Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thank You

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Today I want to thank you Lord for giving me another year of life.

Thank you for my dad and mom who are always there to support me and love me and my family through thick and thin.

Thank you for my siblings, my brother and his family, my sister and her husband. I love them all.

Thank you for my husband, who constantly makes me feel that life is worth living, who always makes me smile and laugh. Whose craziness makes me forget the bad times. Whose love I would always cherish for the rest of my life.

Thank you for my lovely daughters Pia and Zoe whose mere existence brings me soooo much joy and happiness. They give me a reason to live each day and want to be the best mother they could ever wish for.

I also want to thank you for giving me so many friends whom I can count on, who I can laugh with and cry with and get crazy with. Friends who are there in the best and worst times of my life.

Again I thank you.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Begin Today

I find it ironic that I am turning another year older in the next few weeks and I cannot say that I have a fool-proof plan for my future. Something that every responsible adult should have before they charter the many oceans of life.

I sometimes live for today and am guilty of leaving tomorrow to God. Don't get me wrong, I am not totally irresponsible. I have life insurance policies, a pension plan, a good health care plan and a few investments. Nothing ludicrous but a little nest egg for my family in case I become permanently err unavailable. But one must also realize that when you leave tomorrow to God, that means you are in charge of what happens to you today.

Being in charge of today is a big responsibility, because what you do today affects future plans and future realities.

Each day I struggle to live my life to the full. But oftentimes I think I fail to make the most of it. Each working day I think I miss out on the most important moments of my kids life. I content myself into looking at their day from my nanny's recount and stories, from my mom's loving eyes and through my dad's adoring stories. I would call home to check if there are assignments to be done and school supplies to buy and if the kids had preferences for tomorrow's snacks. It was the only way I could be there for them during the day that I am working.

My five-year-old daughter now knows how to contact me at work and what time she would call. There are times when I wasn't able to answer her call because I was in a meeting she would leave messages in my answering machine...and I would feel guilty as hell. Some mornings she would be grumpy when I wake her up and hurry her to the bathroom to give her a bath, she would tell me "why are you always in a rush mommy?" - I wanted to tell her because I want so much to be the one to go to school with you and your sister. To wait for you when you get home and cook your lunch, do your homework and play with you after school...but I can't so I just have to content myself with the few minutes that I can kiss you and give you a bath and I can comb your hair and blow small kisses before I rush yet again to work.

Life is a series of compromises for me. I win some, I lose some. And for each moment that I spend away from my family I want to make sure that I spend it wisely. I count the seconds, the minutes the hours that I would go home and embrace my babies again. Here's something that I love to read whenever I have bad days. I keep it tucked away somewhere for me to read. Here goes:

If you woke up this morning
with more health than illness,
you are more blessed than the
million who won't survive the week.

If you have never experience
the danger of battle,
the loneliness of imprisonment,
the agony of torture or
the pangs of starvation,
you are ahead of 20 million people
around the world.

If you attend a church meeting
without fear of harassment,
arrest, torture, or death,
you are more blessed than almost
three billion people in the world.

If you have food in your refrigerator,
clothes on your back, a roof over
your head and a place to sleep,
you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank,
in your wallet, and spare change
in a dish someplace, you are among
the top 8% of the world's wealthy.

If your parents are still married and alive,
you are very rare,
especially in the United States.

If you hold up your head with a smile
on your face and are truly thankful,
you are blessed because the majority can,
but most do not

If you can hold someone's hand, hug them
or even touch them on the shoulder,
you are blessed because you can
offer God's healing touch.

If you can read this,
you are more blessed than over
two billion people in the world
that cannot read anything at all.

You are so blessed in ways
you may never even know.

“love life, engage in it, give it all you've got. love it with a passion, because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it” ~ Maya Angelou.

In case we forget, we can always begin living today.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A Heart of Hope

Today our former President Corazon C. Aquino was laid to rest. The country mourned the loss. After fighting for her life, the cancer won. Before she died she shared a most wonderful prayer. A prayer for a happy death. I remember my dad's elder sister who shared with me a similar prayer.

Prayer for a Happy Death
By Corazon Aquino

Almighty God, most merciful Father
You alone know the time
You alone know the hour
You alone know the moment
When I shall breathe my last.

So, remind me each day,
most loving Father
To be the best that I can be.
To be humble, to be kind,
To be patient, to be true.
To embrace what is good,
To reject what is evil,
To adore only You.

