Saturday, October 31, 2009

the sower and the fruit

The circle of life is an amazing cycle of God's miracle. Trying to understand it makes it more interesting if not more incomprehensible because the more I try to understand life, the more I get confused. Its mystery never ceases to amaze me. And its enigma never stops captivating me.

Everyone has a chance to experience life in all sizes and shapes. And just like other people I got the chance to see life in different angles.

As a DAUGHTER... my parents taught me how to make the right choices and to take a stand for the consequences of the choices I made.


As a SISTER... I was blessed with two brothers who shared with me a happy childhood full of happy memories. They are my partners-in-crime and together we grew up into responsible human beings bonded not only by blood but by the love, loyalty, trust, respect and common sense that mom and dad showed us.


As a FRIEND... I have challenged myself to deal with other people outside my family. It taught me the skill to relate to other people with the same confidence I had with my own family. The trust, respect, and loyalty that I learned from home was strengthened and made solid though my personal interaction with other people.



As a WORKER and a CO-WORKER... I was able to value work without prejudice. I have learned that dedication and hard work are the basic ingredients for a by-product.



As an EDUCATOR... I was able to teach the values that I strongly uphold and was able to learn other important values from my students as well. I did not only teach them what I know but they taught me more than what I know about life.


As a WIFE... I am now learning to understand the value of sharing and selflessness. Having a partner is not just having someone to go home to or to share your food with... or having someone who will pay your bills and buy you what you want... or someone to fight and nag... or someone to clean up your mess... but it is having someone to celebrate life with.


As a HUMAN BEING... I am always grateful to the ONE who put me here... the ONE who never stops watering the earth to make the seed grow. The ONE who is patient when I am snapping. The ONE who is loving when I am hating. The ONE who is waiting when I am procrastinating. The ONE who is rejoicing when I am laughing.



I have learned a lot of hard lessons in life, both good and bad. And for the past 42 years of my existence I went through a lot of trials that I know have made me become the kind of person that I am now. I did have my fair share of life's ups and downs. And with each rising and falling, a new lesson is learned... a new meaning is defined... a new blessing is given. There might have been times when I hate or dislike what I see.. feel... think and I back-slided every chance I get from my personal conviction. But SOMEONE never gives up on me... so I did not have the chance to give up too. As what the late Fr. Rene Cosico told me once when I was complaining about life - "Grow where you are planted.", I learned how to turn the situation to my advantage. It was not always easy but trying makes the difference. It taught me not just patience but resilience.

Every sunrise and every sunset is a challenge that I face everyday of my life. And every moment is a chance for me to grow... to learn... to rejoice... to trust... to love.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

moments like these

I take advantage of rare opportunities for fear that they will not come again.

I know about the saying “opportunity knocks only once”. And so I need to heed it.

In my experience, a lot of wasted opportunities passed me by because I was scared too. I was scared of change. I was afraid of indifference. I was terrified of responsibilities.

But I have changed.

I am more daring now.

I am braver.

I am bolder.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

the rotten apple

"I got some apples for you... and the deer, Sweetie." my hubby announced one afternoon as he handed me the bag of apples. I ate them all in 4 days.

One morning, as I was about to do the laundry I found this white big box with the pictures and the word "vegetables" on it stacked on top of a box filled with old toys. I opened the box and found lots of bruised and almost rotten apples. No wonder the cellar was soaked in apple scent for the whole week. I was jealous of the deer because they got a big box and I only got a peck.

That afternoon, I found my hubby standing by the box with a plastic bag full of apples [to be fed to the deer outback ] on one hand and munching an apple on the other. I was horrified because I know the apple was no longer good to eat. I tried to stop him but he only gave me a shrug and said... "Nah, they are not all rotten, there are still some that are good, you only have to look."

Prejudice - everyone is guilty! Isn't it easy to judge a person by what we see on the outside than what is inside his heart? Isn't it easier to scratch the surface than dig underneath? Isn't it easiest to blame someone for the wrong thing he did than to admit our own mistakes?

