At the crack of dawn
Fingers of light reaching out
Birds tweeting their day songs
Heralding a new day
A clean slate for 24 hours
All possibilities and opportunities
Filling heart and mind with a smile
I thought of you at sunrise
Stars twinkling into existence
Fighting off the invading darkness
Reflection of the hours gone
Opportunities taken, opportunities missed
Time to unwind and relax
A reflective light brings light to the shadowed world
A prayer said, head on the pillow
I dream of you at moonrise
I love you when the sun rises and sets
I love you through wind, rain and sunshine
I love you over mountains and valleys
I love you through time and distance
I love you with every good morning and good night
I love you with every beat, thought, and sigh
I love you in my waking and sleeping hours
I love you for no reason and every reason
I love you yesterday, today and tomorrow
I love you to the end and forever
I love you as my truth and my dream
I love you simply because I love you
I woke up this morning at my usual time even if I am not going to work. My bodyclock is akin to a swiss clock, always on time. I knew this would happen this morning so I was planning to go for a run but the cold temperature as of the moment makes me want to stay under the duvet instead and do some musing.
Laugh, love, live…. Eons ago in the era of Friendster, this was my ‘shout out’ to the world. To a forever Pollyana, this made sense but does a decade older me still believe in it? Do I still wear the rose-coloured glasses when I look at everything and everyone?
Early Monday morning, I received sad news that a cousin of ours passed away in his sleep. He apparently went to bed as per normal and he was found dead the next day. He was such a kind soul and I know his passing will leave a big hole in his family. Add this bit of news to my already-melancholic-self -post-Mother’s day then being bright and upbeat can be a challenge. I needed cheering up to the point that I bought a Snickers bar as comfort food. I was like an over-inflated balloon that a little bee sting would have burst and deflated me. It has…it did… and …
It is easier to stay angry and hurt, play the victim card, sulk and lick my wounds in a corner than to let go of the hurt, smile and carry on caring. Oh I am not above being cold or crying when hurt afterall I am human but I got to thinking… what if I do not wake up the next morning? What if my lifeline will be cut short too and in those last moments I refused to laugh, love or live?
I had schoolmates, cousins or friends who were seemingly healthy and well but their lives were cut short. They had dreams, aspirations and loved ones that they left all too soon without warning. Do I really want my lasting memory to be of someone holding on to anger and hurt feelings?
So, to answer the question regarding this rose-coloured-glasses-wearing-Pollyana, I have grown up and learned that the world is not always going to be filled with rainbows and flowers afterall, rain is needed to have both. But it is about learning to dance in the rain and believing that the storm will eventually pass. It is in believing that love is more valuable than pride or ego. It is in knowing that people will never intentionally hurt others. It is about forgiving even when the apology is not forthcoming. It is about acknowledging that people will not always feel the same way as you do and that the love given may not be returned. It is about understanding that our time in this world is finite so might as well do good and give love instead of holding on to anger and hurt feelings.
My sisters and I ( and our parents too, before they left us) always finish our telephone conversations and chats with ‘love you and take care’. At least if it so happens that will be our last conversation then our last thoughts were of love and care.
The world and the people in it may not act the way we expect them to. We have no control over their actions or feelings only on ours. There will be times of sadness, anger and hurt feelings and it is all right to acknowledge these feelings but it is our choice whether to hold onto to them like pushing a thorn on our sides or to let go of the anger and give love instead.
Everybody has a choice on how they interact with their loved ones and the world. I will not presume to tell you how to feel or act but for me… Life is finite and short so I will actively choose to laugh, love, and live.
Break, break, break
My poor heart suffers so
It does not listen to reason
It has a will of its own
It loves despite warning
It cares in face of indifference
It chooses whom it chooses
Consequences be damned
Break, break, break
My spirit also breaks
Each time my heart is thrown back
Shatters to a million pieces
Swearing never again
Gluing the pieces back together
Yet fall it does again and again
Break, break, break
I know it will happen again
Into love rushes the fool
Open arms with hope eternal
One day, someday perhaps
Another heart will beat with it
And never again
Break, break, break
I have been meaning to ask
Are you the story
Or but a chapter
Or a line or two in this
Or a footnote
Or the addendum
Will you be a missed character
Or a fleeting relief comedy
Or one of the usual suspects
Or the hero who finally appears
I just want to know
Are you here for a scene
A heart beat
Or a second
Please do tell me so
Are you my story?
