The White Flag

“For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,”  Colossians 1:9

We recently moved to a new flat near the office.  The vicinity where it is located is dotted with embassies, and as such, there are military personnel posted in each.  Police cars patrol the area on a regular basis.  These brings about a sense of security and unity with the nations, whose flags we see everyday on our way to work.

I recently went on a trip to Dubai and Sharjah for meetings. It was a nervous flight because there was an indication beforehand that said meetings could be unpleasant.

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As the plane from Bahrain began to taxi, I noticed the two vacant seats beside me.  When I began to pray for a safe flight, I imagined Jesus and Mama Mary seated there beside me.  From then on, there was this calm that assured me everything would be alright.  And so it came to pass.  The ugly things that I had expected never happened.

I still get anxious and scared, yet God’s promise is a promise.  I may not see how, but all I have to do is trust.

So my friend, when it seems that you are at war with the world, or even with yourself, don’t be ashamed nor be proud to wave that little, white flag of yours.  It is not only a manifestation of humility.  It is an act of faith in God.

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Bloom Where You Are Re-planted

“Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them…” 1 Corinthians 7:17

I just celebrated my 48th birthday a few weeks back. As part of my annual sentimental “look-back” at what have been, I realized that there is one constant that dominates the story of my life- and that is MOVING.

Before I finished my studies, I lived at 5 different houses and went to 8 different schools. from the time i got married until now, I lived at 9 houses and worked in a commercial establishment, a government agency, a bank, 2 schools and a hospital. That does not include where I live and work now.

Sometimes I wonder what my life could have been if there wasn’t too much action. How stress-free it could have been if i work at the same office table until i retire. And how comforting to live in just one house until my last breath. But who really knows?

So S also wondered how it could have been if I was stuck in only one corner of the same office and worked consistently on the same assignment everyday. by now I would have probably mastered the grooves and accomplish all without batting my short lashes, but how bored to death I would be now.

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I also wondered how many places I would not have the privilege to visit if it was my destiny to normally age within the four corners of the same house i was born to. How I would have missed the rapid beating of my heart whenever i experience the rising of the sun and its setting from different perspectives, the changing of the seasons under a different view of the sky, the genuine tastes and sounds of various societies.

And yes, I wondered how many people I would not have met… and known… and loved, if I was just bounded by the walls of my immediate family. I would not have known people from other nations who are as diverse in our culture and tradition, yet so similar in our humanity.

Moving is actually a joyful adventure for me rather than a futile exercise; like a flowering plant that is constantly being pulled from where it has grown its roots and re-planted to a new and strange spot. It may be a new pot or a beautiful garden. It doesn’t matter where, only its purpose is to bloom.

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I believe I am God’s little flower. And I am repeatedly being uprooted and re-planted to serve my purpose. I am in the here and now because God planned this from the beginning.

When it is time for that little flower in me to move again, I will no longer wonder. because all I need to do is bloom.

After Haiyan, so what now?

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”  Psalm 23:1-4

Long before Haiyan, clothes, shoes and bags that were unused for at least 6 months were collected and stored in boxes supposed to be sent to the GMA Foundation in Manila. But numerous typhoons and earthquakes had occurred, still the boxes remain open and unsent.

Excuses? Each box isn’t full. There’s no time to make any effort to fill them up, much less time to have them sent. Besides, there was no sense of urgency nor any need to send them sooner for we could see that there were enough donors to provide whatever the needs were for a certain calamity at any given time.

Toink!

I have seen it during the tsunami in Indonesia, typhoon Katrina in the US, earthquake and tsunami in Japan, with Ondoy, Pepeng and Pablo back home in the Philippines, but to see how an overwhelming number of lives can be taken in an instant at such scale, which no military intelligence or government spying could have prevented, makes devastation and tragedy real.  Not just words, photos and videos from the media. It is REAL. And it is shocking.

I realized that my heartache and grief stood for nothing because all I did was just sit and watch and sigh. I feel sorry for myself as much as I did for the victims because I did nothing. And I passed on those chances to help, be kind and generous. I’m alive yet what on earth am I living for if I would remain passive and useless.

Haiyan is the most powerful typhoon on recorded history.  Indeed, it didn’t just wipe out communities in Tacloban and other  towns in Leyte, Samar, Cebu, Aklan and other nearby island provinces. For a while, it also reduced the dignity of a people in favor of survival, which is a basic human instinct.