We are not fruits. We are not vegetables. We are human beings. Sin is not contagious. It is only the consequence of our wrong choices and our wrong judgment. There is no way that a sinner will be able to make us a sinner too, unless we allow it. We have the freedom to make choices... so let's make the right one.

Monday, October 12, 2009

give and take

The best thing about Karma is that... it is not retroactive. If you did something wrong to someone, you won't get punished right away. Sometimes it takes years and years and you tend to forget about it and when something bad happen to you... you just say... "I had a bad luck."

The best thing about Karma is that... it is transferable. If you did something wrong to someone, sometimes other people are paying for it... like your kid dropping out from school and enrolling to a rehab.

The best thing about Karma is that... it is negotiable. If you did something wrong to someone, you can just write a check so he won't press charges.

I do believe in Karma... the golden rule... and the stairways to heaven. Doing good to others is not only a matter of.... do-good-now-and-get-rewarded-later... it is a matter of living life the right way.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Survivor

"Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." (Matthew 7:7-8)



"Be careful with what you wish for... you might get it." That's the latest catchy phrase from the February 2008 season of Survivors [The Fans vs. The Faves] commercial.

After college, I worked my way to the corporate jungle with ease. It was a jungle out there, so to speak but I had the time of my life. I was able to do the things I was dreaming of when I was a little girl. The city life... the independence... the parties... the do-whatever-you-want-to-do-because-mama-is-not-around kind of things... and the oh-boy-where-is-our-next-trip moment... were all part and parcel of my dreamland turned dream-come-true-land. It was chaotic but exciting. For a while, I loved it. The experience equipped me with the necessary tools and skills that work to my advantage when I moved on to the next level.

But then, as expected, I get sick and tired of the monotony. The corporate jungle was indeed a jungle, literally and figuratively. I became restless... exhausted... and drained. I needed a change. I wanted something else to happen to my life. So I dreamt another dream. I dreamt about the so called "the-next-level-dream". I drew up a plan. I role-played. I envisioned it. I prayed for it. I wanna to go back to my hometown. I wanted my old life back. I wanted that small town-ish life... the dependence... the party-less existence... the do-the-things-that-mama-told-you-to-do kind of things... and the oh-boy-let's-just-stay-home-and-just-hang-out moments... they all became parts of my "new season" dreamland. And I did. Oh well, I got it. I really got want I wanted and my prayers were answered. I finally headed home. I went home but not to do my plans... but to take care of my ailing mother.

The CALL - came early that morning. Dad told me to come home because mom was in the hospital. She had a stroke. I was dumb-folded. I hurriedly packed my get-away luggage, took a quicker than quick shower and took the first bus available that stopped at the bus-stop homeward bound. I was home at last. My prayers were answered.

Mom passed away almost 8 years ago. But she lived 8 more years after her stroke in 1994. And she lives in our hearts... forever.

God moves in mysterious ways. We may not be able to comprehend how He works but we know that He knows what is best for us. At first I felt I was cheated because it was not the kind of homecoming that I wanted. But for the span of 8 years that I spent with my mother.. taking care of her... changing her diapers... giving her a bath... cutting her hair... clipping her nails... fighting with her over her favorite litson (roasted pork)... all those things made me realized that she was indeed worth every effort because I do love her. I was able to appreciate her more. We were able to reconcile whatever differences we had in the past especially when I was growing up. It was the most crucial stage of our relationship. We were able to communicate in different ways possible because she can no longer speak. Half of her body was dead and can't move around without help. Of course everything was not all rosy. Trials, desperation and frustrations set in every now and then especially when my dad had a stroke too... and didn't make it. We were suddenly left partially orphaned. It was the time of my life when I took my 360 degrees turn. The paradigm shift was worth the trouble. I was a new person then on.

Well, I was still able to accomplish my plans that I set for myself more than 2 decades ago. Though there were some revisions here and there, everything turned out fine. The experience gave me a chance to work on my relationship issues with my mom and her situation made me stronger, if not... a survivor. The experience also made me a more compassionate... more understanding... more patient... and more loving person. It gave me new meaning to life and to appreciate it without reservation.

