a heart-warming summer

“I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” John 16:28

almost a week ago,  we saw megan off  to Bahrain where they would board a plane back to Manila.  we had just spent 36 days all together as a family. how time really flies when you’re having a great time. it seemed only yesterday when we picked her up at the airport in Dammam.  and now that she’s gone back home to Laguna,  we are just so grateful to God for those precious bonding moments that we had shared.

jubail corniche 1

there were very few tourist spots here in Khobar where we can take her.  but the corniche provided that perfect place where all four of us became one with nature. we had picnics in the parks along the corniche of Khobar, Dammam, Jubail and even the roadside going to Asisiyah basking in the great view of a small lake lined with dates. 

 stolen (joke!)

the beachfront near half moon was not as pristine as that of boracay’s.  but the fact that we were together made it just the perfect site for a fresh level of togetherness.  we grilled fish and chicken, went fishing and ate to our hearts’ delight.  it didn’t matter that we were cramped together in our small tent watching james bond’s ‘the quantum of solace’ on the laptop, nor that we were not able to sleep soundly after.  as we look back to that night that we’re all up together, trying to amuse ourselves with silly stories and corny jokes, made me realize how great a time we had.

starbucks moment

we remember those nights when we went mall hopping just strolling around.  we don’t have much to splurge on shopping, but we did have some for venti and cappuccino after those tiring walks.  and those small talks that we have over coffee; believe me they are worth far more than anything that money can buy.

sharkee

there were other things too that keep reminding us of megan’s stay.  like that pink shark balloon she begged us to buy for her.  it still in miguel’s room until now.  how she loved broasted chicken so much and the garlic mayo too.  the movies that we started to watch together, but most of the times ended up with poor me already sound asleep. how she loved to sleep in her abaya.  how tatay always dives on all three of us in bed with that sweet embrace shouting ‘group hug!!!!!!!!‘ the joy rides that we loved complete with video reporting like they were made for cnn.  and surely megan will never forget how we were swarmed by four young girls at a ladies’ rest room in Dammam corniche.  for some reason, those girls started embracing and kissing us the moment they saw us went in.  we had a very hard time trying to escape from their ‘clutches’ especially megan who they even followed to the car.

tgi fridays

this year is also the best mother’s day that i had so far.  the three of them conspired to give me a surprise.  well, they gave me roses and a certificate for being a good mother (i just wish that i really am) and treated me to a sumptous dinner.  but there was something in the manner that they executed their ‘performance’ that words can never describe.  it was just so sweet.

dammam corniche 8may09

 i believe that our bond together as a family only grew stronger.  we rediscovered each other as persons, and tried to showed each other our affection like we were trying to beat a deadline.  and as we saw the bus where megan was riding, out of carlton and on to the highway going to Bahrain, we realized that time is up.  but then again, amidst all the tears of goodbyes, the joy that we had together is now replaced with hope as we look forward to Christmas when we would all be together again.

imagesthere is one day far greater though, that we should all look forward to.  the ascencion of Jesus Christ gave us the hope that someday, He shall be coming back.  and as we wait for that day, let us  focus all our energies and our gifts for  the glory of GOD, especially by spreading HIS LOVE; that is His Good News to everyone.   so that when that time comes, we shall be worthy to welcome Him again, and take us together with Him in His kingdom for all eternity.

