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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Be Mine...

let the sun shine
let the rivers run away coz its a beautiful day now to play now..

Francis Magalona's song played in the car stereo this afternoon. My husband had been playing old songs by Francis (Sandwich's betamax alternates once in a while).

would you be, could you be, be mine..

"Girl Be Mine: I think it was probably 1998 or 1999, UP Diliman, hanging out with Jazzie and Allen on the second floor lobby of AS, busy with my bf back then, if I had one. I love the song but it didn't leave too much of a mark.", I said, which also opened a topic on ex-love life that went on for the next few minutes.

When my husband and I listen to old songs, we recall what we were doing with our own lives at that particular time that the song was a hit. We'd mostly talk about childhood, family, friends, highschool days which we shared since we were highschool batchmates; Or college days, ex crushes, or ex girlfriends and boyfriends, or ex-almost-boyfriends and ex-almost-girlfriends.
My husband and I talk about everything. One time we stayed up until 3 in the morning, just talking. We've been married almost six years now and we've probably heard and told every story there is to hear from and tell each other, but we still say the same stories again, over and over. And each time he tells me his stories of childhood, friendships, adventures, its always so special. It's like he's making me a part of those memories when I was not in his life yet.

I remember my good friend Allen who, when we were still in college, said "gusto ko ng asawa kase gusto ko ng kakwentuhan sa araw araw". We were 18 yrs old when she said that. But now I realize that she had accurately put into words what I have right now. Very simply, may kakwentuhan ako sa araw araw. I have another person who is a witness to me, who shares the story of my life..past, present, and future. That is what I have and so much more. With me is a person whom, after all these years, still looks at me as if I hadn't gained ten pounds since I've given birth. Who never complained that I never made the bed in the morning. Who always gave me the first, the middle, and the last bite. Who has always made me feel that I and Tara always come first above everything and everyone else.

"If I hadn't married you what do you think would I be doing?", our conversation led me to asking him. He was driving along Fairview, on our way home from a day at the mall. Tara slept on the backseat, with a pink catterpillar-shaped balloon on her arms.

"Eh di the same thing, you'd also be married by now, to a different person, you wouldn't know who", he said.

And I immediately thought to myself..but surely I wouldn't be this happy.

Francis M's song continued to play in the car..

let the wind blow
let the wind touch my face
I wanna take a little break now
shake now
this is what I have to say
I feel so fine
so fine that it blows my mind
tell the truth
when will you be mine

And this time the song made a mark: August 2008, rainy afternoon, passenger seat of his mitsubishi lancer, in love with Jose De Guzman Jr.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dear Karen,

You should be turning 28 on Sunday. Can I still say Happy Birthday? I bet everyday is like birthday in heaven. Are you still 28 in eternity? So how old are you now in heaven-years?

I'll be visiting your grave again on Sunday for your birthday. I'll be there along with your Daddy and Mommy, and the rest of your family of course. I don't know yet about your friends, but they won't be forgetting your birthday that's for sure.

Do you remember your last birthday? Sabi mo, bibili ka ng cake. i asked you why, "bibilan ko ng cake sarili ko. Bakit ba eh birthday ko." you even took a photo of your cake and posted it in your multiply site.

I had a really funny story that happened to Joel and me last week. It was funny and somehow private and I wished to share the story with someone else. But then I only had you to share stories like that with. I'm getting used to not having you around, but sometimes I really still miss you a lot. Sometimes I freeze for a few moments, when you pop in my mind. I remember you, your laughter, the sound of your voice. I remember the happy moments, and the extremely difficult ones. I remember them all. But as time pass I seem to go farther and farther away from feeling you. You know what I mean ..feeling you? That feeling when I'd hear the sound of your footsteps as you walk up the stairs on Saturday afternoons..and I'd know that you've arrived for our regular coffee routine. The feeling of having you laying on our bed as you exchange stories with Tara, or chatting with me as I cook dinner, while you keep going in and out of the house to smoke. I have lost that feeling Karen. And at times when I dream about you, I am brought back to how it feels to have you with me, to have you alive. In my dreams it always feels so real, so true that when I wake up,, for a moment or two I feel the harsh realization again that I can never be with you in this lifetime. I seem to be getting used to that thought. Not that it does not affect me anymore, I am just forced to accept that this is the reality I have to deal with. I am thankful for those dreams though because I get to experience you, even for those fleeting moments. And Karen, I sometimes pray that I don't forget you. I worry that I will get so used to not having you, that in time I will forget you. A lot of your friends say that they won't forget you, that they will always remember you, etc. But seriously, I worry that one day I'll check your friendster and multiply accounts only to find out that nobody viewed them anymore. It's going to happen. I do not want to forget you, but like what I I heal from the hurting, I go farther away from the feeling of you. Which worries me because I feel like all the more you are vanishing. When i do not hurt about your death anymore, when I've gotten so used to not having you around, then you have really gone. And I worry about that. Maybe that's why I document it here. I write it down so I have a way of going back when my fears of forgetting you are realized. Karen I am not helping myself, right?

