Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Daughter's Grateful Heart

Similar to the best surprise I got in 2009, when I thought I was seeing an apparition when I saw my Mom in our house, my Mom is here again and I am beyond happy!  Just like before, I was kept in the dark and thought I was only sending my husband to do some grocery shopping.  When he came back, he entered the house looking for me, asking that I step out to help him carry the items in.  When I went to the garage, my jaws dropped when I saw my Mom inside my husband’s car! 

Her arrival could not have been more timely given that I have been completely losing my mind with Noah being sick.  Though it seemed Noah was feeling better by the time Mom arrived last Sunday, seeing my Mom and having her around just helps me feel more able to stay sane.  I’m a 38 year old woman and yet the truth is that I will never stop being a daughter, needing and wanting my Mommy with me especially in times of distress.  I know that anyone who now lives away from family and rarely gets to see them, can relate to this…assuming of course you are in good relations with them and don’t see the distance as a blessing. 

My heart is full of gratitude at the moment.  Other than feeling grateful that I am seeing my son recover from a week-long illness, I am grateful for family.

I am grateful that my parents are both reasonably healthy and that their presence continues to bless my daily life even though we are geographically apart most months in a year.

I am grateful that they are wonderful human beings who made sure my siblings and I grow old loving and respecting each other, looking out for each other and wishing each other nothing but the best.  This I will always be certain of even though I live so far away from them. 

I am grateful that I have a mother who takes the time to visit me from across the globe despite the inconvenience of needing a visa and travelling for approximately 24 hours.

I am grateful that my mother is still physically strong and able to endure that sort of travel.  I’m also grateful that she is willing to spend that much money to be with me.  Thank you Mom…ALWAYS.

I am grateful that I have family from back home that continues to keep me close to their hearts and never fail to cheer me up by sending gifts and goodies from the Philippines.  he stereotype has always been that Filipinos in the US are expected to send money and gifts to families back home.  I'm extremely fortunate that no such expectation exists in my family and that they're even the ones always sending gifts for me!  How amazing is that? To my siblings, sister- and brother-in-law, my cousins, aunt and uncle, you’re simply the best!  I am deeply touched by your thoughtfulness and generosity.  

I am nearing my 8th year (migration) anniversary, and though I have gotten used to my new way of life here in the U.S., the Philippines will forever hold a most special spot in my heart.  It will always speak of who I am, will always hold special memories and such unparalleled wonderful experiences with people who have always been precious to me and significant in every way to my being.  Most of all, it is 'home' because it is where I first learned all about love and what FAMILY truly means. 

What do you feel most grateful for today given the family you were born into?  Whether near or far, how do you stay 'close'?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Weekend Haiku: It's Viral

This week's haiku will be a bit different, only because I'm offering a bit of write up with it.  You see, since the middle of the week, the little one has been sick...bad cough and high fever.  I have been completely losing my mind over it, which is what normally happens with any type of illness my son exhibits.  So finally, yesterday, we brought him to the doctor's office and as I had feared, the doctor uttered the three words I always dread and honestly hate to hear....

Followed by the next words that totally catapult me to the throes of further insanity.....

Rationally, I understand that it could be better this way; that it could just be a bad cold and that all his symptoms could disappear by the fifth day.  But in a crazy way, I was secretly hoping that his doctor would just see something that would merit a prescription for antibiotics.  

Yes, yes, I know....Antibiotics are responsible for highly resistant bugs we have now, but lets also be honest....secretly honest, if you prefer.  Generally speaking, one sees much improvement after taking them.  And as a parent, I'm sure you would understand that when you watch your child suffer, really all you get focused on is taking that suffering away as soon as possible.  So, pardon my narrow- and one-track mindedness for the moment.  I just want my healthy son back as soon as possible.

In the meantime, let me just try to write my worries away and offer you this haiku....    

It's Viral

Feeling worn and glum
I await your departure
Ending invasion.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Undeniably Smitten

I have a big crush.  I had completely forgotten how it felt to be so drawn to something that you can’t let go of the idea of possessing it and become so consumed by it.  

He is tall, dark (bronzy), and, well...faceless.  He spoke to me as I was roaming the aisles of a home furnishings store.  

I’m not a ‘shopper’.  I do it occasionally but when I do, I always make sure I have a purpose.  There’s normally a need in mind, whether it’s an outfit or room accessories.  (Yes, I know...Using the word ‘need’ with the words ‘outfit’, and ‘accessories’ in one sentence just seems off.  Please pardon the incongruence).  When shopping, I feel most efficient when I am alone.  This way, I can spend as little or as much time as I need, without feeling like I’m inconveniencing someone else.  I can be very anal about selecting my items so shopping alone saves me the feeling of being judged or made fun of….(talk about being paranoid!)  I can stare at an item for an unbelievably long time, have an entire debate go on in my head as I look at an item.  Tilt my head, squint my eyes, twist my lips.  If you saw me, you’d know how much I’m dissecting something that does not really need that much analysis.  Suffice it to say, that I spent an obscene amount of time staring and dissecting every inch of my crush at the store where I found him.

