Godspeed Amang

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1

Today, as I gaze at the sunrise, I think of a loved one who can no longer marvel at this awesome sight. Nor all other sunrises of mornings ahead.

He had gone to rest forever to bask no more in sunshines nor moonshines, but in the light of God’s eternal light. 

We thank the Lord for the blessing of him in our lives. He is a simple and ordinary man. Yet unique, special and funny, even when life slowly slipped away from his frail body, and his memory faded with it.

We thank God for the fine man that he had been, for by him, the standard was raised for his sons and grandsons to follow.

I thank  Amang for his sacrifices and hard work in the name of love for family, which never ever diminished his sunny disposition.  

For this reason and more, I will remember him with every sunrise, and the happy memory of his smile. 

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my amnesia girl

“Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  1 Peter 5:8

something funny happened while we watched “my amnesia girl”.

first of, the movie was about Apollo and Irene, who were in love with each other that they decided to finally tie the knot.  on the day of the wedding, Apollo got cold feet and chose not to go on.  Irene was deeply hurt and heart-broken.  but on one fateful day, their paths crossed again.  Irene pretended she did not know Apollo and just asked “Sino ka?” as a way to protect herself from being hurt again.

it was a typical romance movie except for corny but kilig similes and metaphors that Apollo and Irene used throughout the movie.   my husband and i were amused at how we could relate to the pick-up lines… considering our age.  in fact, we were so amazed at how romance could be old-fashioned and yet so updated. 

here were some:

“ulan ka ba?  kasi lupa ako. at sa ayaw at sa gusto mo, sa akin ang bagsak mo.”

“alam mo, bagay sa yo yang damit mo.  pero mas bagay ako sa yo.”

“para kang pustiso, i can’t smile without you.”

“Thank you Lord, pandesal lang naman ang hinihingi ko sa inyo.  hamburger binigay Nyo. me fries pa!”

we were like having too much fun with the lines that we totally forgot something!

our son barged into our bedroom, and asked if we were cooking. that was the time we remembered the beef.  my husband and i rushed to the kitchen.  it was already filled with smoke. like we were enveloped with clouds.  i wondered if that was how heaven looked like.  it didn’t smell like it though.

my husband immediately turned off the stove and removed the pot cover.  there it was, our dinner totally scorched and charred.

LOL! somebody had amnesia! 

they say forgetfulness is a sign of old age .  i sometimes wonder about how i would become when my memory would finally fail me. good thing is, when that moment comes, then i would never know.

on hindsight, it could have been a tragic experience if our son did not find out soon enough.  but thank God!  we lost our dinner, but not the lesson.  it is one thing i’d probably remember for the longest time.

there are plenty of things that keep us occupied throughout the day.  and there are times when self-inflicted amnesia brings us to another dimension. to some kind of out of body experience. like a whole new world of triviality.

it is best to stay alert and focus on the essential which only the heart can see.

and which the heart would never forget.

Weep, Rachel! Baby Boy Aborted Alive and Left to Die

This is what the LORD says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more.” Jeremiah 31:15

  • By Jennifer Hartline
  • 4/30/2010
  • reposted from Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
  • The manner of this child’s death is horrifying beyond belief, but it’s not the location of his death that makes it a homicide!  He was the very same 22 week-old infant hours earlier when he was kicking and growing inside his mother’s womb!  He was the very same human being the moment he died as the moment before he was aborted.  That he died slowly, nearly two days after the abortion, only means he was clumsily murdered.

    A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping: Rachel Weeping for Her Children Refusing to be comforted for her children, Because they are no more. (Jeremiah 31:15)

    A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping: Rachel Weeping for Her Children Refusing to be comforted for her children, Because they are no more. (Jeremiah 31:15)

    WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) –  I would have taken him in a heartbeat and loved him.  You probably would have as well.  I know there are countless couples out there who would have given anything for the gift of him.  I know when you read about what happened to him, you will be as angry as I am at this moment.  Then you will, hopefully, weep as I am at this moment.  He deserves every tear we can shed and then some.

    The story of this horrible evil deserves righteous anger.  It is entirely appropriate to scream and wail.  There doesn’t seem to be nearly enough wailing – that may be what is beginning to bother me most.  I am enraged by the overriding hush.

    The UK Telegraph reported April 28 that in the town of Rossano, Italy, a 22 week-old baby boy was  aborted alive, wrapped in a sheet with his umbilical cord still attached and left alone to die.  20 hours later, he was discovered by a priest who went to pray beside his body and noticed that the baby was moving and breathing.  Doctors then had the baby taken to a neighboring hospital to be cared for in a neonatal intensive care unit, where he ultimately died, nearly two days after being ripped from his mother’s womb and discarded like trash.