This letter is crazy because you will not read it. And though I could do this every night and pretend that you are just in a different country and i can send emails to you, I am only fooling myself. It's insane. It's just insane. If you were alive you'd think I'm pathetic. But since you're dead..then that makes me really pathetic. I promise i will not write to you again.

I'll just visit your grave and bring you flowers.

Monday, July 7, 2008

the ten in my list

I am happy right now because..

1. I had coffee with Allen one night. Allen has been my good friend since first grade, all the way up to college where we took the same course in UP. She is ninang to my daughter, friend to my hubby, "alahera" to me and my mom. We're brewing up something interesting, a business that we'd like to put up. We'll see how it goes.
4. My daughter and I have successfully developed a fantastic schedule! Yeeyy!. My daughter and I play "Teacher Teacher" when I get home from work. She drinks a glass full of milk, I read her a story, we pray together, and she's asleep by 8:30. She wakes up in a terrific mood, eats a hearty breakfast, and drinks lots of milk! It is the perfect routine that I have always wanted for her. It such an accomplishment for the both of us.
5. I colored my hair, got a haircut, went shopping. I went to the doctor for a long overdue routine check up, and have been scheduled for my yearly breast ultrasound. I've attempted everyday to be a vegetarian, and was successful five days this week.
6. I had dinner and cocktails with my teacher-girlfriends last Friday night! It was very special.
7. For dinner yesterday night, my hubby cooked pasta and my daughter set up the table. "This is a great dinner" said my daughter. I could not agree more.
8. I have taken baby steps to work on the things I can control and to try, again and again, to let go and surrender the things that I have no power over.
9.I have made a conscious effort to take care of myself and be more receptive to people who sincerely care for me.
10. My husband continuously amazes me with his patience and tolerance when I am at my worst. It's unbelievable. He's given so much more than what I expected from him.

I came up with ten in my list. I could not even come up with three a couple of months ago. I hope my list goes on in the coming days. =)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Half empty

It used to be half full. Now it is half empty. It was a sudden change in perspective. It was because of everything I've been through this past year.I had thought I was made of "thicker fiber". I am disappointed at myself that I have not picked myself up yet. It just has been personally challenging the past year or so. Last year was marked by my search to find goals or passions in life. And just when everything seemed to be falling into place, Karen said goodbye. And I felt like I have been emotionally just stuck there, in that sadness. I don't want to go downhill. I don't even want to think that I'm going that way. It's just really so difficult.

I used to think that I have a VIP life. That the "universe conspires" to make me happy. That Life is beautiful and prayers are always answered. I may be having a test of faith and I could be failing... I don't know.

I bare myself in this post. I bare my feelings to those who read this...

To my friends who care a lot about me and want to know how I am coping......I know that i will get over this. This is just a phase.

To my family and Karen's friends who share the same loss...I feel easier when I talk about my feelings. I am able to deal with it more. You all know I did not cry that much. I guess this is my therapy. We all try to cope in our own ways.

To those who have stumbled upon this blog and are able to relate to it because of their own probably understand me well and those who have left comments in the past have assured me that I too, will be fine in time.

To acquaintances who really do not know me that much but are curious as to what I'd have to say.....these are the challenges I face. I have heartaches too just like everyone else.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

two months after

It's been a while since I last posted anything. I felt like there was nothing to say that I have not said yet. Nothing to write that I have not written about. I felt like I have been stuck in time, unfortunately, in a not-so-happy-time of my life.

Two months have passed since she's been gone. I've visited her grave in Loyola. I've tried to keep myself busy doing chores, working hard in the office, surfing about things I really never cared about , such as migrating to a far away land called Canada. There is nothing that would make me stay here anymore. My family is in the US, Karen is in heaven. I should be packing my things now.