But Haiyan also moved the world.  Suddenly, we are all united as human beings towards a common goal- to help those in desperate need. Indeed this  super typhoon, not only brought about the worst damage, but also the best in terms of human spirit of brotherhood.

The open boxes will soon be closed and head to where they were intended. They won’t remain where they are any longer.  With fervent prayers for comfort, strength and hope, they will reach their destination, and their purpose will be served.

Those boxes represent the beginning  of an entirely new perspective on who I should have been all along.  Who we should strive to become- purposeful, useful, meaningful.

We’re 8 hours of flight away from where the world is focused on today.  From afar, I just pray that each one would think about what Haiyan brought forth.  Near or far, this typhoon changed us. If we still don’t get it, then everyday, it would keep trying to.  And I hope that it would not take a typhoon or any calamity  more devastating than Haiyan for us to finally get it.  Filipino or not, Haiyan sends its  message to one and all.

From now on, let us pray without ceasing.

Let us pray for healing, as a nation; as an individual, body and soul.

Let us pray for wisdom, to comprehend the profound message of recent events.

Let us pray for souls of  those who perished, and those they left behind who die over and over with anguish  knowing they lost everything, and not knowing how to start from nothing.

Let us pray that our lives would  be  “relief goods” to others and not “body bags” that are dead within.

Let us pray that instead of looking out on what other’s are doing (or not), let us look at ourselves.  WHAT ARE WE DOING?  We don’t know what others are going through, let us not judge. or we’ll be judged with the same measure. If you think or feel, that others are not doing enough, let our God be the judge to that.

Let us pray that instead of adding more negativity  to what has already happened, let us find  a way to  be a beacon to  one another to lead each other towards the light.  Not back to the eye of the typhoon, lest we revert to our doom  over and over again.

Let us fulfil God’s will in  our lives.  There is a reason why we are still alive and spared from the tragedy that is Haiyan.  Let us unite in faith, humility, perseverance, kindness, understanding,  empathy, generosity… and put an end to finger-pointing, blame game, doubts, sarcasm, insults, apathy,  selfishness, grandstanding, greed.

At the end of the day,  it is between me and my God…between you and your God.

Keep the Filipino spirit burning…PHILIPPINES, we can do  this!

All The Sweet Moves

“For it is God’s will that by doing right you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” 1 Peter 2:15

Holy Monday, and here in Bahrain it’s business as usual.  I’m unable to go to Sacred Heart church all by myself,  yet thanks to technology, there is no lack of literature and videos that could somehow remind us of the importance of this week.  Not to mention the Holy Bible.

I’ve been distracted the past weeks.  Had recurring respiratory ailments, was busy with the tender , still concerned with Miguel’s pending leap from a career in films to a life in the kitchen, excited about Megan’s graduation, and worried about the hot weather when we come home for vacation in Pinas.

In similar situations prior, I vent all my perceived helplessness by binging on food.  They say sweets are great stress busters.  Especially chocolates.  But somehow added stress goes with the end result of having to lose the extra pounds later.  So eating just for the heck of it, is just a temporary relief.

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Now I found another sweet way to battle my way out of  the “insanity” of  it all.  Who says only the young can play candy crush?  It’s calorie free, but it’s bad for my eyes.  And it makes my back ache.  Yet for some precious MY moments when I reach home, I transform from a middle-aged, tired, sickly, corporate lady to a fresh and vibrant girl again.  All because of candy.

As I play it over and over, I learned that no matter how I try, if I am meant to stay on one level for a period of time, my jellies won’t get crushed, even if only one has to remain.

It’s not about the candies. It’s how they fall on my favor.   Because even with candy crush, someone wiser designed them so.  I just have to persevere. But not lose the enthusiasm  to play the game.

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Do you feel stuck where you are now? That you are heading nowhere despite the effort?  Do you instead get negative results after all the hard work and late hours? Do some obstacles block the plans that you so long prepared for?

