quite early (4 am my end, 6 in theirs) by a skype call. I know it was around the time that Kuya and Tatay are on their way to school.  I missed it though because my phone konked out, failing to charge the entire night.  It took forever to open to my laptop and get Skype running. By the time I was able to get through, Tatay and Rod have already left for school.  I tried getting back to sleep but my brain was already awake so I just laid there not quite asleep but not awake either.  Then Skype rang.  It was Tatay (back from Kuya’s school and Forest, singing me a happy birthday with our traditional small cake to blow.)  Forest was so cute my heart was filled to the brim. 

It was all love and well wishes from there.  From messenger, fb, skype, they came pouring in from loved ones and dear friends from all over.  It was a nice feeling to have.

It was a working day for me and I thought it was meaningful to have been able to contribute again in my own little way.  The past months have really been trying. I had to combat bouts of depression (which blew me away, knowing that I always have such a positive disposition) and it is only faith that is keeping me centered and away from thoughts of self-harm. Today, being able to finish what I did from work and having had all the fuss being thrown my way, I was affirmed.  I am loved.  

Thank you, God.  Thank you, family, friends and loved ones, for taking the time out to show me just how much.  I love you back. 

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Letter to Rod who's 12

There was this (see the memory below). Now, we hardly speak to each other as he is starting to shape a world of his own. 
I love you, Rod. I always will. In a few months, you'll be a full fledged teen. I know I have to accept the fact that you are slowly moving away from Nanay's lap as you try to find your way into the world. Know that I am always here to support you in every way.
As I often say, "Kung ano pa man yan (whatever you find/identify yourself to be, wherever you may find yourself in), our love and acceptance would always be there" If there are things that would prove to be confusing, let us be confused together. You might want to find the answers on your own and that is fine. But, should you want someone's hand to hold on to while you are doing so or an embrace to draw strength from, mine, Tatay's and Lola's are always here to engulf you for as long as you want.
It's not always easy letting go and at times, I miss our closeness like this and the time I was always your hero. But as you said, you are growing up and we have to learn to let go. I am just grateful we still have our heartfelt conversations,no matter how far in between these days. Let's keep that up ha? I miss you.

Spent an afternoon of gardening with the kiddos. When I urged them to plant one kind of vegetable each, Rod came up to me and said, "Ano yung ayaw mo na plant, Nay?" Not quite getting what he's driving at, I asked him what he meant. He rephrased pointing at the different seeds at our feet, "Ano yung di special sa yo?"
I wondered if he's into the "rebelling" stage already, wanting to do something I would hate. Probably noting my confusion he explained, "Baka kasi mamatay, 'Nay. Buti na yung di special sa 'yo." And my heart melted right through. I chided myself for ever doubting my son. 'Love you, Rod. Thank you for being so thoughtful and mindful of Nanay's feelings 
He ended up planting pechay, not actually a "non-favorite" but ranked less in priority this week, compared to arugula, lettuce and cherry tomatoes  Forest planted the latter and she looked adorable dropping seeds in pre-readied recycled cans and watering them after. It was my niece-daughter, Janin who stuck with me till the end, planting arugula and basil 
Thank you, God for a glorious Sunday afternoon

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Leaving Again

I watched the clouds before me, fluffy and dreamlike. Yet, my heart’s sight went beyond them. It travelled a hundred miles back, desperately seeking familiar cherubim faces of the children. I felt my heart tightening as if being squeezed from the inside. I couldn’t breathe. I felt constricted, helpless. The longing was so great I felt myself racking my brain for solutions that would make me cope with the pain. 90 days! By God, it seems almost eternal. I should have gotten used to this leaving again and again. But I guess there’s no getting used to leaving loved ones behind, knowing you’ve forfeited spending moments with them, time that you could not bring back, by being away. On my 2nd to the last night, Forest and I had a mini fight. She has toys all over the place. Just the day before that we’ve had a major war, cleaning Ate Janin’s room which they’ve currently designated as the TV room. (She is still sleeping with Lola.) There are boxes and boxes half-filled with random stuff. Most of them are Forest’s toys. It was utter chaos I threw a fit. It took a while and some bursts of temper but we managed to clean it all until it was tidy and spacious once again.

And then, just after a day, Forest had her usual clutter. When we were taking our nightly bathe, I pointed this out to Forest. I asked her why she’s at it again after we’ve just fought about it. Her reply, “Kasi wala man nagaturo sa akin. Kasi wala ka man.” It was a slap in the face but I tried to keep it light. “How about Lola then? Is Lola not teaching you? What I know I learned from her. What I am teaching you, ought to be teaching you, were taught to me by her. She’s the master. I was only a student under her.” But then she just repeated it, “Lagi ka man umaalis. So walang nagaturo sa akin.” I replied, “But you know why I have to leave. I have to work.” Forest: “Hanap ka pala ng work dito?” I continued, “That’s not true though. I am often home and had been teaching you a lot of stuff every time. Isn’t it?” Just then Lola came in and I repeated to her the conversation. Lola smiled and told Forest she had been teaching her stuff. Forest replied, “pero hindi dito sa bahay, ano gawin sa bahay.” Lola wailed, “That’s not true.” Sigh. Rod had a meltdown as well a week before that. The gist of our verbal war is that he had gotten used to my being away, he doesn’t care anymore. Despite being away for the most part, I am often home as well. More often than any OFWs are. And being their Mom, I still know them by heart. I know that half of what they’re saying is not actually true. I know it’s pain talking. I know too that deep down, they know that I love them more than life itself and that they love me back the same.

It shows more in the non-verbal gestures — Rod clinging to me, sleeping on my shoulder on our way to the airport; he’s hugging me in public, accepting a few of my kisses even when there are others around (around school, he absolutely forbids it, even with Tatay. Yet several times, he relented with me, not being mindful at all. He accepted a hug and a kiss as he head towards the school gates or when we were both at 711 near his school, waiting for Tatay.); Rod considering sleeping with us on my last night home until he acknowledged the what once was a very big bed has now become quite small with both him and Forest growing fast by the minute. It’s Forest insisting that I carry her, share a bath with her, brush my teeth with her...

I'm thinking now, I may be often away but I am truly grateful that I am able to be physically present during important milestones -- Kuya's graduation, his tuli, Forest's birthday, her moving up from Kindergarten... I work hard at making sure I am there where it counts. And again, I am truly grateful for it.

Friday, May 25, 2018


Today, there was love most definitely. We marked a milestone today— Rod’s rite of passage to manhood. It’s one of the reasons why I came home and why this particular exercise took this long to happen. Because, Nanay has to be there. I’ve had half the thought on that. After all, it’s a manly thing and Tatay being there should be enough. We’re running out of time as well. School is almost here and it takes a while for the healing to complete. Yet, even Tatay thinks I should be there. He said it’ll certainly make a difference. True enough, even when Tatay was holding his other hand and engulfing him in a hug from his head down, it was my name he calls out when the pain started. “Nanay!” A plea, looking straight at me, his eyes full of fear and pain. Tatay and I shushed, soothe, squeezed his hand, hugged, kissed and whispered understanding and comforting words. Still his cries fill the small clinic. My heart lurched in pain. I wish I could take his pain as my own. I told him so.. It felt like eternity, holding his hand, seeing him pained. But I was grateful to have been there for him. I nearly fainted from the stress of it all but I wouldn't take it in any other way. I may not be always there for my children due to the nature of my work but I am truly blessed to have always been given the chance to be there when it counts. Thank you as always, God.