I cannot even write anything for my other blog. I love motherhood and I used to love writing about my experiences. But I have been a guilty mom for quite a while. Tara's been saying that I am on the "KJ side" because I did not want to play crazy things with her. I once told her that I had the world sitting on my shoulders. She said, "Where is it? I can't see it"

And I have not been taking care of myself either. When was the last time I bought anything for myself? It probably was the black shirt I got myself in January. I had bought it with the intention of asking Karen to pay me for the shirt because she had not bought me anything for Christmas. That's how we exchange presents at Christmas. We shop separately for ourselves, then we bill each other for what we bought. I wore the black shirt on her funeral.

I was at the mall just earlier and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I looked so sad. My husband saw me as I was looking at my reflection, he smiled at me. And I thought he was just so wonderful. He always has been. Since I lost my best friend he has tried his best to fill up the vacancy. He'd offer to go to Starbucks with me, and I refused each time he asked. He'd go to the mall with me and to every shop I fancied, without complaining or getting impatient. He would ask if I liked anything and I'd say no.

I asked my husband just earlier, what was his favorite word. He said "Meron ba nun?". he probably thought it was a quiz, like he was supposed to .."you".

I said, "Yes some people have favorite words".

"So what's yours?", he asked.

" moonbeams and sunshine", I answered.

"Ano pa?", he asked.

I didn't answer.

"kala ko ba madami."..he said.

I could not answer anymore because I felt like I would cry again. I wanted to say..hope.

Friday, May 16, 2008

on the fourth funeral

I'm at a funeral again (Yes, they have WiFi). The fourth one I've been to in a month's time. How crazy is that?! The first was Karen's, then that of my cousin's dad in law, then of our tenant's son, now the funeral of my hubby's uncle.

My visits to funerals have been so frequent that I've developed an eye for good quality coffins! I can now also give you a rough estimate of how much it will cost to have a decent funeral. 70,000Php for coffin and funeral service; cemetery lot is around 50,000Php; service to dig up the grave is another 20,000Php; if you choose to have the body cremated it would be around 20,000Php with urn; If you want the ashes deposited in a church, a slot may range from 50,000 to 25,000 pesos.

What is my realization after these funerals? Many, of course. About life and death, faith and family. But let me tell you just one very practical thing I learned. It is an extremely difficult task to arrange for funeral service while in the state of shock and grief over a loved one's death.

So go get yourself and your loved ones a memorial plan. Or just get one for yourself but choose one that is transferable. I sound like an insurance agent. But really, getting one is a wise thing to do.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I saw her in my dreams.

At night time, my daughter and I would say our prayers. And right before we'd sleep we'd say "Lord, make us dream of Ninang Karen tonight. please tell us how she's doing in heaven". And then we'd ask each other the next morning if we saw her in our dreams. Tara didn't dream of her yet.

I finally dreamed of her the other night.

In my dream, my husband died and I was looking for him. Then I saw Karen standing by the gate of our Lolo's old house in San Juan. She was very pretty as she usually was. I asked her, "Diba patay ka na Karen?". She laughed at me. I held her face in my hands and then I held her arms. I do not remember what she said in my dream, but I remember clearly that she was laughing, she was laughing at my questions and my reaction to her. It felt like a long a dream, like we talked about many things, but you know how dreams really don't remember everything when you wake up. I remember her saying "maging mabait ka kung gusto mong magkita tayo sa langit" her usual matter-of-fact tone. She also said that Joel is alive and I better look for him. To which I replied, "Then this must be a dream and since this is a dream, it's going to end soon. So give me a hug now." She laughed again. and gave me a big, long hug. She then showed me her arm, where something was written in what seemed like eyeliner (weird!). There were some words that I cannot remember. The last phrase though is still vivid in my mind..."We will meet again."

The dream felt so real..she was so alive! When i woke up, for a few seconds there i thought that Karen was actually alive. Then the realization that she is dead hit me. It hit me so hard I broke down in tears. As time passes by I begin to adjust more and more to my life without her. And though I will never forget all the memories of her, I begin to go forget how it actually felt to have her around, to talk to her and see her laugh. The dream seemed to have brought me back to that feeling, how it felt months ago when she was alive and strong and happy.

I never believed that dreams mean anything real or significant. But this dream is different. Because this is something that I choose to believe. There would be no other way for Karen to give me a hug now..only in my dreams. And if this is what God is giving me to help me answer my questions, or if this is a mother's day gift for me, because there is nothing I would like more than one conversation and one hug from Karen, then Thank you Lord! Thank you for giving me what I need.