    His mother decided to end his life because prenatal scans suggested he was disabled.  Suggested.  Possibly disabled; declared unworthy to live.  He was murdered by heartless animals wearing lab coats, who have medical degrees hung in frames on their office walls.  He was handed over to death by the one who was entrusted by God with his care, and he was killed and thrown away by those who take an oath to “first do no harm.”

    It’s time to stop tip-toeing around, sugar-coating our language for fear of sounding offensive.  What’s offensive is what was done to this child.  What’s offensive is the barbaric execution of babies in the womb in the name of “reproductive freedom.”  What’s offensive is that societies at large turn their eyes away, pretend not to notice, and justify the evil being masqueraded as a “right.”

    How I long to hear Rachel weeping!  How I long to see her wail at the top of her lungs, cover her head with ashes and mourn for her children!  “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more.”  Jeremiah 31:15

    Instead, it is the anti-Rachel who presently exerts her influence and power over us.  The anti-Rachel is heard in the voice of Planned Parenthood, NARAL, NOW, Emily’s List, Catholics for Choice, Catholics United, the judges and politicians who protect abortion “rights” and yes, our President.  The anti-Rachel sits in the seat of power in our country and around the world, and weeping for our children has been eschewed; now we declare victory and “freedom” won by their calculated deaths.

    The anti-Rachel said just today that abortion must be kept safe and legal and whether or not it is rare is beside the point:

    “If those 1.21 million abortions represent only the women who could access abortion financially, geographically or otherwise, then that number is too low.  Yes, too low….Do we dare admit that increasing the number of abortions might be not only good for women’s health, but also moral and just?”  RHReality Check, “Keep Abortion Safe and Legal? Yes. Make it Rare? Not the Point.” by Aimée Thorne-Thomsen

    I would love to hear Ms. Thorne-Thomsen defend what was done to that baby boy in Italy this week, and defend it she must if she insists abortion is just and moral! 

    Where is the statement from Planned Parenthood extolling the courageous service of this doctor in providing the mother the “reproductive health services” she needed?  It should not make one iota of difference to them how this baby died.  All that matters is that his mother wanted him killed and the doctor tore him out of the womb.  As long as he ultimately died, the details are irrelevant.  After all, abortion is abortion is abortion.  What difference does it make how it’s accomplished?  So what if the insentient blob of tissue, the little parasite, the disabled fetus, the unplanned and unwanted intruder doesn’t die right away?  Whether in the womb, halfway out of the womb, or delivered and laying on an instrument table, who cares?  So what if it dies hours or days later, having been thrown in the corner with the dirty laundry?

    No, the voices of anti-Rachel cannot be sad for the death of this baby boy. Death is the necessary fruit of their labors. The most they can do is plead for the cause of better-trained doctors who are responsible and skilled enough to make sure they get the job done right on the first try. The tragedy for them here is that yet another doctor has failed to provide women the care they deserve. The manner of this child’s death is horrifying beyond belief, but it’s not the location of his death that makes it a homicide! He was the very same 22 week-old infant hours earlier when he was kicking and growing inside his mother’s womb! He was the very same human being the moment he died as the moment before he was aborted. That he died slowly, nearly two days after the abortion, only means he was clumsily murdered. I know there will be many people in many countries who will be outraged over this child’s death. They may weep and feel furiously angry. But will it matter? When the next opportunity comes to usher Rachel into the seat of power, that laws of life may be written in place of the current laws of death, will the millions remember this little boy and their anger over his murder? In our own nation, will the millions who say they recognize the humanity of the child in the womb remember this precious child and finally denounce the mythical “right” of abortion? Will they take their anger to the ballot box in defense of the sanctity of human life? Will Catholics in America finally live the undeniable truth of the faith they claim to believe? Human life is sacred and created by God. Abortion kills a child. No one has the right to kill a child. Abortion is intrinsically evil. This is what the Church teaches, yet scores of self-described Catholics either brush aside or flat-out reject this truth and carry the banner of “choice” instead. Why? Why would this child’s death have been legal, moral, just, and acceptable if only he had died immediately? How long will we choose the curse over the blessing? Why isn’t Rachel’s weeping a deafening roar? Rachel absolutely must refuse to be comforted over the brutal death of this child and every child who is killed in the name of “choice.”

    (This boy was killed in Italy, but it happens here in the U.S. more than anyone will admit, despite our Born Alive Infant Protection Act. Read more at Jill Stanek.)
    —– Jennifer Hartline is a grateful Catholic, a proud Army wife and mother of four precious children (one in Heaven). She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online. She is also a serious chocoholic. Visit her at My Chocolate Heart. – – –
     
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    miguel and the balance beam

    “Train up  a child the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

    Balance_Beam

    my grade school memories are happy and carefree.  but i never really thought that there will be valuable lessons that would be relevant to this era.  my fondest memories are already pushed back at the farthest end of the vault called my brain.  and most are worth pulling out once in a while.   one of them was the balance beam.