We don’t have five lives.  But we have infinite chances to learn. We just have to try and try.  Even if all options seem exhausted.  We just need to wait. Try once more.  Until we got all the right moves. And everything falls into place.

why hurry? (choosing life over death)

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”  2 Timothy 4:6-8

this morning as we start our day with breakfast and news, CNN’s Anderson Cooper reported how children died from diseases which could have been prevented if their parents gave them due medical attention. but because of a literary misinterpretation of a scripture passage, the followers of this certain congregation believes that drops of olive oil and prayers were enough to heal their sick. 

a related subject also tackled how doctors would want to be spared from being prosecuted and sentenced to secondary manslaughter, if their terminally ill patients chose to overdose from the drugs they prescribed, in the premise that they did not end lives, but only the suffering.

still another HIV positive patient who suffers from hepatitis reiterates his right to die without prolonging the suffering that his illness would eventually bring about.  and this, they all believe is to die with dignity.

this reality disturbed me because i believe otherwise.  who are we to choose the exact time and date, or in which way we are to die?  even Jesus, who is the Son of God, did not.  instead He obeyed the will of the Father until the end.  He could have chosen not to be crucified.  He is God anyway.  but He did not.  did that make His death less dignified?

my daddy died of cancer.  he was in pain all throughout the ordeal.  he fought and suffered too.  but that did not make his death any less dignified.

my aunt had brain surgery.  thereafter, she depended on life support to survive.  my uncle and cousins did not stop to seek only the best medical care for her.  but she died anyway.  that did not make her death less dignified too.

one may be diagnosed with life-threatening disease and be given only a year to live by the doctors.  but a car may run over him the same day and die on the spot.  who can tell?

so please,  if you are one of those who feel hopeless and desperate because of your pain and suffering, and you wish to end it all now, or sooner, please stop and think again. 

 

please just stop and look at the Cross of Christ.  is there any pain and suffering that could ever surpass that which our Lord had to endure?  He could have passed on that chance, but it was an opportunity that the Father gave the Son to save us.  so that we, sinners, may overcome death and have eternal life.  it was an opportunity that He chose not to miss. 

whoever contemplates to die with dignity by ending life in his own terms is making a big mistake which can no longer corrected.  life is a gift from God, only He shall take it away; when He wills it and how He wills it.  and because it is a gift, we must own it to treasure and cherish.  not to throw it away.  otherwise, Jesus’ death on the Cross would be in vain.

when it’s our time to go, yes let it be with pride and honor and dignity.   no matter how and when.  and if our lives were full of love and compassion; of  faith and hope, then it would be so…  in God’s perfect time.

missing Daddy

“Even when I walk through a dark valley, I fear no harm for you are at my side; your rod and staff give me courage.” Psalm 24:4

Daddy

bhoy was packing his diapers and wipes.  we were told he needed them more than the usual pasalubong of his favorite chocolate bars and chocolate drink.

but we were a day too late.  Daddy passed away on the 21st of december 2009.  suddenly, the holiday season we were supposed to come home to and celebrate with the family, was never the same again.

Daddy was eagerly waiting for us.  i was told he was staring at each face as if he was trying to see if we finally arrived.  he wanted to stay on, but he was already too much in pain.  in fact, he was already too weak to even wait for one more day.  and as mommy left for just a minute to go to the comfort room, and ella dozed off for almost the same time, the angel of death sneaked in, and took Daddy away…forever.

no words can ever describe the overwhelming fusion of emotions.  no amount of tears can ever wash away the pain. no length of time can ever make me forget.  and not even death can take away the love we have for Daddy.

last family picture taken complete with Daddy in 2008

i know i have never said this to him, though i really wish i could have.  but i love him very much. more than he’ll ever know.  

as we take the flight back to khobar, and as the lights in the plane were turned off,  the tears rolled on my cheeks as the memories of my whole life unfold.  i realized i am me because of Daddy.  and i will never be the same again without him.

it’s going to be a lonely journey from hereon. but i believe that God knows what’s best for all of us, and that my fervent prayer will always be that by God’s grace and mercy, Daddy rests in His loving embrace free from all the pain and suffering of this world.

thank you Daddy.

for my life, for your love, and the fish flower plates…

an answered prayer

“And He took them up in His arms, put His hand upon them and blessed them.” Mark 10:16

yesterday, my son’s geometry teacher called me on my mobile and asked me to take a cab to school and take him to the hospital.  i tried my best to calm down, as i thought about how to possibly heed the call.  bhoy was still miles away from a meeting in jubail, and there was nobody in our office to drive me to the school.