When the final moment does come
Let not my loved ones grieve for long.
Let them comfort each other
And let them know
how much happiness
They brought into my life.
Let them pray for me,
As I will continue to pray for them,
Hoping that they will always pray
for each other.

Let them know that they made possible
Whatever good I offered to our world.
And let them realize that our separation
Is just for a short while
As we prepare for our reunion in eternity.

Our Father in heaven,
You alone are my hope.
You alone are my salvation.
Thank you for your unconditional love, Amen.

This prayer was published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer last July 10, 2009.

I also want to share this beautiful song composed by M. Franciso SJ, it's called "Your Heart Today"

“Love comes to those who still hope even though they've been disappointed, to those who still believe even though they've been betrayed, to those who still love even though they've been hurt before.”

Sunday, August 02, 2009

If I was 17 Again

It seems like ages ago when I wore my college uniform, I was in all white. I had a hard time keeping it that way as I made my way to the University, it always rained and my pencil-cut skirt seemed to manage to rip itself up to my booty. Good thing I have my mini sewing kit tucked away in my bag. I was the only girl in the last row and I'd hate it when the boys would snicker and made fun of me.

I also wondered how I was going to cram all those medical words and chemical equations in my tired head and keep up with my professors. Flunking is never an option. We started out as 46 students in our class and sometime before the last semester ended we were trimmed down to 32. Fourteen students either dropped out or was forced out. Getting good grades and not flunking my subjects were all that was on my mind - err and also how to rinse out all the chlorine and drying my long black hair after of swimming class --- aaarghh! that was probably one of the hardest part of college life. LOL!

And then there was Medical School. That was the ultimate goal. Boys were just not an option at that time, although there were a lot of good-looking medical students in my building. There just wasn't time for that. I could barely look up while I walked to my classes! My books were sooo darned heavy. All those subjects with "-ology" in the end. I had tons of those.

So today, I was thinking and looking back (one tends to do that a lot when one gets older I guess) - I wondered what would I tell myself if I had the chance to talk to "me". And I figured I had a lot of things to tell myself. I made a little list.

1. Relax - I was a little uptight at that age, I did not socialize a lot. Well partly because my dad was a little strict and secondly I was not so into it too. I was a little hard on myself then. I was always in a rush.

2. Listen to your mom and dad when they say that "Time is Gold". Procrastination in any stage in life is never good.

3. Don't be in a hurry all the time. Enjoy the moment and savor every little experience you get out of life. Who knows you might need to pick that memory out at a later time. I guess this happens when you don't get lesson no. 2.

4. Save, save, save. Save your allowance for important stuff. Something that could enhance your self-esteem. Avoid spending your money on non-essentials like make up or gadgets.

5. Don't be in a hurry to grow up. Your time will come. Enjoy the moment while someonelse is in charge of paying the bills. Growing up means more responsibilities and that includes paying bills. Being young and learning the ropes will build your character. Be friends with people who are independent, they have a lot of experiences to share.

6. Don't get credit cards. If you know how to spend your money wisely and you can live within your means, then for goodness sakes don't get that credit card. If your spending gets out of control - you could head to a financial meltdown in the future. Trust me steer clear.

7. Soak up all the wisdom the elders are imparting to you. Listen to dad's talk on choosing well whether he's talking about finding the right partner in life or choosing the right friends. He will also say "never giving up your ideals". And then there's mom's words on managing your time well and the wisdom of loving with all your heart but always leaving something for yourself "just-in-case".

8. Be confident. Don't be easily intimidated by other people. They are also afraid of new things just like you. They just know how to hide it better. Believe me I met a lot of people like this and they also have high positions in the corporate world.

9. Love yourself. Don't let others walk all over you. You have your own identity and your own special talents and gifts. Learn how to use it and it will serve you well. That hobby may make you a millionaire someday. Remember those who know their passion, never had to work a day in their lives.

10. Trust God and your family. They will love you unconditionally whether you have "unclear" skin, wavy hair, a fashion disaster or a social outcast. They will love you no-matter-what. And you know after all these - their love is all that matters.

We may not be able to turn back the clock and be 17 again but hey we were able to taste the elixir of life. It's our turn to guide that someone who is lost and finding themselves amongst crowd.

And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. ~ Abraham Lincoln