    we usually had field days once every school year.  and during our fifth grade, our presentation showcased our ability to display grace and endurance as we struggle to keep from falling, and at the same time execute our repertoire.  i can still vividly remember how it required constant practice and deep concentration to stay on the narrow piece of wood and maintaince balance.  and if in case we fell, which we did countless times during rehearsals, we were also taught how to land safely and minimize injuries.

    now as my husband and i are in the process of raising two teenaged kids, the skills that we learned from the balance beam have become very useful.  as it is, there is no manual on how to raise a child after we have given birth.  and up to now, there really is no effective step by step procedure on how to properly raise our children.  one step may work with one kid, but not with another.    apparently, there are as many ways as there are as many children.  for each is a unique person, and hence unique ways on how to take care of each individual. 

    going back to the balance beam, taking care of our two kids is like walking on it.  to get on the balance beam, our deep concentration is a primary requisite.   our priorities must focus on their needs as human beings that have souls.  i think we’re pretty much okey with that.  but to maintain our balance requires constant practice.  either we would be too strict, that our kids would start to rebel against us; or we are too lenient and complascent that they would shoot off like firecrackers in different directions, but after the burst of splendid beauty, no longer knew where they headed.

    angel%20bear

    our youngest miguel is a special angel.  he is the shy and silent type.  he is intelligent.  he is witty.  he is funny when he wants to be.  he is sentimental and sensitive.  he has a bad temper, but he surely tries very hard to control it.  he loves to stay on the computer more than he wants to chat with us.  but we definitely love to watch movies together.   and starbucks too.  and it is his birthday today. 

    we thank the Lord for bringing Miguel into our lives.  he is one of God’s greatest blessings to our family.   a gift that reminds us that life is a balance beam.  that we must constantly learn to keep our balance.  and if ever we make mistakes as parents and fall, we must climb back and do better next time.  together with our children, we should continue to tread the path that God has planned for us from the beginning of time.  God made us become parents and it is our duty to strive to be the best parents that we could ever be.  in doing so, we may offer back to Him two magnificent human beings worthy to be called His children. 

    miguel

    cheaper by the dozen

    “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father…In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.”  Matthew 18: 10-14 

    cheaper by the dozen is a movie starring steve martin, bonnie hunt, hillary duff, tom welling among others.  it is a story about a big family that is surprisingly happy despite the daily struggles that come with raising twelve kids in all. the parents dreamt of a huge family, so when the kids start coming one after the other, they decided to move to illinois away from the careers they were more than willing to give up.  all for the family.  until the father was offered a job to coach a prestigious university football team that he was once a part of. this was his big dream and with all the perks that go with the job, it was an offer that he could not resist and wouldn’t not turn down.  but this meant moving away from the home they already learned to love.  even if the kids oppose strongly to the idea to leave behind the friends and the life they knew and were  comfortable with: their simple and ‘chaotic’ rural life in illinois.  indeed, they were happy where they were.

    but the father had the final say.  they moved to chicago and no sooner than they had already settled, the mother also had her dream realized.  her book was published and she was required to go to new york for two weeks for a series of book signing and tv appearances to promote her book.  this was were all the problems started.  the father was left alone to take care of the kids and the home.  at the same time he was starting to build up his career as a coach.  not yet adjusted to their new way of life, the kids began feeling neglected and their home was turned upside down.  disorganized, chaotic, and more chaotic than ever.  every one started acting like jerks. 

    mark, one of the younger kids had a pet frog named beans which he considered his best friend.  among all the kids, mark felt left out and that nobody cared as much for him.  so when beans died and no one seemed to care how devastated he was, mark ran away, rode on a train headed to his most favorite place in the world-their home in illinois.  this had the whole family rally together and look for mark.  and made the parents realized they made a mistake.  they realized how much more important their kids were than any career in the world.

    indeed, all of us have our own grand dreams for ourselves.  it’s not a bad thing to pursue them.  but  we must include this in our list and make it number 1: to be able to raise a happy, closely knitted and God-fearing family, however big or small it may be.  you see, there’s always a retirement in careers.  when we are through, somebody else takes our place at work.  not in the case of parents. because parenthood is a lifetime contract.  at the end of the day, when we are already old and gray; when we are sick and dying;  success in our careers won’t matter much.  but although they’ve already grown, the touch of our kid’s hand to soothe us; the smile that they give back at us to make us feel better; that kiss on our foreheads and the warmth embrace each time they see us.  these are what will matter most.  the love we planted in their hearts, is the love we will harvest at our life’s sunset. 

    let us all take time to value our children more.  now is the time.  they are treasures that can never ever be replaced.  they are our dreams come true.  we don’t even have to pursue them at all.  they are already here.  only if we ever look at them and care.  then surely, our life’s midnights will never be cold, alone and lonely.

    Hug your child today.  Just a simple gesture.  But it will make a difference.  Not only for your kid…but for you as well.