I still miss her most of the time but I don't grieve for her lost because I know that she was able to live her life to the fullest until the time she had to leave us... and be with my dad. I know she is happy now. And I am happy too because she is now with - the Grand Planner of all time.

Me and Mom during our Pilgrimage in Manaoaog, Pangasinan.

Me and Mom during may College graduation.

Me and Mom. Our last Christmas together.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

cravings

I had a little sweet craving last Sunday morning. I went to do my grocery and the first stop was the bakery goods on the right side of the grocery store. I dunked 2 cheese Danish on the white paper bag and headed on to do the ritual… shopping that is.

Giving in to life’s little craving fire up human soul with renewed faith in the uncertainties of the unknown. Giving in to life’s little craving gives human emotion a taste of excitement and renewed enthusiasm to face the challenges yet to come. And giving in to life’s little craving makes the human spirit yearns for the blessings and the miracles that can change the withered hope.

Life is too short... so go ahead and crave.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Raindrops

It’s pouring. Like millions of falling crystal drops, they came down to quench the thirsty ground. Like countless shining silvery strands, they came down to satisfy the parched soil. Like myriad of hoary threads from heavens, they came down to extinguish the fiery dirt burnt by the scourging sun.

Raindrops keep falling. They keep falling like a cool splash of tiny crystal drops from a mountain’s spring. They keep falling like sweet tears from a horde of angels’ crying from heaven for unrepentant souls. They keep falling like a cold spray from paradise to put out the fire of human weakness and temptations.

Raindrops keep pouring and falling to bless the sower's fruits of the earth.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Cousin Jen

I love sending cards to my loved ones during special occasions. More than anything else I love sending cards that I personally make. And since I am into digital scrapbooking… I send them personalized cards with the person’s photos on them. This is the latest card that I sent to my cousin Jen in Germany.





It’s my cousin Jen’s birthday today. She is celebrating her Nth birthday. This is not just an ordinary birthday for her. This is her most significant birthday ever. This is her 1st birthday… for her second lease on life. She is a cancer survivor.



Jen is 5 years older than me. We are not really that close compared with her younger sister Joey. But we have some good memories together when we were growing up. She is the big sister I never had. And like a big sister I looked up to her. I admired her so much. I was her copycat. I copied practically everything she did when she was a teenager. I copied the way she dressed up… the way she put her make up on… the way she walked… the way she talked… the way she waved her hands while she was talking… the way she batted her eyelashes when she was talking [with boys – LOL]. Yes, I did admire her and I still do.



Jen as I remember has big dreams. And when she was in her early twenties… she went to Germany to help her family. During the first few years that she was in Germany we wrote each other letters until it stopped… completely. And since she moved to Germany I only saw her couple of times when she came home for a visit. Thanks to Facebook… we are reconnected.



It is her birthday today. It has been over a year now since she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It has been a year now since she was blessed with a second life.





I love sending personalized cards… and since I love writing too… I usually write my own words in the cards I send. The following is the very words I wrote for my cousin Jen. [I quote them here because the words are too small to read on the photo above.]



1st October 2009

Dear Jen,

Life indeed is so short and to be able to have a second lease on it is not just a blessing but a miracle that only God can give… that only Man can appreciate… that only our loved ones can be grateful for.

A second chance doesn’t mean a second take on our mistakes but rather a new road to take. It doesn’t mean another chance to go on with our dreams but rather an opportunity to dream anew. And it doesn’t give you one last chance to create new memories but rather live the old memories with new hope in our hearts.

Take your second chance with faith. Happy Birthday and more to come.

Ate Ruth



Second life… not every one is given a second chance… not everyone is blessed… and not everyone is capable of seeing the second chance a blessing. Jen went through a lot in the past. She sacrificed a lot in life. And she struggled a lot to give her loved ones a comfortable life. This second chance is a blessing so that she will be able to live her life the way she deserves.



Happy Birthday Jen. I love you... don't you ever doubt that. Talk to you later.

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