Friday, June 14, 2013

Lola "Yaya" Martina

"Life is not too short or too long. I believe, that time is the ultimate blessing that was given to each one of us and as long as we have maximized our time, lived our lives to the fullest, shown our love and care to the people that really matters the most, then essentially time will just be a number and memories are the ones that will linger on".

I posted this status on facebook a few weeks back inspired by my Lola. Since February of this year, she was already bedridden due to enlargement of heart and she has suffered from severe pneumonia. Born January 30, 1919, our 94 year old Lola Martina is definitely an epitome of courage, positivity and faith. Before this, she religiously completes the simbang gabi. Never in any year until last 2012 that she failed to complete it. No rain or bad weather can ever hinder her in attending the mass. Not just the simbang gabi but also the every Sunday mass, holy week, and all other special and regular activities of the church - she will definitely be present.  She has a special seat in the church, she would always seat in the first row, corner right of the long chair. Her devotion to our church is definitely evident in a way that she wouldn't want to leave her very own hometown because of her faith to our patron - Sto.Rosario.

I've had tons of memories with Lola. My brother and I were literally raised by our Lolo and Lola since our parents are both working. When I was in Nursery, she would always accompany me in school. She makes sure that my hair is in place - she keeps it long either braided, pony tailed or in pigtails. I would always be praised how neat I look because of this.  She would even be the substitute for my mama or papa during recognition days, book fairs, field trips, releasing of class cards, and all that. I remembered that I was once assigned as tiger lily in one of our book fairs on 2nd Grade. I did my own make up and Lola braided my hair for the book parade. We were late, so we did try to catch up. We walked a couple of kilometres and unfortunately we are unable to catch up. My lola never complained and she actually cheered me on that I can still make the appearance on stage. And I did. 

I can tell a lot of stories for my Lola but one thing really exceptional on her skills is - Cooking.  Her sopas, mechado, and adobong baka are unmatched. She has very specific ingredients and I am glad she was able to pass on the recipe to us. However, no matter how hard we try to recreate it, the taste is still a little bit different. My Lola's passion and love is definitely the secret ingredient in all the meals she cooks. 

I also admire my lolo and lola's marriage. They were able to reach their 50th anniversary last 2003. Throughout those years, I have never seen them fight, or raised voices to each other. Their marriage is simply one of a kind. And truthfully my lolo and lola are one of a kind as well.

One thing I can describe about Lola Martina, is that she is definitely positive, no matter how heavy the problems are, or how people may have hurt her she never hold any grudge to anyone. She values her family more than anything else. She kept her faith to her family because when all else fails, and when anyone turns their back against her she know that her family will always be there to support her. 

I have not seen anyone as brave as her, that she is willing to endure physical pain rather than the emotional pain of leaving her family. We can see how much she suffers now but she doesn't want to let go because she says she still wants to live and see all of us together. That for me is truly admirable. 

This is just one of the many lessons in life I am still learning from her. A lot of us may just simply quit jobs because we are too fed up with workload or we are getting low salary. Some may just quit trying just because they can no longer endure pain. And my Lola, she would never quit- she will keep the faith because she believes in the goodness of people. She believes that at the end of any suffering is a silver lining. 

I belive that God may have given each person their own hour-glass, we don't know when will be the time that the hour glass runs out of sand which will eventually say "time is up". I know when this happens finally lolo and lola will be reunited to take another journey in a life where there is no end. 

We are very thankful for our Lola Martina. We wouldn't be who we are today without her insights and values. We will continue to stay on lola's side on this battle, but when she raises the white flag, i know that it is her will and ultimately God's will to let her physical suffering end. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

MommyMoments 01: Journey

"Mommy, Kinder na ako" - my 4 year old son just told me with conviction. I said, "Yes, hindi na Nursery". I felt that there was a sense of pride but I felt my voice cracked a bit - Am I about to cry with that simple statement?  Gosh. Hormonal ba? I can't believe that one simple statement can be so powerful that it takes me to a flashback journey. 

Whew, time flies so fast, and I still am thinking on the days when he was just two and we can just spend the entire afternoon watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, UP, Cars and Rio.  I can exactly remember how important it is that I am out in the office by 5pm because his yaya, stay-out yaya, will need to go home by 7pm.  

Born via C-Section (after 12 long hours of labor), he was screaming, crying when he was out. Probably he was in my womb for too long and eager to go out and see the world waiting for him.  First apo on both sides, everyone was too excited to finally meet him (12 hours is quite a long time, isn't it?). Oh, well we are just glad that nothing serious happened to him upon learning from my OB that his umbilical cord is wrapped around his neck, shoulder, and chest. First few minutes I spent with him- priceless. I guess all moms can agree with me that nothing can ever top that moment when you and your child are looking at each other's eyes and there was definitely a "moment". He stopped crying, screaming - and there was just silence - and tears, just flow because there is this little boy - who is living inside my womb for 9 months, giving me a lot of "throw up" moments during the first trimester, who makes me want to eat grub-club's grilled porkloin with basil sauce every lunch time, who turned me to a very religious eater of vegetables and fruits, the one who made me drink beyond 8 glasses of water every day, is now looking at me. 

