Friday, January 21, 2011

...And She Is

I just got done talking to my doctor (OBGYN) and she shared news regarding the chromosomal analysis that's been done after I lost my child in December.  My baby had trisomy 22, meaning there were 3 copies of chromosome 22, instead of only 2 (one from each parent).

I was also just told that my baby was female.  Emily.

How naive of me to think I was fine or that I am fine.  My phone conversation was barely three minutes and I was already on the brink of crying.  As soon as I hung up and shared the news with my husband, I broke down once again.  I suppose this is how it feels when your heart is broken into pieces.  Everything feels completely shattered inside and after a while, though the pain is not as raw, the edges not as sharp, the pieces are never quite returned to where they were.  It's impossible to completely mend it and it will forever be fragile.  

My husband (and probably all males for that matter) is of course the voice of reason.  She would not have been able to live a normal life anyway.  We can try again.

But that's not really why I'm in tears right now, is it?  It's not why I need a tight hug right now to ease the pain, even if that were an illusion, yet another lie I tell myself.

Emily.  A girl.  A daughter, a sister, the first grand daughter that my mother has always dreamed of finally having, and the niece that my sister was eager to hold.  The one who was going to look even more like me.  The one Noah was going to take care of and watch over.  The one who I was going to have fights with when she hit puberty with all her angsts and make me remember all the pain I brought to my own mother when I was younger.  The one I would dress up and accessorize.  The daddy's little girl.

Goodbye (again) Emily.  At least Mommy was finally able to name you today.  Know that you will forever be remembered.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Toyota Needs Another Recall

The first few times I saw this advertisement on television, I ignored it.  I resented it, but ignored it.  But last night was to be the last time I would let it pass without speaking my mind.

I hate the Toyota Highlander advertisement...that one with the kid who thinks he's so cool and feels sorry for the 'not-so-cool' kids in his school or neighborhood.  What were Toyota and the advertising company thinking when they created these commercials?

As you can see from the advertisement, it shows a kid who's embarrassed to be seen riding their family car (an older station wagon) and this other kid, supposedly the 'cool dude' who says he's lucky to be riding a Highlander and is proud to be seen in one.  He even says his parents/Mom 'get/s' it.  And mind you, the ad above is only one in the series.  I'm not sure how many there are exactly but they all have the same story line.  

So what now?....We're teaching our children to be fixated on status symbols? be ashamed of what they have, what their parents can afford or where they come from???  And is Toyota also endeavoring to create a population of children who can manipulate their parents into purchasing things they deem 'cool'?  And may I just add that I also don't appreciate how, at the end of this commercial (part was cut off in the youtube video embedded), the boy said his Mom was 37years old and the Mom had the look of resentment on her face, like she had been seriously insulted.  The Mom's insulted look insulted me in return.  It simply was not amusing over all.

In the midst of these nightmarish economic times, and at the height of the economic recession, a lot of people went back to the basics.  A lot of people realized what's truly important and learned to let go of the 'clutter' in their lives.  People have begun caring less about status symbols or keeping their 'keeping up with the Jones'' mentality.  I thought it was a liberating time and indeed a time for evolution.  And now this.  

I can only hope that viewers will be discerning.  Most of all, I hope our children are able to see the lies behind such idiotic and capitalist agendas.  I don't hate Toyota, and to be honest, even after the massive recalls, I think I'm still a Toyota fan.  I continue to drive one and I dream of owning a Prius someday (unless I'm able to buy a Nissan LEAF first!).  But seriously, guys need to do a recall on these objectionable ads.  You may think they're cool and cute and leave your audience wanting your product.  In truth though, all the ad leaves is a really bad taste in our mouths.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Fortune Friday 1.14.11 : You've Got To Be Kidding

Sing and rejoice!  Fortune is smiling on you.

Yes, yes, it's been a while since I did Fortune Friday.  But after Soccer Mom 4.0 'advertised' on her blog that I do this theme on Fridays, I felt it's only fair that I go back to the routine.

Well, to be honest, it's quite difficult for me to believe this fortune right now.  Among many other things, my Mom is once again leaving me.  Her five month stay here is ending and she's flying back to Manila tomorrow, Saturday. To my regular and faithful readers, you will recall that last year I wrote how devastating it all feels each time this happens ("Alone Again Naturally").  All I can say is that the difficulty remains and it doesn't really get any easier.  I know I'll cope and survive but parting is just that...painful each and every time, no matter what.  To make matters worse, I recently learned that it's highly probable that I would have to move soon.  I can't expound much on this yet, but in time, I promise I'll explain more... 