This morning, I remembered you in the middle of brunch. A mother and her daughter (around the same age as we would have been) were seated beside me. The daughter asked the waiter for extra plate and cutlery as they were going share their food. Suddenly the image of us sharing food especially the large American portions come to mind. Right there and then a big wave of grief hit me and I remembered… tomorrow’s Mother’s day in the UK.
I am now convinced that grief is a living thing that hibernates but every once in a while it wakes up and decides to run its claws on my heart and soul. I blink back the tears and was thankful instead that I had the best mother for me and my sisters. The reason that your absence is profoundly felt is that your presence was a big part of our lives.
So for those of you who still have your mothers, make sure that you spoil them and let them know how much you love them tomorrow and every day. Do not put it off until there will be no more answer on the other side of the phone or the chair remains empty.
Last night, after watching Beauty and the Beast, a small moth kept trying to land on me but I shooed it away. I remember now that in our culture, a moth is considered a representative of our departed loved one. Was that you, Mama? I also remembered last night that when the cartoon version of Beauty and the Beast came out in the cinemas, I watched it with Mama. I fleetingly thought last night that Mama would have liked the live version too.
Whether our cultural belief is true or not, one thing is for sure, I am grateful for having a loving, generous, and supportive Mama. Happy Mother’s day, Mama. I will love you always and forever.
I know how to dream big. At a young age of 7 years old I wanted to a judge of the Supreme court. Of course, I knew I had to be a lawyer first. I had full confidence in my logical and deductive abilities that I thought my rise will be nothing but stellar. By age 10, I liked staring so much at the night skies and studying the stars that I have decided then to become an astronaut. The fact that Philippines did not have a space program was not even a factor in my dreams. A few months later, I decided to be the first lady president of the Philippines. I had my political carrer already mapped out in my mind complete with timelines. All of these career aspirations I drew I depicted on a drawing for class. My dreams must have been impressive enough for our teacher to recommend me for a poster contest. I did not win but hey, back then art was a hobby not a dream. By 4th year high school I wanted to be the computer genius that will change the world of computing. Papa once said that it is good that I am aiming for the stars so if I missed, I might still hit the moon.
Inevitably I grew up and learned more of the realities of the world. Dreaming big was fun but I managed to get my head out of the clouds and listened to the wisdom of my parents. I opted, like a lot of the young Filipinos at that time, to study nursing. The fact that our eldest sister is already in the USA at that time working as a nurse was a factor to consider in case I want to join her when I graduate. Everything just fell into place and well, life happened.
So years and miles away now from that bright eyed version of me, I wonder if a grand life is still what I want. I am reflecting if where I am now is so far removed from where I wanted to be and considering if the things I thought to be essential to make my life worthwhile are still important to me.
Does achieving big things make life worthwhile? Do accolades and 15- minutes of fame make my life better than it is now? I had accolades and my own 15 minutes of fame already for which I am thankful for but these are no longer my goals. Big house? Big car? I love where my flat is right now as it is very convenient for everything. I have been living here for 12 years and counting now. One of the reasons that I would move homes will be because I want to have a dog. A dog will need a garden to run around. Big job? I realised that the higher I go in my current profession, the farther I am from the people on the shopfloor. I have always been a people- person. I love interacting with people and if possible, make a difference in their lives. For the moment, I am content where I am. Big adventures like fulfilling a bucketlist? I love travelling but on daily basis walking in a park with the flowers in bloom, watching the sunrise and the sunset or even just watching the clouds also fill me with joy. Big parties, where we all get to dress to the nines, are fun but a quick catch up over coffee or having a meal at home with family and friends where we talk for hours is more meaningful for me. Big love? We have been conditioned from early childhood to think that love happens in big ways, that someone will sweep us off our feet with grand gestures like 100 red roses or someone standing outside our windows serenading us with a boom box or a Mariachi band or having lavish dinners in expensive restaurants. Do not get me wrong, those things are lovely but love does not have to be big all the time. Small things like holding your hands or hugging you when you are upset, cooking your favourite meals, bidding you good night before going to bed and listening to and supporting your dreams… well those are the daily acts of love that do not wait for special occasions.
Dream big and aim big but do remember that the small mundane things in our lives will fill majority of our time. Let us not wait for special occasions to do big things but do small things daily to make life meaningful. Do not keep your eyes trained for the big things all the time as you might just miss out on the small things in your lives.
Every second passing by
Stretching ever so slowly into minutes
Hours taking forever to sunset
Words blurred into sentences
Coherent thoughts stitched into ideas
As I sit here watching people go
Listening to people talk and laugh
All the while my thoughts drift
To when our eyes will meet again
And our mouths curve slowly to identical smiles
Patiently here I sit…