We are so happy that he has finally arrived but at the same we are also concerned. A month after he was born, we learned that he has a genetic condition - he is positive for G6PD. G6PD in a nutshell is a hereditary condition characterised by abnormally low levels of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase ,a metabolic enzyme involved in the pentose phosphate pathway, especially important in red blood metabolism. Geeky as it sounds, I made a thorough research on it. I felt sick, and crushed. I felt so down, thinking my son will not grow up normal, that he might be sickly, pale. With the help of his pediatrician, she explained to us thoroughly all the necessary details we need to know about his condition. I've attended a couple of seminars- so I would know and make sure that he will stay on top of his health. Surely it did or shall I say - we did. I feed my husband with all the information needed so there will be consistency. Seeing my son grow up to be so active and no signs of any serious implications of his condition is truly a blessing for us. 

Now he is four years old and he still continues to amaze us in every way. I always pray that he will grow up wise and with a good heart. One time we were in a supermarket and there was one kid, wearing an iron-man mask, about to pass the aisle we are in. He just immediately throws punches on the box of soaps while shouting "I am IRON-MAN". So I was taken aback, thinking where his parents may be. I was a bit concerned that my son may think that exhibiting such a behavior is fine - and that he may imitate the kid. To my surprise, he didn't. When the kid is no longer there, my son went to the area where the box of soaps are. He, picked up the boxes that are no longer in place and tried to make it look like the same as before.  Me and my husband were amazed. Indeed, values are learned not taught.  

My son loves toys, specifically cars, but we never bought him "uber-expensive" stuffs because we would want to at least instill how important it is to spend-wisely. So, we were in a toy store, and he was so glued playing with the car that was on-display. He was so into plants vs zombies before but now he is hooked up with cars. His dad asked, since the transformer toy was on on-sale around Php 500 (from almost thousand bucks), if he wants him to purchase it. My son candidly said "Daddy, mahal".  We didn't argue on that anymore, even though the toy is already a good buyFor my son, he might have probably learned that anything on the "hundred and above" monetary value is already expensive but if the toy is about 90 pesos and below, he would have pleaded for us to buy it. 

We all love to tell a story about our own children and I am just sharing this because, I want this to be a living testament of how we take pride having him as our son. That, we will support him in whatever endeavor he would be undertaking when he grows up. I remember a quote "Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see" I believe so. Being a parent is a privilege and having a kid is definitely a blessing.  

Wow, this flashback journey was a bit detailed, right? I guess so. Mothers are sure to have a good photographic memory of every bits and pieces, of their journey with her son or daughter. Memories that are imprinted for a lifetime. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Triumphs, Setbacks and Redemption

I do have another blogsite but intentionally created a new one. Why? Because I felt that a new, clean slate of opportunity has been given to me and I feel that a new blogsite will be a perfect fit.

I've had a bunch of not so good memories in 2011. Actually, the last entry I've had in 2010 was sad but definitely less dramatic than what I have experienced in 2011. Yes, 2011 - oh, what a year that was. It was a year full of daze, cloudy, and dark nights. I felt that my decisions were poorly executed and I was sinking beyond of what could be the bottom of the ocean. Yes, that's how I can describe my 2011 was. 

First, I left a job that gave me so much joy and family-like environment. For what? Yeah, Growth. I felt I was about to achieve that but I fell short. I am happy to experience a new role but my heart is not there. I left again, hoping that the next job I land will be a fine track and move out of the bumpy road I've been through. But then again - I failed. really - really failed. The days are truly agonizing. I never felt so down in my life until I was there. Family is definitely affected since weekends are no longer weekends because I am still in the office. Nights are supposed to be a resting period - but then I am still in the office. That's how the tons of workload are in my shoulders and I feel like I can never ever get up.  So, I made up my mind - thought of just leaving everything behind, even that would mean I will be jobless.  I can remember posting this on my fb account and my friends, co-workers have shown their support:

"Someday - I'll look back and be thankful for the strong winds that I've experienced. These strong winds are life's own way of making me realize how to appreciate little things that I may left behind. I am thankful for everything. Looking forward."

Which is definitely true. I left my job. Enjoyed the yuletide season - hoping and praying that soon I will find a good catch. And it happened. I felt that this was the job, I was meant for. Home based  check, good salary- check and benefits - super check. So there, the decision was a no-brainer. 

Now, I can say that challenges still arise but when your happy and your heart is really there, then these challenges are like a piece of cake. I am more than happy that finally, I can say that work-life balance is totally achieved. 

I felt that as 2012 moves - my whole life is changing slowly but steady. I felt that at the end of 2012, I was able to redeem myself and have totally let go of the dark chapter of 2011. I was really in despair that 2011, I feel like I am driving in a road less traveled and my whole engine just stopped working and I've got nothing to do than to walk my way out. And yes, I was stressed, depressed, and gloomy. I felt that the entire year, I was wearing clothes that are not really mine and when it was over - I was back in my sneakers and jeans, ready to rock and conquer again.  

Overcoming tough circumstances are like forming a perfect team. You plan, you recruit, you check how the team adjusts and see whether there's a need to trade in order to find that perfect fit. It will take some time but as soon as right pieces are placed together, then rewards are much sweeter. 

I am thankful for the dreadful and annoying situations I've been through because it pushed me harder to strive for what is best. I see no u-turn, no detour,- there's no room now to head back but to MOvE FOrwArd..