Maybe I shop like this because I’m cerebral?  Or maybe I shop like this because I grew up in a country where returning merchandise is not part of the culture.  After migrating here to the States, it took me a while to get accustomed to the idea that items bought can just easily be returned.  I still don’t like returning merchandise after I’ve gone through the effort of buying them.  I hate it.  I like the idea of it, the freedom it gives me as a buyer and the possible neurosis it saves me knowing that I can make a mistake and undo it.  But I also hate how such a practice potentially breeds groups of noncommittal buyers; how it could breed laziness and carelessness with shopping since you know you can make mistakes or simply change your mind and return your stuff.  (I’m overthinking this again, am I not?)

I’m digressing so let me go back….

The man on a bicycle.  There is something about him that draws me in and just won't release me.  Something about him inspires and fascinates me.  I just can’t stop staring at him, wanting to feel every groove.  I’m enthralled by him, completely mystified.   He is far from perfect, with some chips here and there.  Yet I knew I had to have him.  I tried being rational, convincing myself I should not waste my time and resources on something imperfect right from the get go.  

But I felt powerless and found myself unable to resist the need to possess, and suddenly very able to forgive all his flaws.  It was bound to happen.  This man on the bicycle knew my weakness.  He looked interesting, almost poetic.  One of a kind (at least on the shelf where we met, although I know there’s probably at least a hundred of him in China where he came from).  Alien to me (I’ve never seen anything like him my entire life!).  From the moment I laid eyes on him, even more so when I touched him, I knew I was completely charmed. 

Even the shadow he casts enchants me...

I did my best to free myself.  I put him down and actually walked away.  But I only made it to up to two feet away and once again found my feet pulling me back to where he was.  I shuddered at the thought of seeing someone else have him and in no time, convinced myself that I will never find him anywhere else again and that if I went home without him, I’d only be haunted by his image and punish myself for letting him go when I already had him in my hands….for such a great price!!

So I took him home proudly and set him on my office table for me to look at every single day.  As I am typing this, he is to my right, and he continues to make me smile with every glance I give him.  

Like I said, I know better than to think of him as perfection.  When I took him from the shelf, I noticed his defects but thought they added to the mystery.  I searched online to look for a 'perfect version' of him and found this.  For about five seconds, I felt a tinge of disappointment, but very quickly, I bounced back and thought that I really do like him the way he is, riding solitarily.  To be honest, I don't think I would've taken him home with me had I found him in his original state.  

But I know soon it will come…that moment when I open my eyes one day and feel no sense of mystery about it; when I feel that I have it all figured out.  Boredom.  When that sense of ordinariness creeps in and I will no longer feel drawn to him and all sense of novelty has dissipated.  Isn’t this how all infatuations end?...unless of course unknowingly, I have already



in love....

Friday, March 9, 2012

Get To Know KONY and Get With the Program!

For so many days now, I couldn't quite figure out what to write about.  I kept looking for topics in my head, in my daily life, but at the same time wanted something that would stay true to my voice, my self, while remaining substantial, meaningful and worthwhile.  

This morning, I have found it.  And I am sharing this with you with such great hopes that you would do your part as well.  It does not matter how, where or how much but please do something.  This is about the KONY 2012 campaign. Kony is not a US Presidential candidate.  He is a war criminal who abducts and terrorizes children to make them part of his army and do his dirty work of killing civilians.  No, he is not in the U.S. and if you are reading this blog right now, most likely, he is not in your country either.  But that should NOT make a difference.  You are part of humanity....the same humanity Joseph Kony is hurting.  You are already involved and to think otherwise, to think this does not affect you, is complete ignorance.  

I promise you that watching this featured video below will be one the most worthwhile 30 minutes of your life.  It is impossible not to be moved emotionally, mentally, spiritually.  All the information you need will be in this video and suggestions for action are clearly outlined as well.  (On the website, I thought it was quite cool that I was able to Tweet celebrities!)  Please do not fast forward or skip any part of it as each second is significant.  And remember...YOU are significant.  YOU are in a sphere where you have power to change things, wherever you are, whatever it is you do.  I am active in social media and I am a blogger.  This is my medium.  If I found a way to get involved, so can YOU.

 'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever does.' ---Margaret Mead