even if there was, a woman is forbidden here to ride in a car with a man other than her husband.  and to take a cab is very risky and equally dangerous, and would probably create more trouble.  so i really had no option but to wait anxiously for bhoy to finally get hold of miguel, and do whatever was necessary.  it was hard enough to learn that my son was in an emergency situation.  but it was harder to be just pinned down on my seat and not be able to do anything for him.

as i waited in agony, i opened the page on which i saved the prayer card of St. Josemaria Escriva (thanks zita!) and just prayed for his intercession.  i remembered that when situations get out of hand, i just let go and let God.  yes i got really worried as i heard the concerned voice of my son’s teacher, but as i began to pray, a deep sense of calm took over.  then i knew that miguel was going to be alright.  less than an hour later, bhoy called and said they were already in the parking lot waiting for me.  not to go the hospital, but home.  miguel was already well and good.

they say God never says “no” to our prayers.  He just responds in varying, but always positive ways.  i believe so too.  He either answers  “YES” right away, or sometimes He will say “MAYBE SOME OTHER TIME“.  on other circumstances, He will tell us “I HAVE A BETTER IDEA”.

when daddy was recently diagnosed with the big PC, we began to pray so hard for him.  even begged God to make him well again.  although we know that a miracle would be necessary, we still continue to pray.  and it is amazing how, when we pray deeply enough, we lose ourselves to the divine presence of the Lord.  so powerful yet so tender that nothing else would ever come close to us.  only His loving assurance that everything will be taken care of.  and that everything will be alright.

it is also noteworthy how “unanswered prayer” and “an answered prayer” sound almost exactly the same. the difference lies on the strength of our faith in the absolute and divine power of God, and our constant communion with Him in every aspect of our daily lives.

we usually pray in the morning as we start our day.  before and after meals.  at night, before we go to sleep.  during sunday mass or novena days.  but to be in prayer doesn’t really need a schedule.  nor does it require an appointment with God.  anytime is prayer time. if we only learn to place our lives in God’s ever holy presence, then there’s always time and space for prayer. 

our prayers for daddy will go on.  and on. and on. no matter what. for we know deep in our hearts, the Lord already gave His answer… long before we even prayed for it.

(you may get the prayer card of  St. Josemaria Escriva at www.opusdei.org)

manny pacquiao vs. zoladex

“now the God of hope fill you with all the joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost.”  Romans 15:13  

 there’s no turning back now. daddy is finally in the forefront of the battlefield called cancer.  he is in the first line of painful attacks which began to radiate to his back now; all the way to those who care for him.  because when we realize that he is in pain, we can almost feel his suffering too.   perhaps not in physical terms.  nonetheless, it is way too consuming.  it slowly eats away whatever courage we have gathered. 

 they say cancer is a painful disease.  i know that it is. but how painful can it possibly be? i guess even those who are afflicted cannot exactly equate with words.  daddy is already old and weak.  the doctors said it is no longer advisable for him to undergo surgery.  so we’re left with lesser options, yet relatively effective as well. 

 in this corner, is Manny Pacquiao. 

 so how did he got into the middle of this fierce battle that is my dad’s?  first of, there’s no longer any need to explain who manny pacquiao is, what with his 7  boxing titles and millions of dollars not to mention his new diamond studded belt.  likewise, we’ve already heard how every time manny pacquiao had major fights abroad, the Philippines experience zero crime rate.  and how ironic that during his fights, the nation unites as one solid pinoy country. YOU KNOW 🙂 (that’s manny’s famous line)

 

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Manny Pacquiao

yesterday was no exception. every filipino in every corner of the archipelago and the world as well, was glued to the tv, internet or radio, if not that fortunate enough to sit on the ringside, to witness every punch thrown and received by pacman.  daddy was that filipino.  he never missed any pacman bout on tv, and i can say he is really a fan.  but yesterday was special.  aside from the usual peace that a pacquiao fight brings, manny brought into our family something more precious than money can buy.  as daddy watched manny’s fight, daddy forgot he has a fight of his own.  mommy said, it was as if his pain was gone.  i recall the times past when he would watch with such eagerness and excitement.  i can just imagine how manny brought my daddy back to his old self;  when he was young and well, even if for just 12 rounds.  and for that, i salute you manny.

in the other corner is Zoladex.   