Human beings have certainly found a way to sugar-coat the pains of goodbyes by pronouncing that 'it's never the end', 'endings are beginnings', 'farewells are necessary for hello's to happen', and that 'your loved one never really leaves you because they stay in your heart and memories will always linger'.  Sure, sure.  I've heard all that before and though they make sense (somehow), I'm pretty sure these sayings were created to help one deflect the daggers brought on by the reality of being left and missing someone very important to you.  Aside from the fact that goodbyes, for the most part, hurt, in certain instances they also spell out significant changes.  And this is why I believe there should be an age limit or a cap on the amount of life-altering goodbyes each person should experience.

I feel that I'm getting too old for such things and it's become too taxing for me.  To say farewell is to let go.  I have a problem with letting go.  I have a problem with change.  I thrive in order, familiarity, consistency, predictability. To mess up my world and challenge the predictability I enclose myself in is to injure my sanity in a serious way.  Honestly, right now I already feel like I'm losing my mind and that the world around me is moving too fast that I find it difficult, if not impossible, to catch up.  I feel like I'm trying to step on the brakes and they're not working.  I feel out of control.  

And in a sense I am.  I do not have control over these changes occurring around me.  I cannot stop my mother from flying back home.  I cannot keep her here.  I cannot really stop our move from happening once it does happen.  I cannot stop anyone from leaving me if they needed or wanted to.  I cannot stop anyone from dying even if I begged the Universe with all my might.  

I cannot stop change.

There was a time in my life when I welcomed change and even felt excited about it.  I wish I can still say the same instead of feeling anxiety, panic and sometimes even a sense of terror.  At this point, since I know I can neither stop change from occurring, nor can I resist it, I understand that the logical choice is to go with it.  They say go with the flow.  Release all expectations, let go of the reins and see where life takes you.  Most of all, I think the crucial element is your decision as to whether you'll be an optimist or a pessimist as you let go of the reins and look forward to change.  You need to decide where to focus your energies and how to define your future reality....whether it's going to be 'exciting' and 'novel', or 'a pain in the ass adjustment' and 'heartbreaking'.  As 'Old Friend' said a while ago, "company is not important, only the mind" (Translate: the external world does not matter as much as the internal world or how you think and perceive things)...yes Old Friend tends to be cryptic and translations are most often necessary .  

He cannot be more spot on though.  The old adage is true and it's my only lifeline at this time...You may not be able to change the world, but you can certainly change the way you perceive it and deal with it.  If perception is key, then this means I can certainly CHOOSE to believe in today's fortune and channel my energy towards what can potentially bring me excitement and even just a realistic amount of joy, despite the changes coming my way.  Wish me luck!  And if it's not asking for too much, maybe you can channel some of your 'Force' towards this might-soon-to-be ex-Midwesterner.  


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

So What If It's a New Year?

*Image from

Truth be told, I'm not a big fan of the New Year holiday.  First of all, I've always hated how the first day of the year seems so anti-climactic, abruptly ending (in my opinion) all the festivities of December. No other day of the year is more worthy than the New Year for getting the title of 'kill joy', don't you agree?  It also spells out going back to school or work, ending a considerably long vacation for most people.  And then there's the reality that the beginning of each year also translates to people obsessing about their weight, as well as all businesses involved in weight-loss naturally capitalizing on people's sense of panic over the amount of weight they've mindlessly gained through the holidays.  Give me a break !  

I never believed in new year's resolutions.  Well, actually I did, but that was before I grew a real thinking brain.  To me it doesn't matter whether it's January 1, May 14, December 30 or any arbitrary date for people to initiate any type of change.  If you think about it, the whole idea of a calendar is by all means arbitrary anyway so really, January 1 is just like any other day.  You can make your 'pledges' to lose weight, save more money, be more organized, be more positive, etc, any other given day of your life.  

But I suppose the real 'power' of the new year is the (somewhat) mass shift in consciousness, albeit fleeting for some.  Since most people see it as a new start, a reset button of some sort, there is a sense of a promise of change.  And I guess we all need that after living through 2010.  There was the devastating Haiti earthquake, the volcano eruption in Iceland which affected major flights all over Europe, the BP oil spill deemed worst in US history, the passing of the immigration law in the state of Arizona which further highlights racial discrimination, the bed bug outbreak in the U.S., and don't even get me started on the Republican party's victory in the November elections, giving them domination in the House of Representatives.  To make matters even worse, I also saw Sarah Palin's media coverage increase in 2010.  These are only a few of 2010's bad news. Let's not forget that unemployment, terror threats and other global conflicts still loom over us.

I don't know what kind of year you had.  Maybe you had a much better year than the rest of us and that's great!  But whether your 2010 felt cursed or blessed, let's all turn once more to the wisdom of Ally McBeal's John Cage.  In one episode he said that if you think back on the past year and it doesn't bring you tears of either joy or sorrow, consider it wasted.

Well, mine was definitely not wasted then!...But God...if you're out there listening or reading this blog, please let 2011 be gentler with the world.