 

 

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MOTHER

“But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.   And the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.” Luke 2:19-20

she carried you inside of her, 

that moment on she always cares.

she brought you out to see the world,

and she made sure she’s always there.

mother and child

 

 

 

she may be stout, she may be thin

she may be out , she may be  in.

she may be tough,  but if she’s  weak, 

eventually she’d stand and leap. 

she is a cool spring of joy

when they treat you like toy.

she is a ray of sunshine though

as raindrops of tears flow.

she clings to you like sticky glue

 when others make you feel blue.

and though it hurts, she’ll  let you go

 when it’s time for you to grow.

she always gives, though there is none.

 she would still share, when all is gone.

mother and child

 

 

 

 

the pain you feel, she’d feel it too.

and that heavy load, she’d take from you.

even though she can’t, she’ll swim for you. 

she’d drown for you, to rescue you.

mother won’t think twice, when worst may come;

to give her life so you may shine. 

rose

 

 

 

 

but there is one special mother, that’s greatest of all

she bore a dear Son so we won’t fall.

she loves Him so from concepcion to Cross

she’ll love Him forever; she loves Him the most. 

her son is dear Jesus our Savior and brother.

her sweet name is Mary, our Lady, our Mother. 

Mother Mary

(Roobee, happy mothers day to you too…)

that one last summer

sunset4

“The moon marks off the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down.” Psalm 104:19

it was a long, sad walk from our parish church to the cemetery.  the weather was hot because it was almost noon.  it was summer.   i tried not to stop waving the fan so roobee would feel a little comfort.  she didn’t complain, but i knew that aside from her grief, she was not feeling well.  it was her tatay’s funeral and as tradition dictates, we had to walk behind the casket.  and i held her as we walked.  she was crying…

that was the last time that we were together for long.  because when we were about to leave for our flight back to KSA flowers93and they were, likewise, headed for manila for her nanay’s check-up,  the goodbyes were brief. we hugged each other.  i could not recall if we beso-beso.  all i could remember now is, that was the last time we would see each other.

after that last moment when we said goodbyes, we never really did.  roobee never stopped texting me.  about her family, our friends and acquaintances, if not her favorite quotes and sayings.  i couldn’t keep up with her texts and apologized for not being able to respond as religiously especially to the latter.

and that last sweet gesture.  she sent our silver anniversary reunion souvenir t-shirts and dvd through megan.  the first time i saw those shirts on fs photos, i already asked bhoy why they ever chose those to wear.  it wasn’t like a reunion, i said.  it was like attending a wake.  for everyone was wearing black.  and only now that i realized why.  it was only after she died that i was able to pay attention to the dvd.  she had a message written on the cover “boy and aninie,  happy watching! miz ya!”  if only i gave it due importance, if only i read it when she was still alive.  she should have read what i would have had texted back.   “miz ya 2!” 

the news was a shock.  it felt as if the world stopped turning for a moment.  i felt numbed.  and my mind went blank.  after a while, i knew i had to, either accept it or deny it.  i chose the latter.  i dialled her number.  her mobile rang, but there was no answer.  again, i tried.  but her mobile just kept on ringing.  once more, i dialled.  but even the ringing was gone.  then i knew deep in my heart that i had to accept it.   she was really gone.

tears-in-heaven2even if i tried so hard to control my tears, i couldn’t.  i stayed long enough at the comfort room until i had no more tears to shed.  at least for that moment,  i had to gather all my strength again, because i was at the office.  and even if i had to work, i couldn’t.  my spirit suddenly travelled back to all the moments that we shared together.  all of 32 years that we had known each other, flashed back as if i was watching a replay of my favorite movie.  all i could hear was her laughter.  it was just so alive.

there were just so many that i wasn’t able to tell her, so many that i didn’t do to show i love her.  all because i thought, there will be more time to share.  i thought when i come back,  she would still be there.  i thought time will come, when instead of pains of ageing and household worries, we would be laughing and talking about how successful our kids have turned out and how beautiful our grandchildren have grown to be.  but i thought wrong.

she is gone now.  we never even had a chance to say one final goodbye this time.  i couldn’t be even be there for her flowers8funeral.  but i love roobee so much.  i don’t know if i texted her that.  but i knew that long before.  it’s only now, though, that i realized how much. 

and now grimly, as i recall our long,  sad walk for her tatay’s funeral,  i also remember there was too much love and overwhelming grief that we  silently shared.  it could have been her funeral that we were already crying for.