 “zoladex relieves some symptoms of  advanced prostate cancer in men and advanced breast cancer in premenopausal women.  it reduces the levels of testosterone in men and estrogen in women.  the hormones mentioned are said to encourage the growth of certain cancers. ” – from www.healthsquare.com

 

zoladex
zoladex

The following adverse events were reported in greater than 1%, but less than 5% of patients treated with ZOLADEX 10.8 mg implant every 12 weeks. Some of these are commonly reported in elderly patients. 

 WHOLE BODY – Abdominal pain, Back pain, Flu syndrome, Headache, Sepsis, Aggravation reaction

CARDIOVASCULAR – Angina pectoris, Cerebral ischemia, Cerebrovascular accident, Heart failure, Pulmonary embolus, Varicose veinsDIGESTIVE – Diarrhea, HematemesisENDOCRINE – Diabetes mellitus HEMATOLOGIC – AnemiaMETABOLIC – Peripheral edemaNERVOUS SYSTEM – Dizziness, Paresthesia, Urinary retentionRESPIRATORY – Cough increased, Dyspnea, Pneumonia SKIN – Herpes simplex, PruritusUROGENITAL – Bladder neoplasm, Breast pain, Hematuria, Impotence, Urinary frequency, Urinary incontinence, Urinary tract disorder, Urinary tract infection, Urination impaired. ” – from www.rxlist.com

today, daddy will have his first zoladex implant.  based on the side effects noted, we fear that the worse is yet to come.  in fact,  the adverse events mentioned seem far more terrifying than the disease itself.  but if it’s any consolation it is said that “symptoms may actually get worse during the first few weeks of therapy. however, as hormone levels subside, the patient should begin to feel an improvement” – from www.healthsquare.com

whatever the outcome of daddy’s treatment, in three months he is scheduled for another implant.  we’re not sure also, if manny pacquiao will decide to fight anew in three months. but one thing is certain, zoladex and pacman brings hope to daddy.  momentary hope that lasts maybe for 12 rounds or three months.

but then again there is a hope that springs eternal.  and that hope is our Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour… our Healer.  He is my daddy’s doctor. 

…comes another storm

“the Lord is my shepherd; i shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.  He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  yea, though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, i will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.  surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and i will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”  Psalm 23:1-6

ondoy, pepeng and ramil are out.  the biopsy and bonescan results are in.  and so is another “storm” in our lives.  it’s called metastasis (local name – cancer).

prostate-biopsy
prostate biopsy

the day before that, on the CNN website, i had answered something like a quiz about how well do you know about cancer.  that was the first time i read about metastasis and briefly, what it meant.  so when my sister, ella, texted me that daddy’s prostatic tumor is malignant and that the results indicate metastatic neoplasma, i already knew.

it was no longer a surprise.  i’ve only seen a couple of photos taken of daddy.  that was in September, their 44th wedding anniversary and he had just gone out of the hospital.  it was kinda depressing to see how his health deteriorated so suddenly.  his physique was naturally lean.  so you could just imagine how really thin he’d become and how sad his eyes were, which convey the pain that he felt.  yes, that picture painted a thousand words.

there were already too many stories that were told about how cancer affects the lives of the ones afflicted and those who love them as well.  one can just imagine the suffering, the anguish, the sorrow and the hopelessness.  but when it hit close to home, the stories become real, and it feels like you’re hearing the stories for the very first time.

the first month that daddy had fallen ill and was told he may have tumor in the prostate, we were all in denial.  maybe there was some mistake.    the next phase for us was optimism.  maybe after the biopsy and the bonescan, the doctors will find that the tumor was only benign.  or perhaps, absolutely 100%  gone.  but no. it was malignant and the cancer cells had already spread. 

at this point, we’re trying to wake up from this nightmare.  but in the morning after, there should only be acceptance, because there is nothing that happens that God did not will it.  the good things and the bad.  the happy and the sad.  at the end of the day, we shall find comfort in the truth that all of us are destined, at a time that He appointed to leave this temporary abode where our physical beings dwell.

as we fight this one last battle for daddy,  we choose to see the beauty of life amidst the raging attack of cancer cells.  and while we are ready to accept daddy’s fate as an absolute surrender to the will of God, we still continue to hope and pray.

there can be miracles…if we believe.

daddy’s fish flower plate

“If  a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone?  or if a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?  Or if he shall ask an egg, will offer him a scorpion?  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children:  how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” Luke 11:11-13

when we were kids, my daddy manifested his love in the oddest way one could imagine.  whenever we had fish for our meal, he patiently removed the fishbones  and carefully rolled the fillet into small balls, then arranged them like petals on the edge of our plates so that they looked like huge flowers.

daddy is a relatively quiet and stiff kind of a man, especially when it comes to his way with us.  his kids.   we never heard him say anything nice to us.  well, that was if we hear anything at all.  he seldom spoke when he came home from work, and if he did, it was just to mommy. or to scold us because we sung during meal time.  or halt our non-stop kiddie  chatters. 

we were oftentimes, terrified to see him get angry,  because that would mean a date with the belt (and sometimes with the buckle too).  i remember how he used to slam me onto the bed and make my behind sore with spanking.  and boy! he spanked hard.  but as we grew older, the spanking stopped.  so did the scolding. and so too, the lesser we heard him utter a word.

daddy never set foot in any of our schools, nor watched any activity.  and sadly, he never even attended any of our graduations.  but although he was stingy in sharing himself,  he was generous in providing our material needs.  though it was only during the later years that i realized it was mommy who mastered the art to make both ends meet, our daddy maintained the atmosphere that we were kinda well-off.  whenever we asked, he gave. 

growing up, there was always a bit of envy, whenever we see other fathers’ pda (public display of affection) towards their children.  but even then,  i never took it against my daddy that he kept everything to himself.  i never doubted that he loved us.  and i never expected any more from him than he had already given. 

you can just imagine how relieved my siblings and i were that he was present during each of our weddings.  and when his  grandchildren were born, we were surprised that he kind of softened up.  the rate of his tenderness grew directly proportional to the number of kids that were added to our clan.  he displayed  tender, loving affection to our kids that somehow, my brother and sister felt that affection redirected towards us.   despite his outward manifestation when we were young, or the lack of it,  deep inside i knew my daddy was a loving man.  and though he had such difficulty to let his guard down with us, he couldn’t resist his grandchildren.  all his pent up emotions through the years just burst out like a dam, and love flowed out spontaneously, starting with megan and miguel.  then to bianca, ian, abby and bon2.  and of course, to igi boy.    he is now daddy to all his grandchildren.

a couple of weeks ago, daddy was diagnosed with a tumor in his prostate.  just to hear the word “tumor” would already make one cringe with fear.  and even more, when one already advanced in years has it.  so how much more when that one is so dear?  the first thing we did was pray.  and until now we continue on praying that it will go away and just disappear.   we wanted the best treatment and first-class hospital facilities for him.  but with our very limited resources, we’re afraid we have to settle for less.  we just hope and pray that the healing power of Jesus would ease his pain and suffering.  and if He wills it, my daddy would be free of the tumor absolutely.

but as hard as we pray that daddy would get well, there is a desire as strong in my heart to soften up too.  you see, i am my daddy’s daughter.  although being sweet and loving is an acquired habit which i tried very hard to learn through the years (pda’s towards my children are spontaneous with me now);  i could be as quiet and as stiff as he was too.  these are inherent traits that he passed on to me, and sadly i am just too  shy to publicly display my affection towards him considering the circumstances.  if i try hard, it wouldn’t be natural. and he would notice that.  and for sure, it would be an awkward and embarassing situation for both of us.  and i would not want to put him into that kind of emotional confusion.  not this time.  not with his condition.

the Lord used only one mold for each human being.  that is why we differ from one another entirely.  we should realize that it is in the acceptance of each other’s uniqueness that we shall be be able to live in harmony.   that is how i see our family now.  unique  human beings who blend together into a family of kaleidoscope personalities.

with this i try to forgive myself if i lack the theatrics in expressing my love to daddy.  when we come home for the holidays, and whenever we’ll have fish for our meal, i would just patiently remove the fishbones  and carefully roll the fillet into small balls, then arrange them like petals on the edge of daddy’s plate so that they looked like huge flowers.  then he will know…then  he will feel that i love him so.